Weekend Project

By Tony Merevick

Tips On How to Make Sourdough Bread at Home

Bread is delicious and nourishing, and we need it in our lives now more than ever. Baking sourdough is an ideal weekend project that’ll help to keep you busy and leave you with a spectacular result -- kind of like a giant jigsaw puzzle, but better. You get to cover the finished picture with butter and eat it.

“Grain-based foods are some of the most ancient foods that we know of people eating. Civilizations grew up alongside bread and grain-based foods and so I think it really seems natural to me to fall back on that in times of uncertainty and just times of being home.” - Jennifer Latham, Director of Bread at the celebrated Tartine Bakery.

Making sourdough bread doesn’t require all that much hands-on work. Managing the bread’s fermentation (the chemical change where yeast converts sugar into carbon dioxide that gets trapped in the dough and makes it rise) -- is 95% of the process, which is perfect for when you’re home all day.

Latham also told me not to be too attached to the outcome when you bake.

"We think we know what bread and flour tastes like, but really that’s just a pretty small slice of Turkish red wheat that’s been ground for commodity in America the last 100 years."

Practicing and experimenting with my bread is something I can manage right now, but Latham’s biggest piece of advice for me is something I won’t be able to do anytime soon:
bake with other bakers.

“It’s always mind-blowing to see other people’s processes and hear how they think about things and I think that’s one of the best ways you can become a better baker is interacting with other bakers. I know, that’s not possible in the time of COVID, but even if it’s just reaching out to people and forming relationships now, you can get to those things in the future.”

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