I am not one for new years resolutions so this is not one of those. However I have decided to focus in 2018 on what drives me, where my passions lie and what I really want to spend the next section of my life doing. One of these things is baking bread and in particular Sourdough, so I am focusing a section of my web presence on my baking endeavours. I am doing this for two main reasons. To document what I do and also to share the wonder that is Sourdough baking. Both because it looks and tastes wonderful, but also because I think more people should try it.
I love creating edible things from scratch. Sourdough, beer, cheese, preserves etc etc etc. There is a primacy to it and in these days when we as consumers and people in western society are increasingly removed from our food, connecting with the likes of sourdough provides a real connection to real food as it has been made by real people for centuries.
I have spent a good chunk of my Christmas break, baking, preserving and cooking and I am through it feeling more connected with the world again. My life lately has had some challenges and it feels good to be able to concentrate and meditate on something as primary and basic as good wholesome food. While I do eat meat, my home life is vegetarian and this again has provided me with both the canvas and potential to create interesting meals from primary ingredients. I have found the removal of meat from my home diet freeing and enabling in my desire to both create food and feed my creativity. In short I am feeling inspired.
So back to Sourdough. I first discovered the joy of making my own sourdough in 2008 through a chance purchase of one of Dean Brettschneider's books while browsing in Borders. It opened a world to me that both transformed my appreciation of bread, but also made me very popular at parties and BBQ's. I stopped baking for a few years as I was living somewhere without a good oven, but I have been back on the baking trail for the past 12 months and I am loving rediscovering the joy of freshly home made sourdough. I am now experimenting with different styles and have a very lively rye sourdough starter which I am going to bake with for the first time tomorrow (I'll blog on my experience).
It is interesting to me as well, that since the last time I was baking, sourdough has become more vogue and with the advent of social media I have access to a community of bakers who I did not know of the last time I was seriously baking. I am loving looking at people's baking on Instagram and I hope some people will enjoy looking at what I make as well. The opportunity to learn from more experienced hands is wonderful.
So what lies ahead for me? Lots of baking and trying different types of Sourdough. Grinding my own flour. Developing my own recipies when I am ready. So if you are at all interested, I hope you keep track of my endeavours, and who knows, maybe I will find a way of making my passions pay.