I Tried––and Failed––to Make Sourdough Bread
And it’s OK. In fact, it’s better than OK, it’s human.
I have brilliant and patient friends who love the process of caring for their sourdough starters and spending hours in the kitchen, monitoring their dough babies (seriously, one friend launched a successful business amid COVID-19). I’m simply not one of them. And I proved that when I attempted to bake a loaf for the very first time last week, and it ended up misshapen, rock hard, burned on the outside, and yet undercooked on the inside.
I love to bake cakes, cookies, tarts, soufflés––you name it–– so it certainly wasn’t the time spent actually baking or following the directions. I realized afterward that I really didn’t enjoy the process of feeding a starter. I would forget to feed it some days and the thought of having a living, fermenting creature on my kitchen counter made me think of that Goosebumps episode with the evil sponge (millennials, you know what I’m talking about). Or maybe I’m just not very maternal––I was one of the only kids in my class to fail the egg-baby project.
Anyway, it got me to thinking about all the posts I’ve seen lately on my social media feeds: cook chef-worthy meals, learn a new language, remodel your entire home, get super-fit, and my favorite, bake glorious loaves of sourdough to deliver to your entire neighborhood. Look, I’ll give all these Instagrammers a big round of applause for being so productive in the middle of a pandemic, I’m just not one of them. And that made me feel really guilty for some reason. Am I lazy? Am I simply not talented or interesting? No… I’m just human.
So here’s to being imperfect and yes, sometimes lazy––and somehow overcooking and undercooking bread at the same time. For now, I’m going to stick with whipping up banana bread and focaccia, and I’ll leave the sourdough to the pros.
If you are thinking about taking on sourdough bread, good for you, and then read our handy guide.