I've never relished the idea of using yeast in any way, or waiting for bread to rise, or home-making much other than dinners for my family (a max of 4 times per week, because I'm only human.)
But Caroline had extra starter, so I've jumped on the sourdough train. Granted, I didn't know what I was getting into, and was immediately intimidated by the fact that sourdough requires care like a low-maintenance pet and there seem to be 1 million different opinions on how to best feed it and make bread.
And while it's common to see trends taking over (looking at you, tik tok dances), there's something about sourdough that seems to stick more. And I'm not just talking about pulling the dough out of the glass bowl after endless hours of rising. It feeds my soul, somehow. I've spent a lot of time thinking about why people (namely me) are so into it right now, and here are my thoughts:
1) This line from Olaf in Frozen 2 hits hard these days:
Making sourdough bread might not be solving big problems, but it gives me some element of control. That may not seem obvious given my 3rd and 4th attempts, but I'm giving myself space since I'm the beginner-est of beginners with bread-making.
2) It reduces reliance on grocery stores a little bit. I don't think we're in an emergency situation where we must grow and prepare all our own food from scratch, but it can't hurt! And we already know I love gardening, so I'm practically a homesteader.
3) It makes me feel very primal, like providing bread for my family that doesn't come in a plastic bag from the store somehow taps into what my ancestors did for their families. That's neither here nor there, I just love it.
4) I'm a creator at heart, and this is yet another thing to create. Plus, I have zero desire to monetize it. That last detail is crucial, because it is fantastic for my mental health. I like to post a few photos to my IG stories, but I also don't worry about keeping up with every step of the process or making sure people know what I'm doing. In fact, worrying less about keeping up with the Joneses, or trying to BE the Joneses, is a lot less stressful overall.
5) It's damn tasty. And it's ok to make mistakes, becasue you can ultimately still eat your mistakes. It isn't a waste of time. Here's my journey so far in photos and emotions.
I'm giving it another try this weekend after ordering some bread proofing baskets (no longer available from where I ordered them because we're all doing this, but I searched Etsy for banneton bread proofing basket) and reusable wrap (in place of plastic wrap.)
So have you taken the plunge? Are you ordering sourdough bread supplies like me, or do you not care at all? And if not, what are you doing for escapism?