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"All sorrows are less with bread.”- Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Have you ever wanted to bake your own bread and not know where to begin?

Now that winter is here, it is the perfect time to learn! Since we have been home so much this year and having shortages of items, one being sandwich bread, more people have been going back to the basics and baking homemade bread. For a while it was hard to find yeast, which led to friends and family sharing sourdough starters and baking sourdough bread.

Sourdough bread is a slow fermented bread that uses a starter instead of yeast.  Sourdough has a crispy crust with a chewy inside and tangy flavor. It is also easier to digest due to the long fermentation which helps break down gluten.

All you need are three basic ingredients that you probably have at home to make a sourdough starter: flour, water, and salt. Most professional bakers use a kitchen scale instead of regular measuring cups for a more exact measurement and an oven safe pot such as a Dutch oven to imitate a commercial bakery oven at home. The sourdough starter can’t be used right away. It will need to be fed daily and after six days the starter will be ready to use.

You might be thinking how do I feed the starter? It’s just adding more flour and water. Your starter is ready to use when it is bubbly and doubles in size. If you are an avid baker, the starter can be stored on the counter at room temperature and fed once a day. If you bake occasionally, it is best to keep it in your fridge and feed it once a week.

Making sourdough bread would be a good family activity to do over the holiday break. It also includes some math and science.

Here are some books found in the library catalog with various sourdough bread recipes and Hoopla has a gluten free sourdough bread eBook too. Enjoy baking!

Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson is a great cookbook for the beginning sourdough baker! It includes step by step instructions with lots of pictures. The book starts off with a recipe for Basic Country Bread which the author states anyone could make a good loaf of bread with just that recipe. The author then builds on the recipe with semolina bread, whole wheat bread, brioche bread, baguettes, and croissants recipes.

New World Sourdough by Bryan Ford can be found in the libraries and on Hoopla. It is a modern sourdough cookbook with cultural influences. The author includes recipes for a coconut rye bread called Coco Rugbrod and Choco Pan de Coco, a chocolate coconut bread, and Semitas de Yama, a brioche style roll topped with coconut oil and sugar inspired by his Honduras ancestors. There are a couple recipes influenced by the author’s birthplace New Orleans, Louisiana for Muffaletta rolls and a Queen cake.

Baking Sourdough Bread: Dozens of Recipes for Artisan Loaves, Crackers, and Sweet Breads by Göran Söderin can be found on Hoopla and offers a few different sourdough recipes made with potatoes, oats, and lentils. The book also includes the English measurement system unlike the other books that just use the metric system’s measurement of grams.

The Art of Gluten-Free Sourdough Baking by Sharon A. Kane can be found on Hoopla This cookbook is a great resource if you or a loved one has food allergy sensitivities. There are a variety of sourdough starter recipes, techniques, tips, and tricks to making a delicious bread and other sourdough recipes that everyone can enjoy! Mock Rye Bread, Holiday Chocolate Bread, Rice-Chick Pea bread, rice based and rice-free cornbread, and rice-based pizza dough are some recipes to be enjoyed using this cookbook!

- by Jodi Frederick, Hopewell Branch

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