Find Your Flow With Sourdough

Meg Meg Hughes
DIY sourdough bread from scratch
Bread with culture. It's back in.

Bread’s had a bad rap of late with lo-carb, gluten-free and Paleo advocates recoiling at the mere thought of a fluffy sandwich loaf as it feigns likeness to the daily staple of folks from as far back as ancient Egyptian times. But it turns out bread may not be not so bad after all, particularly if it’s the product of traditions revisited, like harvesting natural yeasts to make sourdough.

Culture Club

There’s something about casually slipping into conversation that you just home-baked an artisan loaf that gently nourishes the ego. Perhaps real baking - the drawn-out labour-of-love type of affair - is symbolic of having it so together that you actually have the luxury of time to do it. Incidentally, I write as one who hasn’t experienced a waking moment of solitude in weeks, high-fives to all parents of preschoolers…

Sourdough is a food blogging staple, (yes, macaroons are sooo yesterday) and is how bread used to be made, way back in the days before industrial scale yeasts hit the shelves. You work from a starter - basically flour and water which has to be ‘fed’ with more flour and water over the course of a few days to develop the yeast culture that exists naturally in flour.

I know what you’re thinking. Six days?? Definitely not my thing. Seriously though, drawn out, yes - but difficult, this is not.

Easy Peasy Yeasty

Feeding a sourdough culture can hardly be chalked up as effort - not when you consider the epic slog involved in raising any form of life more intelligent than a yeast. Besides which, this type of care does offer adequate interludes for taping-up toilet roll telescopes, modern-meets-medieval truck and dragon warfare, or whatever else your daily groundhog routine might involve.

The kids had a bunch of fun smelling, generally disturbing and fondly naming our living, breathing sourdough culture (“Byeestie”). Periodically musing at the bubbles became a favorite daily drill, thankfully only losing its allure around day five as the starter reached its long-awaited deployment phase.

A sourdough culture is easy to make
Byeestie’s culture club.

The other great thing about sourdough is that - much like the rest of us - it doesn’t do well at being overworked. Trust me, never will you hold a better excuse to skip the tedious kneading that otherwise puts even the most industrious among us off attempting a DIY bread loaf.

A further five-hour boozy stretch to let the yeast work its balloon magic, followed by the final big bake…and there it was, our very own sourdough loaf in all its deliciously rustic glory. Did I mention it tasted out of this world?

DIY sourdough bread from scratch

Admittedly, I may not be regularly sidestepping the seductive convenience of a shop-sliced sandwich loaf here and there. Heck, it might even be years before I rediscover my inner-artisan, who knows, but I’m still glad I exposed myself if only for the briefest of streaks.

Life is after all, about chasing the dream, even if you do encounter each experience in an isolated moment of Pinterest-fuelled passion. Boldly go forth, my friends, enjoy a bread making adventure and take it from me - you’ve got it in you. You’ll find that sourdough flow.

Time to be inspired…

Browse Australian Kitchen for Sourdough recipes