Blog Entry #1, written by Bryan Jimenez
We asked the sourdough community on Instagram to tell their sourdough stories. We found all of them moving and beautiful. Enjoy reading about your fellow sourdough friends. Please feel free to leave comments.
My sourdough journey started when I traded some of my yeasted buns with a friend in town. During that time I had been working from home and felt lost as “working from home” was never something that I had expected to do. I needed something to help me structure my day, something that would provide me a “schedule”. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect other than to end up with some of my own home made bread. I didn’t understand sourdough other than it was one of the bread choices at one the local cafes. Bread is bread, that’s what I kept telling myself. How hard could it be? It was hard, I have to admit. I read lots of articles and watched lots of videos. Some made sense, many didn’t but I kept on at it. The feeding of the starter became a ritual, it gave me something to look forward to in the days leading up to my first bread. I found a “recipe” and followed the recipe to a “T”: the time in between rest period, the number of stretch and folds. I felt like I had accomplished something. Needless to say my first bake was not the best but friends had encouraged me to keep going: “Bryan don’t give up. If your first bake is no successful keep going at it…” So I did. For almost two months I did and when loaves 4-8 did not turn out as “pretty” as those that I see on social media I gave up, decided it wasn’t for me.
My friend Sammie (whom I had gotten to know through our gym) kept encouraging me to try different “recipes” and she sent me a “no knead” recipe. So I gave it a try. But this time around I did what I learned from others on social media (mostly IG). That loaf was a semi success. But I felt encouraged so I kept going at it.
Through this experience and me being inquisitive and having an overall love for food, I connected with many talented bakers - some who have been baking for years and some, like me, started their own journey at the beginning of the pandemic. In the process I have also managed to teach and share my knowledge to friends near and far. I continue to learn and continue to explore and look for other people’s ideas and try to incorporate with my own method.
Do I recommend you to get into sourdough baking? Absolutely. I have found that this whole process has tested my patience, my creativity and helped me build my own self discipline. I learned things about me and continue to discover things that I am capable of. You will never know until you start trying it yourself.
Is it a good fit for you? It’s what you make it out to be. Like I said I almost gave up but I had someone believe in me and encouraged me to keep going. But having faith in yourself to conquer this helps; having a great supportive team behind you is even better.
Looking back, I feel that I have succeeded in this sourdough journey but continue to find ways to improve. It’s what has kept me sane and kept me motivated through some of the more difficult days and times.