What is your relationship to your starter?
Blog entry #4, written by Inés
We asked the sourdough community on Instagram talk about their relationship to their starters. Thank you Inés, the blog contest winner, for telling your story. Enjoy reading about your fellow sourdough friends. Please feel free to leave comments.
My name is Inés, although my family and closest friends call me Nessie. I'm from Madrid, Spain, I'm 23 years old and, although I have studied Gastronomy and Culinary Arts, I can affirm that pastry and also bakery since a year and a half ago, are my passion.
In March 2020, we all received a hard blow with the heartbreaking situation that Covid 19 was causing. I had to pack up all my things overnight and return home in the early hours of the morning, as I was studying in Northern Spain, far from home, and we didn't know if they were going to close borders in the next few hours.
Arriving home, I felt safe, but lost at the same time, as no one knew what was going to happen in the coming months. It was at that moment, when I decided to start making my own sourdough. Whole wheat flour and water, nothing else. I remember perfectly how I watched and cared for it every day, expecting to see changes every 5 minutes. I also perfectly remember the feeling I had that Friday, April 3, 2020, when after 9 days my sourdough was ready to use. So the next day I started making my first sourdough bread. By Sunday, April 5, I had in my hands the most special and at the same time the ugliest bread I have ever made. But that flat and ugly bread is the most important of all those that have come after, because it was the first, and it was the engine to make the following ones. Those were very hard days, but my sourdough saved me completely.
From that moment on, my sourdough starter has been with me wherever I have gone, and has been present in the most important and beautiful moments of this year and a half, being the starring of wonderful breakfasts in my student apartment, family meals and very special gifts. Little by little, everyone around me has become interested in sourdough bread, and I have managed to spread my passion to many of them. In Spain there is not much bread culture (although more and more!) so it has been quite an achievement.
Every time I feed Ambrosia, my starter, I get excited to see how it grows, how its alveoli emerge and the smell it gives off. How can something as simple as making bread make me feel so many things? Keeping me awake since 6 in the morning, nervous to see how it will come out of the oven... as if the Three Wise Men were coming! I think that's what it's all about, looking for what excites you and doesn't let you sleep, because you want the next day to come again and again. My sourdough, flour, water, salt, and dear people sharing... I don't need anything else.
Tyler, I wanted to thank you for the wonderful job you do, sharing everyone's sourdough bread art, as well as their personal experiences on the blog. I got my first lame delivered to my house on February 10, 2021, and it has been with me through the many different designs of all my breads ever since. It's absolutely sensible and beautiful in equal parts.
See you in the media!