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Last Updated on March 8, 2021
Sourdough has taken the country by a storm. In the last year, it’s become a national obsession.
With everyone baking sourdough, maybe it’s time to consider why. After interviewing sourdough-devotees and reading extensively about this national pastime, I noticed some patterns you might find intriguing.
Here are the top 7 reasons I found:
1. Healthy and Affordable
Unlike gluten-filled loaves of bread, sourdough is easier to digest. It’s hands-down a healthy and nutritious choice.
I don’t know about you, but a lot of the bakers I’ve spoken with put health at the top of their reasons for making sourdough.
Finding fresh gluten-free bread, and affordable can be a challenge. In many grocery stores, gluten-free bread is significantly more expensive than the standard fare. If you’re seeking a healthy and affordable option—you’re baking sourdough.
Making your bread is a practical way to support your goals for health, well-being, and being savvy about your spending.
2. Gluten Free
As you’re looking for gluten-free options, sourdough is a great baking choice. It is quite forgiving.
You can use gluten-free flour, almond flour, hazelnut flour, and quinoa flour. What’s especially fun is to experiment until you find the mixes that work best for you. A recipe may call for specific flours, and you can adjust to work with what you have on hand.
3. A Defined Task
Baking is a defined task. It has a beginning, middle, and end. This may not seem like much of a selling point. However, with our world in turmoil and upheaval as the new normal, having clear definitions is immensely attractive.
Many of the bakers I interviewed shared this reason with me. It makes sense. When you can’t go to your favorite bakery or coffee shop, bake. When you aren’t meeting up with friends, bake. When you aren’t sure if up is still up, bake.
It turns out that with a little flour, love, an oven, and some starter, you can have a defined task that is easy to start, do, and complete. Who knew this would become so important?
4. Creative Serenity
Baking is a creative act. You’re in your kitchen, inventing something fresh, new, and delicious.
For many people, baking is a time to focus inwards. You can start from scratch, and create pieces of bread, loaves, bagels, and things of beauty.
5. Earthy Grounding
There’s nothing quite so earthy and grounding as getting your hands into the dough. Mixing with a spoon just doesn’t cut it. Get your hands into action.
Kneading, blending, shaping each contributes to the deep pleasures of making sourdough bread.
If it’s been a while, or you are new to kneading—don’t worry. It somehow is an activity that you just can’t mess up. If you are looking for tips, ask friends and family who are already avid bakers.
I grew up learning how to bake with my mother and 2 grandmothers. Each one had a slightly different style and technique. I guess that each person you ask will tell you something different. That’s the beauty of baking and kneading. You can learn special secrets from each person—and make it entirely your own.
6. Deliciously Rewarding
Let’s face the facts. Sourdough is delicious. If you’re a lover of bread and baked goods, you know that eating bread just out of the oven is one of life’s great rewards.
7. Inspires Giving
We’ve all heard that being generous is good for the giver and the receiver. The cool thing about baking sourdough is you can do it often. In other words, it’s easy to make more bread, muffins, rolls, and scones than you could ever eat.
That’s why sourdough is a great way to give generously. Give it to your friends. Give to your family. Give to the elderly neighbor across the street. Give to the homeless down the block. Give to first responders. Give to the nurses and doctors who are working in your local hospital.
If you are short on whom to give your extra baking projects to, check your local community. There is most likely a shelter or soup kitchen that would be happy to receive what you’ve created.