Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked bread? And what could be any more delicious than the smell of a freshly baked sourdough loaf of bread? It would certainly be difficult to think of anything much better!
At least the guys who are behind Sourdough September can’t!
This is the one month of the year during which sourdough is celebrated and people are encouraged to try to start their very own starter that they will be able to use to make bread.
It’s a great way to get into baking, even for those who have never tried it before. In addition, it may even be possible to find some great local events where there is an opportunity to show off those attempts at bread and can sample some from the pros!
History Of Sourdough September
Dating back to 1500 BC, sourdough bread was enjoyed by the ancient Egyptians. In fact, it was the only form of “leavened” bread that was possible to make during those times, until commercial yeast became available a few hundred years ago.
Since it contains a live culture (unlike dry yeast), sourdough bread is made from a ‘starter’ that has been saved from a previous batch and left to ferment. The starter must be ‘fed’ with flour and watered every week, it can simply be left at room temperature to grow until it is ready to be used again in another loaf of bread.
In 1849, during the Gold Rush of California, sourdough bread became a staple in the area around San Francisco. Miners liked it because it was durable and the bread became very popular in the newly settled state.
Every September since 2013 has been known as Sourdough September. Even though this month might just have a very short history so far, it has certainly grown in popularity over just the few years it has been in existence.
Dubbing September as Sourdough Month was the brainchild of the Real Bread Campaign, who are trying to spread knowledge of all things bread. Their purpose is to help households all over the world to be less likely to rely on factory made and processed loaves of bread (i.e. filled with preservatives) from their local supermarket.
By spreading their love of sourdough, the Real Bread initiative is working to get more and more people baking. In addition, they seek to help others appreciate locally baked and artisanal loaves that are often a lot healthier than shop-bought bread options.
It’s time to celebrate Sourdough Bread September!
How to Celebrate Sourdough September
It doesn’t matter whether you are already super experienced with baking sourdough or you have never attempted to bake any kind of bread before – there will be a lot of things you can do to get involved with Sourdough September! If you want something easy, then it’s always possible just donate some money to the associated charity.
Learn More About Sourdough Bread
Think you could do with learning a bit more on the true art of sourdough? After that, it will be much easier to really appreciate this special kind of bread! There’s certainly a lot to learn and read up on, and there will be plenty of literature available throughout the whole of the month. It’s worth checking the Real Bread Campaign’s website to see some of their suggested readings. Once you have clued yourself up, you will then easily be able to tell a true sourdough from a “sour faux”!
Those who are looking to learn some quick and random facts about sourdough bread can try these on for size:
- Since sourdough is one of the least processed breads, that makes it a healthier choice for eating.
- Sourdough bread is a healthy source of “prebiotics” and “probiotics” which are the good kind of bacteria that help the gut remain healthy.
- While conventional bread tends to spike the blood sugar (which is particularly bad for diabetics and pre-diabetics), sourdough bread does not spike the blood sugar as quickly meaning that it doesn’t leave people in the wake of an energy crash.
Try Making a Sourdough Starter
Then, if you are feeling confident, you could even try to begin a sourdough starter. The very simplest starter can be made using only flour and water! But other recipes may call for the use of other ingredients that act as hosts for the bacteria culture to begin. These might be raisins, pineapple juice, potatoes or even just plain old sugar.
After a few days of fermentation (or up to two weeks, depending on the particular situation), it will be possible to use this starter to make your very first loaf of sourdough bread! Why not also let friends and family have a taste to see what they think?
Once the sourdough starter is ready, it can be used to make all sorts of delicious treats, such as sourdough bagels, focaccia bread, crackers, English muffins, pizza, pretzels, biscuits, or even pancakes. The options for sourdough are almost endless!
Join In on a Sourdough September Event
Lots of bakeries will put on regular events for this month. These can be anything from sourdough tastings to bakery classes, and are a fun way to meet up with others who want to find out more about this kind of bread and the various flavorings and additions that bakers tend to add.
Various bread makers and bakers across the UK, US, Australia and many more countries over the globe will be taking the opportunity in September to invite participation into learning how to make sourdough bread. Plus, the opportunity has been created to showcase small and independent bakeries who are participating in the making of real sourdough bread.
For more information on various ideas and events related to Sourdough September, visit the Real Bread Website.
It doesn’t seem that you “knead” any more persuading to get involved with the next Sourdough September! Have a tasty one!