Columnist Margo Peill shares why you should start making sourdough bread at home. (Wikimedia Commons Photo)

Columnist Margo Peill shares why you should start making sourdough bread at home. (Wikimedia Commons Photo)

COLUMN | Popularity of sourdough bread on the rise

Food Matters by columnist Margo Peill

By Margo Peill

Sourdough bread has been around for centuries and has been baked all around the world long before any of us were around. But today, with more eaters wanting less ingredients in their food, less processing and a more ‘do-it-yourself’ attitude, it’s really making a comeback into home kitchens.

And I couldn’t be more excited about how many people are starting to make their own sourdough! I’m far from a sourdough expert, but several years ago a friend taught me how to combine water and flour until it formed a bubbly mess all over the counter then how to shape it into beautiful loaves. I’ve been baking it ever since.

But let me back up a little and explain a little bit about sourdough and what makes it different from other bread. Without going into a microbiology lesson: Sourdough starter is a combination of flour and water that has been allowed to harvest wild yeast from its surroundings, creating a fermentation.

Once the starter is mature, it is combined with flour, salt and water which go through a series of bread making, shaping and baking steps to create a delicious loaf. The starter culture is maintained by continually feeding it flour and water – taking out some to bake with, and feeding the remainder to create more starter – so it remains a constant living culture.

READ MORE: COLUMN | Reading list for growers and gardeners

Five amazing things about sourdough bread:

1. It’s easier than you think. I don’t have enough space to go into the instructions of how to make your own sourdough, but you can google some really simple step-by-step instructions. Another great resource is Susan Musgrave’s cookbook ‘A Taste of Haida Gwaii’. She goes into spectacular detail over several pages to help you feel confident in your bread making. Don’t get discouraged, there will probably be a couple ‘pancake loaves’ along the way, but hang in there – you’ll get it.

2. You can convert many recipes to using sourdough. Don’t get me wrong, the traditional wheat loaf is incredible, but don’t let that limit the possibilities! There are tons of variations and add-ins you can use to create a totally different bread. Last week I tried a brown butter sourdough banana bread (from the book ‘Heirloom’ by Sarah Owens that was recommended in my last column!) needless to say- it’s long gone.

3. It doesn’t require any yeast bought from the store. None! As I mentioned before, the sourdough culture actually uses the living yeast that exists all around us. So, you don’t need to use any store-bought yeast at all.

4. It tastes fantastic (and makes exceptional toast). Things that come out of your own oven almost always taste better, but the flavour of sourdough is something really special and the amount of ‘sourness’ can be easily controlled by how long you allow the bread to sit before baking.

5. It’s a really fun winter activity. January days in Terrace are short and there is plenty of time for indoor activities. Although making sourdough really doesn’t take that much ‘hands-on’ time at all, it’s so fun to slowly watch flour and water come to life. And there is nothing quite like fresh bread coming out of the oven on a snowy morning.

READ MORE: COLUMN | Relationships require a rule for fair fighting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Caledonia Secondary School Principal Keith Axelson presents the Governor General’s Academic Medal to Sydney Webb. (Submitted Photo/Robin MacLeod)
Sydney Webb wins 2020 Governor General’s Academic Medal

Webb is studying nursing at the Univeristy of Northern British Columbia

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Kitimat RCMP were requesting assistance locating 24-year-old Teah Wilken, who was last seen getting on a bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23). Kitimat RCMP Facebook photo.
UPDATE: missing woman found safe at residence

Wilken last seen getting on bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23)

The Nisga’a Nation activated its pandemic safety protocols Nov. 20 after a positive COVID-19 case in the Terrace area was identified. (Nisga’a Lisims Government photo)
Nisga’a Nation reverts to phase one pandemic restrictions

Tightening of precautions follows discovery of positive case in Terrace

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, is presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership - Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands. (Photo submitted by Mitacs)
UNBC professor recieves prestigeous conservation award

Pamela Wright recognized for leadership in ‘breakthrough’ work on northern issues

Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, is presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership - Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands. (Photo submitted by Mitacs)
UNBC professor receives prestigious conservation award

Pamela Wright recognized for leadership in ‘breakthrough’ work on northern issues

Most Read