Sourdough Journey

Baking bread is one of the most satisfying experiences one can have in the kitchen. The process of mixing the ingredients, kneading the dough, and patiently waiting for it to rise before baking it to a golden-brown perfection is a rewarding process that always leaves me feeling accomplished. However, my journey towards baking sourdough bread was a bit of a rollercoaster ride, one that I'm glad I embarked on.

Growing up, I had always watched my mom in the kitchen as she baked her famous Greek Easter bread. She was a natural in the kitchen, and the aromas that filled the house as she baked were simply divine. I learned a lot from her, but it wasn't until I stumbled upon Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread that my passion for baking bread truly ignited.

For those unfamiliar with Chad Robertson, he is the founder of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco and a renowned bread baker. His book, Tartine Bread (paid link), is widely regarded as a game-changer in the bread-baking world. It was after reading his book that I became obsessed with baking sourdough bread.

The first few attempts at baking sourdough bread were nothing short of disastrous. My bread would come out flat, dense, and unappetizing. But I didn't give up. I kept at it, experimenting with different techniques, flour combinations, and rising methods.

One of the things that helped me along the way was baking with Lodge cast-iron cookware. Cast-iron cookware has excellent heat retention and distribution, which is crucial when it comes to baking bread. The Lodge cast-iron Dutch oven (paid link), in particular, is perfect for baking sourdough bread. The heavy lid traps steam inside the pot, creating the perfect environment for the bread to rise and develop a crispy crust.

Another great tool has been this sourdough kit from Amazon (paid link). It has all the basic tools that you need to get started with making great sourdough bread. You may already have some of these tools in your kitchen, so you may want to specifically zero in on the items that you need.

After many attempts and lots of tweaking, I finally got the hang of it. My sourdough bread now comes out of the oven with a beautiful crust, a soft and chewy interior, and a lovely tangy flavor. It's a satisfying feeling, knowing that I created something from scratch and that I can share it with others.

In conclusion, my journey towards baking sourdough bread has been a learning experience, full of ups and downs. Watching my mom in the kitchen, reading Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread, and experimenting with Lodge cast-iron cookware have all played a role in shaping my approach to bread baking. If you're thinking of embarking on your own bread-baking journey, I encourage you to give it a try. It may take some practice, but the end result is well worth the effort.