The other day I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, as you do, and was astounded to find that something like 20 different people and organisations had posted something about sourdough at the same time.
Literally, the posts just kept coming up in succession, one after the other. There were so many I began to think there must have been some Instagram-atic error and it was in fact the same few posts just accidentally getting repeated by the system.
But no, but this was a greater deluge than usual of posts about this particular type of bread. Most of them focused on the stunning patterns that are created on the crust, with the actual taste of the bread rarely getting a mention.
There’s always plenty of online and mainstream mentions of sourdough, but this particularly long run of posts made me realise that it’s becoming almost overwhelming.
Don’t get me wrong, I like sourdough as much as the next person. I make it occasionally, we talk about it in my classes, but I’ve always found it a bit of a pain to prepare and then maintain the starter. You have to remember to keep it fed, and really, to make it worthwhile, you have to be making sourdough regularly. Plus – what do you do when you go on holiday? It’s hard enough to find someone to water the hanging baskets and feed the goldfish for a fortnight, never mind asking them to feed the sourdough starter as well.
I’ve always found sourdough a bit limiting. As a home baker of bread, there are so many other fabulous types of bread that you can make. My eye and tastebuds have always been drawn to easy-to-make loaves using different strong white, wholemeal or rye flours, and a range of ingredients from herbs and spices, nuts, fruit and seeds, to stout, beer and treacle ….. the list is endless and the resulting flavours and textures of bread much more varied.
But I completely accept that the many thousands of people who buy sourdough and post items online about it can’t be wrong. Maybe I’m missing something.
It would be great to hear your views – do you think there’s too much sourdough around in shops and farmers’ markets, to the detriment of other types of bread? Or are you a devoted sourdough fan? If so, what is it about this style of bread that you like so much?
In the old days I would have said “answers on a postcard”, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology you can now easily give me an answer by putting your views down in the comments space below. I look forward to hearing from you!