Posted by Kathy Silvia.

It has been a “new world” since COVID-19, and many people have been going “back to the basics”.  Doing more cooking and baking from scratch seems to be one of those things.   Cooking and/or baking is truly a way to deal with anxiety and it gives you a feeling of self reliance.  “I’ve got this; I can do it on my own!”

A gentleman in my networking group started chatting one day about baking sour dough bread from his “starter”.  I became intrigued with the whole idea and finally asked him to share his “starter”  so I could try my hand at sour dough bread.

He gave me a container of starter and strict instructions on feeding it and where to store it.  He shared with me u-tube videos on the making and baking of the bread.  My first attempt was not too successful, but I vowed to keep trying.  The starter can live indefinitely as long as it is fed and stored properly.  The kneading of the dough is almost therapeutic, and with sour dough bread you don’t knead it just once, you knead numerous times.  It is so exciting to watch the dough slowly grow; how the kneading process changes the texture of the dough and then finally watching it brown in the oven while the aroma of  the bread baking permeates the house! This is a slow process and that goes against the rapid lives we live.  It teaches us patience and precision.

My second attempt was more successful; picture below, and with my third attempt I felt that I had begun to get the knack of it….but then….a bit of a glitch….

My husband announced that he really didn’t like sour dough bread and wanted Portuguese Sweet Bread instead.  Back to the search of finding a recipe that he would like. I refused to go to the store and buy the sweet bread; I would make it myself!!  After two attempts I found a recipe that he liked.   Sweet bread doesn’t use a “starter” but flour and yeast.  It is a time consuming process just like the sour dough bread.

I’ll keep making the sweet bread, but I rather enjoy the sour dough process with the use of a starter.

Baking bread is not a quick task but one that takes hours, but it is so rewarding to see that loaf come out of the oven, to take in the aroma, cut the loaf and just enjoy the fruit of your labor!  A sense of accomplishment.  Try it…you might like it!