Sourdough September is celebrated throughout the month of September, and it’s the kind of campaign that makes our hearts sing. The initiative is a part of the Real Bread Campaign. And if you ask us why, the clue is in the name. Sourdough is a delicious, superior bread. It’s gorgeous, too! Everything about sourdough oozes ‘hygge’ and a good, meaningful life. It’s in the yeast that takes time to ferment and form that rich, beautiful bread. That loaf of perfection the world loves to snap up and snap pictures of so often. Baking sourdough is a metaphor for life, really. The best things need time, love, and patience. The aim for this month is simple: to encourage people to buy genuine sourdough bread. Or better still, make sourdough bread at home.
History of Sourdough September
Can you believe that bread is older than metal? Our earliest ancestors have been baking and eating bread since the Neolithic age. Historical records indicate evidence of primitive grinding stones, possibly used by humans to process grains and make a kind of flatbread.
While bread comes in various shapes and sizes, a common element is the process of leavening. Nobody knows when or who discovered the method. The earliest records are by the ancient Egyptians. Some theories connect the rise of bread making in tandem with alcohol brewing. But without enough evidence, that’s what they remain: theories.
Before the invention of commercial yeast, all leavened bread contained naturally occurring yeast. For the unversed, it means bread always had a slower rise. Therefore, all bread was always sourdough. A quick trip around different kitchens in the world is a testament to this. The Ethiopians use wild yeast to make injera. People in Ghana and Nigeria make ogi through fermentation. Sourdough was a household practice in Germany until brewer’s yeast became popular. The world has sourdough recipes from France that date back to the 17th century. The recipes detail using a starter that was fed and raised thrice before being added to the dough. It’s no surprise that the French have always been particular about high-quality, tasty bread. A baker’s life isn’t supposed to be easy, after all.
The beauty of sourdough bread is in the time and patience it takes. The magic happens at its own pace. But as we all know, it is well worth it. The breadmaking industry did not feel the same way. Sourdough faded into oblivion with the introduction of commercial yeasts. Commercial yeasts make production faster, more efficient, and less labor-intensive. Baking sourdough was no longer sustainable. Bakers turned their attention to the baguette, a faster-rising bread.
But we seem to have come full circle today. Thanks to television baking and Instagram, sourdough has reclaimed its moment in the spotlight. We’ve seen a love for sourdough rekindled or brand-new obsessions.
Sourdough September timeline
A loaf of bread discovered in Switzerland is the oldest loaf yet discovered.
The Jews prepare to flee Egypt in a hurry and carry flatbread that doesn’t need the dough to rise overnight.
Slow-rise bread is popular all over Germany.
Sourdough challenges take over Instagram as home bakers everywhere show off their skills.
Sourdough September FAQs
What is the best time to use sourdough?
Several factors can determine the best time to use sourdough. Long story short, sourdough starters generally peak between four to 12 hours after feeding.
Does weather affect a sourdough starter?
Sourdough starters can react to high humidity levels or temperatures. Both conditions might make the starter work through the flour faster than usual.
What happens if you use sourdough starter too early?
An immature sourdough starter can make your bread dense. Sometimes you can end up with bread that won’t rise.
Sourdough September Activities
Join a sourdough class
Sourdough September encourages everyone to bake and taste sourdough. Look for a class near you to learn and indulge.
Support small independent sourdough bakeries
What’s better than bakeries? Local bakeries who sell genuine sourdough! Buy and show them some love online, too
All we need is sourdough with some hummus or avocado. A chocolate and strawberry topping works beautifully too. We think sourdough makes any topping taste delicious!
5 Facts About San Francisco Sourdough That Will Blow Your Mind
San Francisco sourdough was born when gold rush miners used a special bread starter to make delicious loaves.
It’s quintessentially San Francisco
San Francisco sourdough is tangier and more flavorful than most others.
Is it the weather?
People have speculated that the San Francisco fog cultivates a unique bacteria type that makes the sourdough so delicious.
Rumors also say that California miners in the 1800s snuggled with their starters at night to keep the yeast active.
Bread starter barters
During the pandemic, sourdough fans in San Francisco exchanged bread starters from a safe distance.
Why We Love Sourdough September
For the love of sourdough
If it’s bread, it has to be sourdough. A month to celebrate this superior bread doesn’t seem like enough.
A labor of love
Sourdough reminds us that the best things take time. Anything worthwhile takes effort and patience. The results, we all know.
Whether you’re buying sourdough or baking some from scratch, September is all about culinary inspiration. Jazz up those breakfast toasts. Try a new recipe and experiment with baking sourdough varieties.
Sourdough September dates