Sourdough isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes effort and consistency. Sourdough is incredible, and I’m over it.
A few weeks ago, I posted a gorgeous photo of my weekly einkorn sourdough bread in my online journal. The buttery-crisp crust was perfection. Here’s what I wrote in my journal:
“I came. I conquered. Now, goodbye. I’m over you, sourdough.”
When I grow up…
In the back of my mind, I always knew that one day, “when I grow up,” I would bake sourdough bread. Yes, I know that many jumped on the sourdough bandwagon back in 2020 when we had more free time on our hands and less access to rising agents. I didn’t jump because my life had less free time than ever before, and sourdough still sounded daunting.
Yet, finally… finally the time came when I was bound and determined to try my hand at sourdough. I followed a recipe for a dry starter since I thought this would fit our lifestyle much better than tending to a wet starter – what I had heard described as a life of its own (ever heard horror stories of exploding starters? Yikes!).
Within days, my dry starter molded, and I threw it out. Google pointed me in all directions to explain what happened. None of them made sense to me.
I knew my friend Vickie had a wet sourdough starter and asked her about it. It wasn’t long before she had me over so she could share a starter and talk me through how to tend to it.
“Feed it every morning and every night. Takes less than five minutes. Easy. Once a week, you bake two loaves of bread, set aside some starter, and then start again. That’s it,” she encouragingly told me.
She was right! It WAS easy! Most importantly, it WORKED!
After baking my first two loaves, I sent her a photo and a text saying:
“I’M A BAKER!”
Fast-forward two months.
While feeding my sourdough twice daily was easy, this newly acquired sourdough lifestyle was anything but.
With our never-knowing-what-the-day-will-bring schedule, my weekly einkorn sourdough baking day became a juggling match. Baking days would have to be switched because something urgent got on the schedule, which meant I had an excess starter and multiple bowls to tend to on my counter! Ugh! In addition, “bake day” now took almost an entire day of mixing, proofing, and baking – which felt like an added part-time job to me.
Here’s the kicker: we don’t even eat bread! Most loaves went into the freezer, made into croutons for potluck meals, and shared with family and friends.
But boy, oh boy! Those loaves were GORGEOUS! And DELICIOUS.
Code for: bring on the extra weight!
How you approach sourdough is how you approach life.
This brings me to this post’s crux: Sourdough is a metaphor for life.
I got to thinking.
“What am I doing here?”
“What is driving me to dedicate so much time to doing this sourdough thing?”
“Is this adding to our life?”
“Am I even enjoying this?”
So I quit.
No more daily feedings. No more ordering $40 worth of einkorn flour every few weeks. No more full days dedicated to baking.
And I feel GREAT!
I am super proud of myself that I did it! I did it well! I bonded with my friend over it! I made gorgeous, beautiful, and healthy sourdough bread! And when I realized that the concept and practice no longer served me or my household, I happily put it aside.
Life is like that.
Just because we CAN do something doesn’t mean that we SHOULD.
And that, my friends, is why I believe sourdough is a metaphor for life.
Eat well, my friend.
PS: I did save some sourdough starter, and it’s sitting happily in my fridge, fed once a week in a beautiful Weck jar my neighbor Kathy gave me, and ready for the occasional sourdough pizza or pancake. After all, I’m no barbarian.