The Science of Sourdough

Meg DeForest is a former Community Librarian at EPL.

So many of us have been struggling (and some succeeding!) with our sourdough starters But you don’t have to struggle alone.  If you’re looking for an expert to show you what things you could be doing differently and some great recipes we encourge you to watch our Sustainable Kitchen: Sourdough class below.  Christine from FiddleSticks Bread takes us through all the ins & outs of sourdough. 


If you haven’t started on your sourdough journey there are some great additional videos that you can use.  Including one on The Ultimate Sourdough Starter Guide  or this video that highlights 15 Mistakes that Most Beginner Sourdough Bakers Make, opens a new window

Serious sourdough bakers know the importance of scoring your dough to guide your loaf to rise in a controlled manner.  The history of this is that often families would drop off their dough at the bakery in their neighbourhood to be baked and then pick up their bread at the end of the day so a distinctive score would help you to get back the right loaf.  There is nothing worse than perfecting your recipe and losing it to your neighbour, so If you want to increase your scoring skills you can check out this guide and impress neighbours with your bread skills. 

Maybe you want to know more about the science of sourdoughHow the heck does all that fermentation work?  Well one way to learn more about Sourdough Starters is the Puratos Sourdough Library in Belgium.  Similar to a seed vault this Sourdough Library collects starters from all over the world and from different time periods.  They hope they can use these starters to learn more about what the aging process does on a microbial level.  If you want to know more you can check out this article about the library. 

Of course we’re a library so we have a list of great books you can use to take your bread up a level, including one for kids about your seeing your sourdough starter as a pet! 

If you’re wanting to try new breads from many different cultures you can also check out A to Z World Food where they have recipes for all sorts of breads and some are great ways to use your sourdough discards that you’re going to need to find!  Or for example you could learn how to make Ablo a Toglese food that is made of a fermented corn-based bread that is eaten with a lot of stews, soups and other meals as a side. 

For those of you who have been enjoying the resurgence of Stuart McLean’s shows on CBC this summer you’ll be happy to know that there is a story of Dave & a Sourdough starter. Get a copy to read yourself here. 

And if you ever need to feel good about your baking you can always check out Cake Wrecks for some at least I didn’t make THAT comparisons. Happy Baking!