These tiger nut cakes were intended to please the sun god Amun. PUBLIC DOMAIN
The Humble Beginnings of Sourdough
Sourdough’s story starts around 4,000 BC, likely in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East. The earliest breadmakers discovered that leaving their dough mixture of grain and water out for a while led to naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria, resulting in a lively dough and an exceptional loaf.
From the Pharaohs to the Gold Rush
From Egypt, the art of sourdough baking moved through Greece to Rome. The Romans even had a special class of bakers called “pistor,” who exclusively baked sourdough. As time went on, the sourdough tradition spread through Europe and traveled to America during the California Gold Rush, where it served as a reliable food source for the prospectors.
Sourdough: Falling and Rising Again
Despite its history, sourdough’s popularity fell in the late 19th century with the rise of commercial yeast, which offered quicker bread-baking solutions. However, true bread lovers knew that nothing could compare to the unique tangy flavor and hearty texture of a good sourdough loaf.
In recent decades, we’ve seen a sourdough renaissance. Today, baking sourdough is considered both an art and a science, with a growing community of home bakers worldwide joining the ranks of this ancient bread-baking tradition.
Why Sourdough Matters Today
Sourdough isn’t just about taste; it’s about the joy of creating something beautiful and nourishing from simple ingredients. It’s about becoming part of a rich, global tradition that predates written history. And, let’s not forget the satisfaction of slicing into a warm, freshly baked loaf you’ve made with your own two hands.
Join the Sourdough Movement
We’re bringing the tradition of baking sourdough to the “Baking Great Bread at Home” community. It’s an invitation to connect with history, with nature, and with each other. Are you ready to dive into the world of sourdough?
In the comments below, share if you’ve tried baking sourdough at home, your experiences, and any tips for those just getting started. Let’s get baking!
The post was written by: Henry Hunter for the “Baking Great Bread at Home” Facebook Group. #SourdoughStory #BreadHistory #BakingCommunity
“The Rise and Fall of Sourdough: 6,000 Years of Bread”, Brewminate.com