Food · Teach!

A Culture Starter

As in sour bread dough starter.  Not the San Francisco sour dough bread version but as in the way bread used to be made.  The way it was intended to be made.  And enjoyed.  And then came Wonder Bread.  Sliced Wonder Bread.  As in “The next best thing since sliced bread”, except that saying is so wrong on so many levels.  There is nothing Wonder-ful about Wonder Bread or its nifty sliced version.  It’s what caused this often gluten-free craze (although I do know there are some who truly do suffer a gluten allergy as in Celiac’s Disease) and the downfall of our society as we know it.  Exaggeration?  Not really….but I can’t blame all of society’s downfalls on Wonder Bread. (I’m sure you’ll hear more about this from me at a later date but I’m truly to keep this space “My Happy Place” so, on to food!)

If you haven’t seen it, you must.  “Cooked” on Netflix, by award winning author and documentarian (documentarist?)  Michael Pollan.  Although I don’t necessarily agree with his comparison to bread being akin to “the gods” and our supposed human evolution (since I believe in Creation by the one and only true God) I DID enjoy the historical commentary and cinematic presentation of the four elements of cooking as we know it today.


We viewed this documentary in my Culinary Essentials class before Christmas bread.  The students held pretty lengthy and surprisingly insightful discussions about the way our food is prepared and grown today, how cultures still vary greatly in their food production and ways of eating and how we can do more to better our own health through the way we cook and eat.  Even starting with something as simple and basic as bread can be a turning point to our better health.

And so, we decided to experiment with the traditional way of making bread.  I found a great website that offered cultures for sale on Amazon (easiest way for me to order for class).  We started two versions and will compare them to traditional yeast breads in class this week.  Here’s photos of Day One for both the white flour and whole wheat flour sour dough starters:

Not much to see right now, but I’ll keep you posted on our progress as we go along this week.  It’s suppose to take 3-7 days to be ready to make bread with – here’s hoping it works!


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