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  • kenziedegraaf

Grace for Learning New Things

Recently I have picked up my sourdough journey again.  I found myself getting frustrated with it, or feeling like my family just didn’t eat enough bread to warrant me feeding my starter often-which is the fun part in my opinion.


When I did make bread I felt like I had to plan out my whole day, and the multiple steps of stretching and folding, and proofing/cold proofing, felt confusing.  Then I remembered that you can make sandwich bread, and sure enough the recipe and directions were much simpler.


Still the same amazing sourdough starter, still the lack of added store bought yeast, but a much more simple process, and a slight softer bread my family does consume more so than the artisan variety. Check out my video on instagram here.


And as I reflected on my own journey with sourdough, it just made sense.  When a child is learning to read or write, we don’t expect them to simply pick up a book or a pen and know how to do it.  We teach them.  And it often starts with just very basic steps.  First we learn letters and their names and sounds, then we learn how to write them, and finally how to put letters together with their sounds to make words, and then string those words together to read.


So, why should I expect myself when trying to learn something new, something that, I hope will seem more simple one day, like making artisan sourdough bread, to be amazing at it from the start as a newbie?  The answer, I shouldn’t.


First I needed to identify my goal, and then figure out what my obstacles were.

Goal-learn how to make sourdough sandwich bread and more recipes that use starter.


Obstacle-complicated recipes, feeling burdened with scale measurements, discouraged that scoring wasn’t turning out, family not consuming enough artisan bread to make the work seem worth it.


Next I needed to step back and break down the steps of learning what it takes to get to a point of success. I realized there was a lot there and a lot I had learned:


Steps

1-Figure out what kind of flour I want to use

2-Find an easy to follow rhythm for feeding starter (for me that means no scales),

3-Work on making more foods from scratch to consistantly use the starter in baking,

4-Find a simple bread baking recipe, etc.


Finally I could add my future goals as next steps

Future Goal-Mill our own flour and make many healthy tasty treats include artisan sourdough bread.


5-Master artisan bread

6-Buy a mill and wheat berries and mill our own flour

Once I simplified, things seemed much more doable. My fun and excitement grew as I was succeeding, and I can see a day where I can work my way up to more artistic bread baking.  But for now learning simpler methods of feeding my starter without needing to get out the scale, making recipes regularly to keep my starter at manageable levels, and learning to bake one style of bread, one that my family really uses and enjoys, are all great first steps. I was reminded of aiming for progress over perfection-and it turns out, that’s usually how learning works!




Want to try simplifying sourdough for yourself?

Sandwich bread recipe:

Here is the sandwhich bread recipe we have been using from Melissa K Norris. Enjoy.



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