Since the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the enactment of strict social distancing and stay-at-home measures, people have had to get creative when figuring out how to pass all the extra time spent in their apartments. Without the usual options of seeing friends and going to bars, restaurants, and clubs, pandemic fads ranging from making unusual coffee to regrowing scallions have come and gone. Perhaps no COVID-19 hobby, though, has been as prominent as making sourdough bread. Here’s everything you should know if you’re interested in getting on the sourdough bread pandemic bandwagon.
Sourdough takes tons of time – which people now have
The process of making sourdough bread is known to take a long time, and people observing stay-at-home orders often have plenty of free time on their hands. For many people who have previously been hesitant to attempt their own sourdough bread, the pandemic has thus provided the perfect opportunity. Not only do people relegated to their apartments have more flexibility for checking on their sourdough starter often over the course of a week as required, but if you’re the kind of person who keeps a well-stocked kitchen, you likely have most of what you need on hand already, too.
Sourdough can be made with pantry staples
If social distancing weren’t a vital public health mandate to limit the spread of COVID-19, going out to find your sourdough starter would normally be the first step in making sourdough bread. During the pandemic, though, you can derive your sourdough starter from just flour and water instead. Notably, you don’t need yeast – usually a vital bread ingredient, but now one of many foods experiencing shortage supplies due to the pandemic – to fuel your sourdough bread pandemic hobby. A common yeast-free recipe that requires little more than flour, water, a mixing bowl, an appropriate mixing apparatus, and a permeable bowl covering such as a cloth can be found here.
How to make sourdough bread from your sourdough starter
There’s a reason that sourdough starter has the word starter in it. The week of effort that goes into your starter is just the beginning when it comes to your sourdough bread pandemic hobby – you’ll need to bake your starter once it’s ready. Doing so requires you to closely follow lengthy, detailed instructions, but that’s the whole point of making sourdough bread during the pandemic – now, you’re more likely to have the time than ever before. Detailed sourdough bread baking instructions, which you should be able to follow if your oven can reach 500 degrees Fahrenheit and you have bakeware that can withstand such hot temperatures, can be found here.
What if I want bread but sourdough seems too complicated?
The sourdough bread pandemic fad isn’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to baking bread during COVID-19. Plenty of zucchini bread, banana bread, and other yeast-free bread recipes can satisfy your pandemic cravings with far less time and work, though often with far more supplies than the minimal staples required for sourdough bread. Whether sourdough or other, if you make any bread during the pandemic, share your recipe in the comments and talk about how your bread turned out!