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April 1st is National Sourdough Bread Day

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If you're looking for something to do today then add a sour twist to your normal bread because it's National Sourdough Bread Day!  Take a break from the white, wheat and potato breads for a day!  Let's get right into celebrating National Sourdough Bread Day!

WHY IS THIS A HOLIDAY?  

If you've ever tasted the tangy goodness of sourdough bread before then you know exactly why people want to celebrate it. It's too good not to! It's not too much of a giant leap from normal bread but, where it is different, it stands out.  The Ancient Egyptians might have been the first to make sourdough bread back in 1500 BC as it was likely the first way to make leavened bread. This method was the most often used until the European Middle Ages when they started using barm from beer brewing. And then eventually everyone started using purpose-cultured yeast.

Sourdough is a bread dough that is made with a lactobacillus culture. The sour or tangy taste of the bread comes from the lactic acid created by the lactobacilli. That might sound a little gross, especially when you find out where lactobacilli normally are in the human body, but it's all just part of the fermentation starter to make the dough.  People actually keep a little bit of the dough from an old batch called "mother dough" and use it as a starter for new batches in the future. They just keep adding water and flour to it every week and leave it sit at room temperature until they want to make a new batch. This can actually give the dough a distinct taste as it's kept for years and years in a bakery.  This probably isn't something you want to do yourself, unless you make sourdough bread all the time but it's interesting to know that bakers do this!

HOW TO CELEBRATE 

So how can you celebrate today?  Well, let's get the easy option out of the way first.  Head to a local baker and order up a loaf!  You could even head to a few different bakeries to see if you can notice a difference in the taste.  And if you think of it, you could ask the baker how long they have kept their sourdough "mother dough".  You might be surprised with what they tell you.  You could even search around to see if any sandwich shops give you the option of using sourdough bread for your sandwich.  That way, if you're in a hurry, you could just pick up lunch and have a quick and effortless celebration of your own.

Or you could take a stab at making some sourdough bread at home!  You can buy sourdough starters if you want to do things right.  It doesn't take overly long to bake your own bread but it's much more satisfying to know you made it yourself.  And boy is it fresh!  And if you're really crunched for time there are sourdough bread mixes you can buy for breadmaker machines.  Yep, let the machine do all the work while you wait for the "beep" to let you know it's ready to slice into your celebratory goodness!  Too bad it won't slice it for you too, huh? ;)  Enjoy your day and make it a sour one!





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