All rise for Sourdough September
By Susan Low
National Carrot Day. Canned Food week. National Doughnut Week… If you’re anything like me, your eyes start to glaze over when you’re exhorted to ‘celebrate’ any of these foods during their pointless ‘national days’.
Sure, I love carrots as much as the next carrot lover, but do I really need to be told to appreciate them for a designated but seemingly random 24-hour period (National Carrot Day is in February – why?) I don’t think so.
But there is one campaign that I’m more than happy to get behind, and it starts on 1 September: Sourdough September, organised by the good folk at the Real Bread Campaign. The aim is simple: to encourage more people to buy genuine sourdough or – even better – to make their own sourdough bread at home.
Across the UK during the month of September, baking schools, flour mills and bakeries will be running sourdough classes, tastings, feasts and more to demonstrate why sourdough is a superior loaf – and how you can learn to make one.
Here are just a few of the highlights:
- Bread Ahead Bakery & School is hosting two-day Bread Ahead Festival. On 2 September, at Borough Market, they’ll be a free demos, competitions and book signings as well as a limited edition summer pavlova doughnut for sale. On 3 September, at their Chelsea outpost, they’ll be family-friendly activities including a children’s workshop where kids can try their hand at crafting creatures out of dough.
- Loaf, in Stirchley Birmingham, have a raffle to win a place on their sourdough course. If you buy a sourdough loaf in their shop in September, you have the opportunity to add your email address to the prize draw. The winners will be notified at the beginning of October.
- Green Cottages, in Kent, have a beginners bread-making workshop on 21 September and guests can make a proper day trip of it by booking a stay at one of their self-catering cottages too.
- Visit Jo’s Loaves, at Hexton Farmer’s Market in Hertfordshire, and meet the baker for friendly advice, tips and information about her bread. She’ll also be giving away sourdough starter so you can make your own at home.
- GAIL’s will be hosting several #SpreadTheLoaf events including bread tastings and madeleine giveaways at their Clapham Old Town store on the 2/3 September and in the Parsons Green store on 16/17 September.
Try this at home…
You can, of course, master the craft of sourdough in the comfort of your own home. It’s a lot less scary than you may think. Just follow our foolproof guide to making a sourdough starter.
And, once your starter is bubbling along nicely, you’ll want to try this gorgeous sourdough loaf recipe.
If you haven’t already joined the ranks of sourdough aficionados, this September is the time to rise to the occasion.
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