So I did do quite a few of the lockdown bandwagon things like banana bread, PE with Joe, Sophie Ellis-Bexter’s kitchen disco but I completely missed the whole sourdough baking thing and only got into it in the last few months. I love cooking but I do like minimum effort, maximum impact, not complex techniques….so I have always been a bit “meh” about the idea of it taking days on end to make a loaf of bread….but I started reading about gut health earlier in the year – Tim’s Spector’s book….and I thought let’s give it a go. I bought a 40 year old starter from a place in the Lake District and started doing the whole feeding, discarding regime….and I don’t know, I just started getting fascinated with it. To think this thing is alive….. just water and flour and the natural yeast in the air and that that is all you need to make a beautiful loaf of bread. I’ve also fallen in love (to my utter shock!) with the slow nature of the process….patience is not one of my strengths generally….and maybe that’s why this has had such an impact on me ….it can’t be rushed and in fact the longer you leave it to ferment, the better the bread….I feed her (my starter, who is called ‘Sparkle’) on a Monday, mix the dough, do stretch and folds throughout Tuesday, bulk ferment overnight usually (unless it’s hot) and then shape and into the fridge for cold ferment on a Wednesday. I then bake her on a Friday night, ready for breakfast on Saturday. I find it really satisfying and actually calming to do something slowly for a change.