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We are very excited to celebrate Sourdough September and real sourdoughs with the United Kingdom this year! We love that they're celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their campaign to recognize and spread the word about genuine sourdoughs.

With this blog post, we'll also address a question that came up from our July blog post: What about starting your own sourdough with water, flour and salt? Is that a real sourdough? Does it count?

Britain's Sourdough September Campaign

The Real Bread Campaign is a project of the UK-based charity Sustain. Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture. Their Sourdough September campaign is an opportunity for more people to learn that "life is sweeter with sourdough"! And we totally agree!

For the month of September, they encourage folks to:

  • Bake genuine sourdough bread.
  • Buy genuine sourdough from small, independent bakeries.
  • Boost the Real Bread Campaign, the charity behind Sourdough September.

They promote a whole bunch of different events on their website through the month of September. There are markets, talks, learning events and "make your own sourdough" workshops. So many different ways to learn about and celebrate sourdough!

For those of us not in the UK, we can best take part on social media. At least, that's Kaslo Sourdough's plan!

Taking Part in the Real Sourdough Campaign

Join us in showing your love for genuine sourdough by posting your tweets or social media posts by tagging #SourdoughSeptember (& us @KasloSourdough)! Let's see if we can get some really good representation from Canada this year! Also:

Twitter: @RealBread
Facebook: @RealBreadCampaign
Instagram: @RealBreadCampaign

Then, if applicable, add:

#SourdoughSelfie if it's a photo of you making your own sourdough, or holding a loaf of genuine sourdough bread you've baked or bought from a real bread bakery. Remember, as it's a selfie, they want to see YOU in these photos, not just your crumb shots!

#WeAreRealBread if you are one of the people behind the rise of Real Bread. Whether farmer, miller, baker or baking teacher, please help the world see you to help celebrate the diversity (in all senses) of our supporters and other companions.

So what's a real sourdough, again?

Sourdough is a term that recognizes of water, flour (typically from a cereal grain like wheat), and a combination of naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria and yeast. When you make and start your own sourdough starter, you are creating an environment for the naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria and yeasts to thrive in your starter. You are nourishing your bacteria through the right moisture, temperature and nutrients so the bacteria can multiply and eventually thrive. And then you get the symbiotic relationship of the bacteria with the grains and eventually, through your finished products of sourdough bread (and in our case, also sourdough pasta) your own body!

There are many different kinds of naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria and yeasts, so the mix that you pick up will likely be somewhat unique to your area. Kaslo Sourdough has its own unique set of lactic acid bacteria. This is something that we confirmed through a research study with the University of Alberta's Michael Gänzle quite recently. Those local bacteria contribute to the flavour, aroma and texture of the sourdough when you have a mature culture.

So even though you start out with some really simple ingredients - flour, water, salt - you are pulling from the air and the environment naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria and yeast that you nourish into your own thriving sourdough.

Real Sourdoughs Take Love and Care

Have you tried sourdough before and not had success? It's because you are working with living organisms and it can take time to find the right conditions to make your sourdough thrive. In the early days when Silvio was starting up the Kaslo Sourdough Bakery, he also spent a lot of time experimenting with different ingredients and varieties of grains to figure out what would work best. And years later, there was also a lot of trial and error (years of trial and error) to figure out our sourdough pasta, too. We truly understand - it can be hard to figure out!

We hope that you take heart and don't give up too easily. It can be immensely rewarding to figure out your own sourdough.

And if it turns out that you are someone who just doesn't have the right thumb for sorting out the chemistry that contributes to an amazing sourdough, or you're someone who's simply at a stage in life where there is not enough time to dedicate to a sourdough, then no fear. We are absolutely here for you!

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