Managing a Sourdough Bread Company: What Did I Get Myself Into?

Reader Contribution by Jodi L. Wise
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When I told my family and friends about my new job, their first reaction was laughter.

Let me explain. I come from a small town in Idaho. I have spent my whole life outside. I only have a kitchen in my home because it came with the house. The smoke alarm will let you know that dinner is done. With that being said, I was hired at Sourdoughs International, Inc.

Sourdoughs International, Inc., sells sourdough cultures all over the world.  I thought that this was a perfect job for me — after all, I love eating bread! Little did I know, what I had signed up for was learning to bake bread and telling people how to do it. For most people this would not be a scary thought, but for me it was. I had to “proof the culture,” but first I’d have to learn what the word “proof” even means. Then, I had to go through all the steps. I am learning new things every day. I want to give you the point of view from a very inexperienced baker. My mistakes, my victories, and what projects may lie ahead. I would love your advice or hints that may help me make my journey better towards baking the best bread ever. I have the ingredients to do it. Now, the practice and experimenting are in full motion.

Sourdoughs International, Inc., sells 17 different sourdough cultures collected from all over the world. The difference with our starters is that there is no commercial yeast. Our starters work by natural leavening. So the culture that I started out with was our Original San Francisco.

According to Ed Wood, my boss, this culture is the easiest to work with and the most forgiving culture we have. He’s right. This culture put up with me testing it, playing with it, forgetting about it, and everything else the inexperienced baker could do to it.  It still works!  I have been making bread, pancakes, cinnamon rolls, pizza crusts, crackers, and so much more with just this one culture. Not once has the smoke alarm gone off.

Next post, I want to share the first recipe that I used with my sourdough starter. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I have. In the meantime, we are posting recipes once a week on our website,  Please check us out and happy baking.