No Grain. No Pain.

Why is everyone suddenly so interested in sourdough starters?

I could easily try to psychoanalyze why everyone has decided to become Peeta Mellark during their self-quarantine. Maybe it’s because everyone wants to feel like they’re in control? Maybe it’s because they can’t “get this mf bread” so instead, they have to make it themselves?

At first, I was intrigued. My favorite culinary influencers (aka the Bon Appetit test kitchen) have been trying their hands at various types of breads during this pandemic and my QUEEN Carla Lalli Music has been chronicling her bread starter’s life on Instagram.

It definitely got me thinking…should I…partake?

Everything I’ve learned about bread making has come almost exclusively from Bon Appetit and Jenna Fischer’s social media. (The Office star has been experimenting with bread making for the past year and it’s mesmerizing.)

One of the few things I’ve deduced from my research is that making bread is HARD. There is so much science involved and I did not become an advertising major to do culinary chemistry. But because my heart lies in the theories of gastronomy, I knew I couldn’t just shy away from the challenge. The life of a strategist is all about learning and immersing in the culture.

One of the common threads of this uncertain time has been the increased interest in trying new things. People have more time to practice and perfect their crafts. Some have chosen to take up painting and some have landed on learning new instruments. But not me. Nope. I wanted to try my hand at something as frustrating as baking bread.

However, my hero’s dilemma, the beginning of my origin story, is that I do not have a cast-iron skillet or a Dutch oven at my apartment in Chapel Hill. My dreams…squashed before they could begin.

I can’t make BA’s Best Bread, but I need to start somewhere. After reading through a couple of sun-faded BA back issues, and devouring their website, I’ve decided to begin my journey of PAIN (get it?) with Basically’s “Shockingly Easy No-Knead Foccacia”.

Credit: Bon Appetit

Featured as the third recipe in Basically’s Guide to Better Baking, it is described as the best recipe to begin baking bread. They quite literally say it involves ZERO skill.

So I have now modified my hero’s journey and I am very excited to get started.

However, I cannot start my journey into culinary arts without the Andy to my Molly, the Delaney to my Leone, the literal Claire to my Carla.

I have drafted the one and only Claire Cole to join me. If you follow her, which you should, you’ll know she’s documented a few of her cooking adventures already. “Chaos Cooking with Claire” was a cultural reset.

She and I will be embarking on a gluten-FILLED journey of the kitchen, and the mind, NEXT WEEK and we invite all y’all to join in on the fun. Look out for a Zoom sponsored vlog of our misadventures.

Do I have a nice playlist to get you excited about baking bread? Of course. We’re bakin bread, folks.

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