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On Persistence, Failure, Hope, and Sourdough

I have faced many challenges in my life, but I swear to god the most difficult of them has been producing a moderately successful loaf of sourdough bread.

I will admit, some of the obstacles were self-created. Including the decision to take on baking sourdough bread in the first place. Why did this seem important to me, especially given that I had a literal QUART of commercial yeast in my fridge? Perhaps it was just CoVID FOMO—seeing all my friends posting joyfully about their science experiments. I don't think I've succumbed to social media pressure before, but I will admit to experiencing it in relation to this particular baked good.

I made my journey that much more difficult because of my determination to reject Bread Bro culture. (Is this someone else's term? I'm co-opting, if it is.) Bread Bro culture is, to my mind, aligned with Grill Boss culture and Pizza Guy culture and Authenticity culture—areas in the larger field of professional and amateur food culture tha…

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