Location: United Kingdom
Profession: Home Baker
Bread has always had a special place in my heart, and in my stomach (in fact, I sometimes wonder if I have a separate stomach just for bread!). However, as my taste in bread changed with age, I became increasingly frustrated by not being able to buy the sort of bread I want to eat and to feed others. So there was only one thing for it - educate myself and try to bake as delicious and healthy bread as I possibly can. Which led me to Vanessa and the Sourdough School.
My favourite way to eat bread is with cultured butter, spread thickly, with just a smidge of honey and a sprinkle of salt. This is not the most common way I eat it, I should add. I am much more likely to be eating sourdough breads, of all sorts, with a bean soup in the colder months or a fresh tomato salad in the summer. I am enjoying learning how to use different flours, and this has changed my preference for bread that is only 20% wholemeal to around 60%, as the teaching here at the Sourdough School improves my knowledge and technique and allows me to create lighter loaves that are nutritionally packed.
How I Will Use The Knowledge
I hope to use the knowledge in many ways, within my own home and outside it.
I am a chronically ill mother (with a long list of medications to keep me going!) of an autistic son with gut health problems, so it is clear that we can both benefit from the knowledge I am seeking here to improve our gut health and digestion. I love the fact that as students of the Sourdough School we are offered the opportunity to learn about fermentation in general, not only geared towards bread, as this has really changed my diet already - kimchi and sauerkraut making is a regular activity now, and I aim to infect my son with as much enthusiasm for eating these things as I have. I am desperate to learn more about the connections between autism and the gut and I hope that this course provides a spring board for that.
Outside of the home, I hope to bring some of the knowledge I am learning on the BALM course to those I know who could benefit most. I am going to start teaching the mum of another autistic boy how to make sourdough bread, and I share my bread and fermented vegetables with them already to encourage this process. I would love to start some sort of fermentation group within the local autistic community, where we can share experience and enthusiasm for learning more about how maintaining our gut health could benefit our health in general and living with autism in particular. A delicious way to ignite our will to action and activism!