Welcome to The Sourdough People, where our passion for sourdough unites us in a vibrant community of baking enthusiasts and artisans. Today, we are thrilled to feature an inspiring interview with Reneé, known on Instagram as @artbreadlove. Reneé’s journey into the art of sourdough baking is a delightful tale of passion, creativity, and community. Her story reflects the essence of what we cherish here: the joy of diving into new baking adventures and the beauty of sharing those experiences. As you immerse yourself in her insights and explorations, we hope it ignites a spark in you to experiment with your own sourdough creations and to connect with others who share this delicious passion.
Prepare to be inspired by Reneé’s journey and the wonderful world of sourdough!
Reneé, your journey into the world of sourdough began in 2020, a year when many found themselves turning to new hobbies. What was it about that year that made you decide to dive deep into cooking and baking?
I have been baking and cooking for quite some time, but in 2020, I really took a deep dive into the world of sourdough. It had been something I had wanted to try for years, but I wasn’t sure where to begin and felt very intimidated by it. I reached out to a friend of mine, Alaina, who is a very talented baker, and asked her where to begin, and that’s how it all started.
The creation of your blog was a significant step in sharing your baking adventures. What inspired you to take your passion to this platform, and how has it grown since its inception?
My family encouraged me to start a blog once they saw just how much passion I had for sourdough and how much I loved learning and sharing my bakes. They have been great supporters of my sourdough baking. (I think it’s mainly because they like to do the taste-testing portion.) My blog has taken time to grow, but I have found that it has really grown in the past year, and I think that is due to engaging with many talented sourdough bakers in the sourdough community. I have been really inspired and have grown from learning from the sourdough community.
You mentioned the creation of “Sheldon,” your first sourdough starter. Can you tell us about that initial experience and what made you fall in love with sourdough baking?
The initial experience of creating a starter was very intimidating and nerve-wracking because I wasn’t entirely sure if I was creating a starter correctly. I am a visual learner and found it most helpful to document each day, from what it looked like to how it smelled. Once I saw that the starter was growing and developing, and then I finally used it in a loaf, I was instantly hooked.
Having not just one but two sourdough starters is quite a commitment. How do Sheldon and Adam Levain differ, and what unique qualities does each bring to your bread?
Sheldon, I created back in 2020, and Adam Levain, I created a year and a half later. I created Adam Levain because I was starting to share more and more bread within my community and I needed another container.
You’ve turned the process of baking into an art form. How does your background in art influence the aesthetics and presentation of your bread?
It has become an instinct, and it is something that I found comes naturally, and I really enjoy it.
Given your transition from art to interior design, and now to bread artistry, how do you see these creative fields intersecting in your baking practice?
I am still a Commercial Interior Designer as a profession, and this is a great hobby because it allows me to use my artistic skills on a whole different level. 3D art has and will always be my passion.
Could you walk us through your process of conceptualizing a loaf of bread from the initial idea to the final baked product?
I typically try to plan my designs in advance, but sometimes that doesn’t always happen. I like to first plan out my loaf flavor and then decide on the design after. I then like to sketch out my idea and then pull all the items I would need.
As an experienced baker, what are some of your must-have tools and products that you believe are essential for creating the perfect sourdough loaf?
Your blog is meant to be a collection of your notes and experiences. What’s one piece of wisdom or a key lesson you’ve documented that you find most invaluable?
Keep trying and keep experimenting. We all have to start somewhere, and I have had both successes and failures, but those failures are what you learn from and grow from.
The world of sourdough is vast, with many fellow enthusiasts sharing their creations. Are there any influencers or bakers in the sourdough community with whom you’ve connected or been inspired by?
I don’t even know where to start, because there are so many talented bakers that I have connected with and have been inspired by.
In your opinion, what makes sourdough bread an ‘endless option,’ and how do you keep innovating in your sourdough creations?
Once you hop on the bunny trail, there really is no turning back.
You’re based in a world where interior design meets culinary art. How does your local environment or community influence your approach to food and bread-making?
I would say that local has been global for me because the sourdough community is on Instagram, and that connection has made it local for me.
Looking at the future of your blog and social media presence, what are some goals or projects you’re excited to embark on?
My goal is to continue to meet new bakers and to keep learning and growing.
And for someone who’s just discovered @artbreadlove and is curious about starting their own sourdough journey, what advice would you share to kindle that passion?
Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions, and above all, don’t be afraid to try things. Short-term failures make for long-term success.
We hope you enjoyed this inspiring conversation and found new ideas to sprinkle into your sourdough adventures. The Sourdough People is more than just a website; it’s a community where learning and sharing go hand in hand. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for your daily dose of sourdough inspiration, tips, and community highlights. Plus, stay in the loop by subscribing to our email newsletter. It’s your gateway to exclusive content, updates on the latest trends, products, and brand features, as well as upcoming community events.
Let’s continue to nourish our passion for sourdough together! 🍞✨