Welcome to another inspiring interview on The Sourdough People, where we explore the fascinating world of sourdough baking through the eyes of passionate bakers right here in Canada and around the world. Today, we’re thrilled to feature Elvira, known as @elleciously on Instagram, a sourdough bread influencer and home baker who has captivated a huge, engaged, and sincere following in Singapore. Elvira, an architect turned baker, shares her unique journey from drafting blueprints to crafting perfect loaves. Her story is a blend of cultural and culinary experiences, from Indonesia to the vibrant streets of Singapore. In this interview, Elvira opens up about her sourdough journey, her approach to baking, and how she balances tradition with innovation. Let’s dive into her world of sourdough, filled with patience, creativity, and of course, delicious bread!
Please tell us where you are from and what you love about where you live?
I am originally from Indonesia but now love life in Singapore. The biodiversity, the vibe, and the city skyline – it’s a perfect blend of modern and cultural charm. The food scene is a true gem – indulge in diverse culinary delights from hawker centers to fine dining.
Elvira, what initially sparked your interest in sourdough baking, and how did you begin your journey?
An architect turned baker, I left my job to delve into the art of pastries at baking school. I traded blueprints for recipes and embarked on a sweet journey into the world of patisseries. Marrying a Frenchman and raising two adorable sons with a passion for bread elevated my baking adventure. When covid confined us at home, I dove headfirst into experimenting with sourdough. What started as a daily exploration became an unstoppable passion. In the heart of restrictions, my kitchen transformed into a sourdough haven, and my love for baking has never wavered.
How has being based in Singapore added to your sourdough journey?
Singapore has added spice to my sourdough adventure with its diverse food scene and easy access to quality ingredients.
How has your approach to sourdough baking evolved since you first started?
I’d describe it as curious beginnings to confident baking. Every loaf has taught me – ears, blisters, open crumb, etc. Until I understood the secret. Good bread equals pure enjoyment for your loved ones because, in the end, good bread equals delicious bread.
What are your must-have tools or favorite equipment for sourdough baking, and why?
My must-have tool for sourdough baking is a reliable digital scale. Baking is a science, and precision is key.
How do you source your ingredients, and do you have any specific preferences or tips regarding flour, water, or salt?
I buy my ingredients locally, exploring what’s available in the market. It’s a journey of discovery —trying different options and choosing the best that fits my style.
Can you share a particularly challenging experience you’ve had with sourdough baking and how you overcame it?
Every step in sourdough baking presents its challenges, but the key is to never give up. With every dough, I’ve learned and refined my technique. It’s a journey of patience and perseverance. After working with 100 doughs, you start to master the art and science of sourdough.
What do you enjoy most about baking sourdough, and how does it impact your daily life?
I find solace in baking. It’s my anti-stress therapy. The joy of creating something beautiful from simple ingredients not only makes my day but impacts my daily life positively.
How do you balance tradition and innovation in your sourdough baking practices?
I keep it simple: I do what suits me. I’m open to trying new things, but I never forget the beauty of tradition. It’s about finding a balance between the time-tested and the innovative, creating a sourdough journey that feels uniquely mine.
Have you noticed any new trends or innovations in sourdough baking recently?
Yes, absolutely! There’s a wave of creativity in the sourdough community. The 5-minute scoring method is gaining attention, and it’s something I’ve been eager to try.
What are some common misconceptions about sourdough baking that you’ve encountered, and how do you address them?
Common misconceptions about sourdough often revolve around complexity. People think it’s too hard or time-consuming. I address this by emphasizing simplicity, sharing easy-to-follow tips, and showcasing that anyone can enjoy the art of sourdough baking. It’s about breaking down barriers and making it accessible for everyone.
In your opinion, what is the most underrated aspect of sourdough baking?
The hidden gem in sourdough baking is patience. It’s not just about making bread; it’s a lesson in waiting and savoring the process.
Are there any books, videos, or online resources you’d recommend to those wanting to learn more about sourdough baking?
For those diving into sourdough, my go-to recommendation is to explore online resources and join the vibrant baking community. Countless tips, tutorials, recipes, and shared experiences await.
What advice would you give to someone just starting with sourdough baking?
Start simple! Patience is your best ally. Begin with basic recipes, focus on mastering the fundamentals, and enjoy the learning process. As you gain confidence, feel free to experiment and personalize.
How do you engage with your followers and the sourdough community on social media? What’s your style?
Connecting with fellow bakers and my awesome followers is the heart of my sourdough journey! I love sharing tips, and behind-the-scenes moments while embracing a supportive community. Whether through Q&A sessions or sharing fails and successes, it’s all about creating a warm, inclusive space.
Have you participated in any collaborations or community events related to sourdough baking, and what was your experience?
I have never participated in any collaborations or events yet, but I’m open to exciting opportunities! Feel free to let me know if anything is interesting coming up.
What’s your favorite sourdough recipe to bake for yourself, friends, or your loved ones?
Classic sourdough is my go-to, because sometimes simple is the best. And, oh, my sourdough chocolate babka, that recipe is still a secret.
Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to manage a healthy sourdough starter culture?
Treating my sourdough starter like my own child, haha! Check out my Instagram account for tips and tricks on maintaining a happy, healthy starter.
Do you have any upcoming projects or plans related to sourdough baking that you’re excited about?
No, currently, I don’t have any upcoming projects or plans related to sourdough baking.
What do you hope to contribute or be remembered for most in the sourdough community?
I aim to be remembered as the baker who filled my kids’ childhood, family, and loved ones with delicious memories. I also hope to be a positive influence in my followers’ and the baking community’s journey.
Can you describe a moment when you felt particularly proud or fulfilled in your sourdough baking journey?
Nothing beats the joy of seeing my family and loved ones eagerly awaiting my freshly baked bread. It’s in these moments that I feel proud to be remembered as the one who fills their homes with the aroma of good bread. Another source of pride in my sourdough journey is when followers successfully bake my recipes, incorporating them into their routine. Hearing their love for the recipes and gratitude for the tips is truly heartwarming.
If you could give one piece of advice to your past self when you started sourdough baking, what would it be?
I’d simply say, ‘Why didn’t I start earlier?’ The joy and fulfillment this journey brings is something I wish I had discovered sooner.
Is there anything else Elvira that you would like the community to know about you or things you would like the readers to potentially purchase or subscribe to?
Please keep supporting me on social media, as your engagement and feedback fuel my passion, and I’m eager to share more delightful content with you.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Elvira for this insightful and inspiring interview. Her journey and passion for sourdough baking are truly motivating. To all our readers, we encourage you to follow Elvira on Instagram at @elleciously and witness her beautiful sourdough creations and baking adventures. Don’t forget to also follow us at @sourdoughbread.ca for more sourdough stories and updates. We invite you to join our email newsletter for the latest news and insights, and if you have a sourdough story to share, please use our intake form for submitting community stories.
Let’s continue to foster this amazing community of sourdough enthusiasts together!