sourdough bread in red deer alberta canada with bryan jimenez aka foodiebryan on instagram

Interview With @FoodieBryan From Instagram

Dive into the world of sourdough with one of its rising stars: Bryan Jimenez, widely known in the community as @foodiebryan. Hailing from the vibrant community of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, Bryan has carved a niche as a dedicated ambassador for the craft, seamlessly blending traditional techniques with innovative twists. Drawing from his rich Filipino heritage and his unique life journey, Bryan’s story is a celebration of the universality of bread and the community it fosters. In this exclusive interview on The Sourdough People’s website,, we delve deep into his adventures, inspirations, and the secrets behind those much-whispered-about buns. Join us as we break bread with Bryan and get to the heart of sourdough.

Hey Bryan, can we start with your beginnings in Red Deer, Alberta?

I moved to Red Deer with my family in 1993 from the Philippines. Our story mirrors many Filipino families: one or both parents move overseas for work. In our case, my mom relocated to Red Deer in 1988 to nanny for my uncle and his wife’s special needs daughter. After securing her permanent residency, the rest of us – my dad, sister, and I – followed suit. During my childhood, my grandma’s older sister, a nun for 75 years who sadly passed in 2013, would visit from her convent and teach me baking. That’s how I got my initial exposure to baking. In Red Deer, however, I didn’t immediately pursue baking. My mom and grandma worked at the local hospital, and patients often gifted them vegetables. With an abundance of zucchini and carrots, I began baking carrot cakes and breads.

How did you embark on this sourdough adventure, and how has the local community influenced your journey?

I became a baker during the pandemic. My partner and I returned from Ixtapa Mexico on March 15, 2020, right as countries began closing their borders. We were among the first to enter a 14-day quarantine. By March 18, my office was closed, pushing me to work from home. Since I had always been office-based, I sought routines to structure my days. Baking became that routine. My friends and I frequently checked in on each other, and a common message, “hey are you home,” soon meant sharing baked goods. I began with instant yeast, eventually making pandesal (Filipino sweet buns). By May, a friend introduced me to sourdough starter. Locally, I lacked mentors but learned extensively about sourdough through online articles and Instagram bakers.

You’re a moderator for both the Rosehill Sourdough Tuesday’s livestream and Baking Great Bread at Home on Facebook. Can you share how these roles have enriched your understanding and love for sourdough?

Honestly, my involvement with these platforms was unexpected. In August 2022, I participated in a WireMonkey giveaway via the Baking Great Bread at Home group and won. Joining a group chat for BGBH out of curiosity, I was quickly recognized as an expert and became a moderator. With Rosehill Sourdough, after following Mike and purchasing some of his merchandise, I began providing feedback on his live streams. He eventually made me a moderator, integrating me into both his and Henry’s circles. I deeply value those who’ve supported me and aim to give back by helping others on their baking journeys. As a moderator, I’ve been able to share, learn, and facilitate a win-win for everyone.

In terms of baking techniques, have you absorbed any unique methods from Canada, the United States, or Europe that you could share with us?

My techniques largely align with those from Canada, the U.S., and Europe. Initially, I manually prepared dough, but due to a trigger finger condition, I adopted a mixer method, which I learned from a German friend, Ailine (@asourstory). This saved time and reduced waiting periods. My baking tools evolved from Dutch Ovens to enamel turkey roasters, then to the Challenger Pan, and currently, baking steel.

Spill the dough! We’ve all heard whispers about your buns. Are they as cheeky and delightful as rumored?

My bun recipe, a modified version from a Filipino online baker, has been perfected over time. Fresh pandesal is a staple when I visit the Philippines. After multiple recipe tweaks, the inclusion of Greek yogurt brought them to perfection. I’ll draft the recipe for you soon; I’ve been relying on memory!

Navigating the global sourdough community must be exciting. Could you share some stories or experiences regarding your international collaborations and connections?

The individual I’ve learned the most from is Ailine. She’s been invaluable, sharing insights about flours, inclusions, and more. Tyler from WireMonkey also mentored me, especially regarding my reels. After winning an essay competition he hosted, he provided feedback on my content, enhancing my skills.

Any fellow bakers you have a special connection with and what are their @usernames?

Rachel (@sourdough_enzo), Judy (@ohfortheloaf), Matt (@wok_wif_matt)

Who are the emerging talents in the sourdough world that have caught your attention?

Jenny (@jenplusgwen), Bryan (@baked_with_bry)

Additionally, have you spotted any new trends that you’re particularly excited about?

Many bakers now paint their loaves, although I avoid it due to my limited painting skills. I prefer traditional loaves but occasionally experiment with ingredients, such as dark cocoa powder.

We’re all curious – what are your favorite sourdough brands, tools, and accessories, and why do they stand out to you?

Before the pandemic, I favored well-known brands, but now I appreciate smaller businesses. Favorites include WireMonkey, Rosehill Sourdough, TheBreadMat, and WildClementine. In Canada, I value @DareBuilt, and @BandCwoodworking.

Do you have any sourdough recipes or tips inspired by global flavors that you’d be willing to share with us?

I stick to a basic recipe, often experimenting with inclusions. Recently, I tried adding salted egg and dried fish to a loaf, which was delightful with some room for improvement.

As you connect with people from different parts of the world, how do you see the culture of sourdough evolving globally?

Sourdough is becoming more accessible, with many realizing it’s not as intimidating as once believed. The emphasis on simple ingredients – water, flour, salt – is growing. Additionally, more professionals are offering baking courses, enhancing knowledge and understanding of the craft.

As we wrap up, are there any facets of your sourdough journey or personal stories that you would like the community to know?

Six months into my journey, I almost gave up due to my pursuit of “perfect” loaves. A dear friend, Sammy, encouraged me to persevere and bake with passion. Without her support, I wouldn’t be the baker I am today. Always remember: there’s no “perfect” loaf, only a perfect moment with bread.

A heartfelt thank you to Bryan Jimenez, aka @foodiebryan, for generously sharing his journey, expertise, and passion with us. His story is a testament to the rich tapestry of experiences that the world of sourdough encompasses. To our cherished community of readers, we invite you to actively engage with us. If you know of exceptional individuals, brands, products, or recipes that deserve the spotlight, please use our intake form to suggest them. Your insights drive our content, and together, we’ll continue to explore and celebrate the multifaceted universe of sourdough.

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