Welcome to our insightful interview with Samantha from Omaha Nebraska, a sourdough enthusiast and home baker who brings her unique flair to the world of sourdough. Her journey, featured right here on The Sourdough People website, sourdoughbread.ca, is a heartening story of resilience and passion. Overcoming personal challenges, Samantha found solace and joy in sourdough baking, developing delightful recipes that she loves to share. Follow her on Instagram at @madeinmotherhood for a glimpse into her baking adventures and head to this interview for inspiration and guidance, whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned baker. Join us in exploring the wonderful world of sourdough with Samantha, a beacon of creativity and community spirit in the heart of Omaha.
Samantha, what initially sparked your interest in sourdough baking, and how did you begin your journey?
I have always been an avid baker, but my sourdough journey didn’t begin until 2021. I was in a major car accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury, two brain surgeries, and being stuck at home for almost six months during recovery. I ended up leaning into baking and discovering sourdough during that time. I had read of the health benefits and wanted to add that to me and my children’s diets, so I picked up some starter from another mom. I truly believe the slow and intentional process of sourdough acted as a therapy for me and helped to retrain my brain after the injury.
How has your approach to sourdough baking evolved since you first started?
When I first started baking sourdough I was very focused on perfecting a basic loaf. I eventually began to lean into more enriched doughs, and my love for baking desserts and my love for sourdough eventually collided. Now I find myself always looking for sweet recipes that don’t yet have a sourdough version so I can create them for all my readers.
Do you have a signature sourdough recipe or technique you’re particularly proud of? Can you share a bit about it?
I am all about cinnamon rolls! On the blog you will find almost a dozen different sourdough cinnamon roll recipes. From carrot cake cinnamon rolls to a raspberry cinnamon roll wreath, I’ve got a recipe. My brown butter sourdough cinnamon rolls are a recipe I am particularly proud of. The filling and frosting are both made with brown butter, giving the rolls a deep nutty flavor that takes classic rolls to the next level.
Who are some of the people, brands, or companies in the sourdough industry that have inspired you?
I am quite inspired by Marizio from The Perfect Loaf and Lisa from Farmhouse on Boone. Both have built very successful brands, yet both have very different approaches to sourdough. I believe they are quite an example that sourdough can be for everyone and anyone.
What are your must-have tools or favourite equipment for sourdough baking, and why?
I’m not sure I could live without my Kitchen Aid. While it may not be the best tool for making a traditional crusty loaf of sourdough, it is fantastic to use when strengthening enriched doughs, which I work with most.
How do you source your ingredients, and do you have any specific preferences or tips regarding flour, water, or salt?
All my ingredients get picked up weekly from my local grocery store along with the rest of my groceries. I’ve tried many different types of flour brands, from freshly ground to locally sourced, yet always find myself back to using King Arthur bread flour. It’s my favourite flour and it’s accessible to everyone, so I feel confident using it in my recipes knowing that my readers will be able to achieve the same results.
Can you share a particularly challenging experience you’ve had with sourdough baking and how you overcame it?
When I made my sourdough hot dog buns recipe it was particularly challenging. I wanted light fluffy buns, yet couldn’t seem to achieve them. I learned so much about fat content and rise times during that trial. After 10 batches I was finally able to achieve a texture I felt happy and confident in publishing.
What do you enjoy most about baking sourdough, and how does it impact your daily life?
I love all aspects of sourdough. Every day I am baking sourdough, or photographing it, or writing a new sourdough recipe. Sourdough went from a simple hobby during my recovery to being my entire business.
What are some common misconceptions about sourdough baking that you’ve encountered, and how do you address them?
Sourdough can be viewed as an intimidating process, or a hobby meant for only specific types of people. I think this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Sourdough can be for anyone.
In your opinion, what is the most underrated aspect of sourdough baking?
Enriched doughs and sourdough sweets! There really isn’t anything better than a sweet dough or a sourdough discard dessert. Often we think of traditional crusty loaves when we think of sourdough, but sourdough can be so much more. It can be cinnamon rolls, English muffins, chocolate cake, and even apple cobbler!
Are there any books, videos, or online resources you’d recommend to those wanting to learn more about sourdough baking?
I think social media and YouTube are a wealth of information when it comes to sourdough. There are so many creators with so many unique approaches. While all this information can become a bit overwhelming, I think there is a creator that exists out there for every individual to connect with and learn from.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out with sourdough baking?
Start with an enriched dough, one heavy in eggs and butter. Enriched doughs are very forgiving on rise times and are perfect for those still learning to time their bulk fermentation and proofing. Enriched doughs give you a lot of room to mess up.
How do you engage with your followers and the sourdough community on social media? What’s your style?
Truthfully, I’m just over here winging it! I love to see how many want to engage with my recipes and baking tips on the website and on social media. I’m always happy to see photos and reviews when others have tried a recipe, and I’m always happy to respond to any questions.
Have you participated in any collaborations or community events related to sourdough baking, and what was your experience?
I have not, but I hope too someday soon!
What’s your favourite sourdough recipe to bake for yourself, friends, or your loved ones?
Sourdough cinnamon rolls of course! I actually make them so much my oldest daughter won’t eat them anymore. Haha.
Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to manage a healthy sourdough starter culture?
Don’t be scared to purchase a starter or get some from a friend. I see so many on a struggle bus trying to make their starters from scratch. Not making your starter from scratch won’t make you any less of a baker, even I didn’t make my own and my job is to make sourdough recipes!
Do you have any upcoming projects or plans related to sourdough baking that you’re excited about?
I’m undecided still, but I may begin working on a sourdough discard cook book for next year!
What do you hope to contribute or be remembered for most in the sourdough community?
I hope to capture those looking for sourdough sweets and discard recipes. I want to show the world all the possibilities and treats that can be made with a sourdough starter and show them that sourdough is more than just bread.
Can you describe a moment when you felt particularly proud or fulfilled in your sourdough baking journey?
That first loaf. I think anyone who bakes sourdough can relate to the feeling. You do all the research, you have all the anxiety, you’re sort of walking into the unknown, and then you pull the lid of your Dutch oven and see that loaf for the first time. That was probably my proudest moment.
If you could give one piece of advice to your past self when you started sourdough baking, what would it be?
It doesn’t need to be picture perfect! I was so hung up when I first started on having my sourdough baked goods look like the ones you see in recipe photos. If it didn’t look like a picture perfect, I was convinced it wasn’t right. Once I started the website and photographing my own recipes, I quickly realized they are never as perfect as they appear. Angles, lighting and editing are what make those images look so great, but in real life they are not so much. That’s a big part of why I have a highlight on my Instagram showcasing “what the world sees vs what I see” to show edited photos with the reality and mess behind each photo shoot.
Is there anything else Samantha that you would like the community to know about you or things you would like the readers to potentially purchase or subscribe to?
If you want to take a look at my recipes and find some amazing sourdough sweets, check out MadeInMotherhood.com.
As we wrap up this delightful journey with Samantha, we hope her story has inspired you as much as it has inspired us. Her passion for sourdough baking in Omaha Nebraska, is a reminder of the warmth and creativity that can be found in the simplest of ingredients. We invite you to continue following Samantha’s sourdough adventures on Instagram at @madeinmotherhood and to delve into her delicious world of recipes and tips.
Additionally, if you have your own unique sourdough story to share, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit your experiences through our intake form, join our vibrant email newsletter, and follow us on Instagram at @sourdoughbread.ca for regular updates and community support. Together, we’re fostering a collective sourdough community that thrives on shared experiences and mutual encouragement. Thank you for learning about Samantha and for being an integral part of our sourdough family!!