Welcome to another insightful and inspiring interview on The Sourdough People, your go-to digital platform for all things sourdough at sourdoughbread.ca. Today, we are thrilled to present an exclusive interview with Rohit, a remarkable self-taught sourdough baker who has made significant strides in the world of artisanal bread-making. Hailing from India, Rohit’s journey into the art of sourdough baking began during the Covid-19 lockdown, a time that sparked many to explore new hobbies and passions. What sets Rohit apart is his unique approach to blending the traditional techniques of sourdough baking with the challenges and opportunities presented by the Indian climate and culture. His Instagram handle @rbfoodboard has become a beacon for both budding and experienced bakers, offering a mix of inspiration, practical advice, and a glimpse into the vibrant community of sourdough enthusiasts. In this interview, Rohit delves into his journey, sharing insights on the science and art of sourdough baking, the impact of his Indian heritage on his baking style, and how he balances his passion with his professional life.
Rohit, could you tell us about the very first time you baked sourdough bread and what sparked your interest in sourdough baking?
My sourdough baking journey started during the first covid lockdown days. I was curious to create my own sourdough starter and once I did that, there was no stopping me at any stage.
From starting as a novice to becoming a recognized name with @rbfoodboard, can you describe your sourdough journey?
Being a self-taught sourdough baker and with very limited means available in India for good sourdough baking, it all seemed a difficult task. Slowly I overcame all obstacles and went on baking a better loaf of bread every time I baked. I learned little things from my previous bake as I moved onto the next one.
Sourdough baking is both an art and a science. Which aspect do you find most appealing, and why?
It’s a science until you master it. And once you know most of it then it becomes an art. You start creating better ones each time you bake.
Being based in India, how do you think the Indian climate and culture have influenced your sourdough baking?
India’s climate is surely a challenging factor. Our sourdough baking depends on that day’s temperature and it can vary from day to day or months to months.
Can you share with us a sourdough recipe or variation that you’ve developed that has been significantly inspired by your Indian heritage?
Nothing in particular for recipe or variation as regards our heritage. However, sourdough bread baking is a foreign culture for us in India and we are still adapting to it, learning from it.
What’s your favorite part about connecting with the sourdough community, and what have you learned from it?
The sourdough community is great on Instagram. It connects so many of us from different parts of the world and we get to share and learn from each other. We get to learn about festivities, events, master classes as well as important tips. We get to continue learning from different bakers. It’s a baker for bakers community.
Sourdough requires patience and precision. How do you balance the demands of sourdough baking with your daily life?
My main work is as a businessman. Sourdough baking and making bread lames is just my passion. So to pursue my passion, I have to make time for it. Usually, my mornings and late evenings are my time for my baking and dough preparation. So far I’ve been able to give time to both my jobs. I can’t say how far I will be able to take it in the future but what I do know is where there is a will, then there is a way too!
There are many baking products and brands out there. Are there any particular ones that you find indispensable for your sourdough baking?
Not really. I’m not so particular and so far I’ve made provisions for everything I have needed..
Your website features a new lame collection. How do these products reflect your baking philosophy?
My collection of lames on the website continues to expand steadily. I enjoy crafting fresh designs for them, often selecting materials that are both easy to work with and conducive to scoring my breads. While the process of developing something new may encounter limitations in scope and available tools, I typically find ways to bring my vision to life, creating designs that closely align with my original ideas.
You’ve got an impressive following on Instagram. How has social media played a role in the growth of @rbfoodboard?
Rbfoodboard, owes its existence to the support of my followers and the vibrant sourdough baking community. I’m grateful for the journey and the community that has brought Rbfoodboard.com to life!
You often share your baking experiences online. Can you tell us about a particularly memorable interaction with a follower or another sourdough enthusiast?
There are so many. I can’t name a few and then not mention others. I love them all.
The community of sourdough influencers is vast and diverse. Are there any individuals within this community whose work you especially admire or who have influenced your own baking style?
I learn from everyone. Observe everyone’s bake. Follow everyone’s tips. However, in the end I do my own bake.
What advice would you give to someone in India looking to start their sourdough baking journey, considering the unique environmental factors here?
Bake from heart and not from a recipe. Know the process rather than following the recipe.
Lastly, as sourdough baking continues to grow in popularity, where do you see your place within this community in the future?
Hope to grow bigger within this baking community. Wish to start a baking school in India for the sourdough baking community!
We hope you found this conversation with Rohit as enlightening and motivating as we did. His journey underscores the beauty of sourdough baking as not just a culinary practice but a form of creative expression deeply influenced by personal experiences and cultural backgrounds. Don’t forget to follow Rohit on Instagram @rbfoodboard to stay updated with his latest sourdough adventures and get a daily dose of bread inspiration. We at The Sourdough People are committed to bringing you closer to the fascinating world of sourdough, one story at a time.
Thank you for reading this interview on our community-focused digital platform. We invite you to join our vibrant community of sourdough lovers. Follow us on Instagram, sign up for our email newsletter for the latest updates, and share your unique, personal, or inspiring sourdough stories with us. We are always on the lookout for compelling narratives to feature on sourdoughbread.ca. If you have a story to tell, don’t hesitate to submit it through our intake form. Your experiences could be the next feature that inspires fellow sourdough enthusiasts in our growing community. Happy baking and happy reading!