sourdough bread instagram social media influencer recipe content creator @sourdoughbyeni from calgary alberta canada

Interview With Eni From @SourdoughByEni on Instagram

At The Sourdough People, we celebrate the art of sourdough baking and the wonderful community that it nurtures. We love nothing more than to highlight kind, sincere, and community-oriented bakers who enrich this craft with their unique stories and shared experiences. Today, we are thrilled to share an inspiring interview with Eni, a passionate sourdough baker based in Calgary Alberta Canada. Eni’s journey began in May 2022, driven by a desire to provide healthier food options for her daughter. What started as a necessity quickly turned into a passion for all things sourdough, from breaking baking rules to crafting indulgent Espresso Brownie Discard Cookies. Eni embodies the warm, sharing spirit typical of Canadians and has absorbed much from the thriving sourdough culture in our country. We are excited for you to discover her sourdough journey, her favourite recipes, and her tips for budding bakers.

Follow her adventures and culinary creations on Instagram at @SourdoughByEni.

Please tell us where you are from and what you love about where you live?

I live in Calgary Alberta Canada! I love the beauty of the nature that surrounds us, most specifically the mountains that are nearby, they make for such wonderful hiking and camping adventures.

Eni, what initially sparked your interest in sourdough baking, and how did you begin your journey?

I started my sourdough journey in May 2022. My second daughter was a few months old and started suffering from severe eczema and I knew I would have to make food swaps for her, so I started with learning how to make bread at home! Although I started for her, I continued for me. I ended up loving everything about the process of sourdough baking more than I intended.

How has being based in Canada added to your sourdough journey?

There is such a “sourdough culture” here in Canada, I think it boomed a lot when everyone was bored at home during the covid pandemic. Being from Canada, where we are known for being really nice, people are just so willing to share their knowledge and time, to help each other learn and grow through their sourdough journeys.

How has your approach to sourdough baking evolved since you first started?

In the start I was a total rule follower, but as I experimented more and learned what works for me and my family I discovered that some sourdough rules are ok to be broken, and the bread still turns out better than any loaf I would have bought from the store. I guess I would say I went from a rule follower to a bit of a rule breaker.

Do you have a signature sourdough recipe or technique you’re particularly proud of? Can you share a bit about it?

I love a good artisan loaf, I have my recipes posted on Instagram, but I am particularly proud of my Espresso Brownie Discard Cookie recipe, if you haven’t made it yet its very tasty. Do not wait!! Its such an indulgence.

Who are some of the people, brands, or companies in the sourdough industry that have inspired you?

I have been inspired by so many people and pages on Instagram. My first encourager was Samantha from @healing.slice, I’ve loved and been inspired by Kathryns scores @amore_fermentum but genuinely everyone I’ve connected with have been nothing but wonderful!

What are your must-have tools or favourite equipment for sourdough baking, and why?

I started out with no sourdough tools whatsoever and have slowly been acquiring tools as I go. Not a day goes by when I do not use my liquid silicone gloves from LANON gloves, as well as my UFO journey lame from Wire Monkey, they are my must haves.

How do you source your ingredients, and do you have any specific preferences or tips regarding flour, water, or salt?

For me and my family it came down to accessibility and affordability as I was on maternity leave when I started this journey. I started out using all purpose flour from Costco. Now that I am back to work full time I’ll be swapping to some organic stone milled flours from local mills, but I will have to keep you posted on my favourites!

Can you share a particularly challenging experience you’ve had with sourdough baking and how you overcame it?

Gosh, I don’t know if it was luck from the start but I haven’t had any major challenges. The process really just made sense from the start. Perhaps just tackling all the information out there was challenging because everyone does things a little different. That’s why I always say its so important to find the mode and method that works for you and your family.

What do you enjoy most about baking sourdough, and how does it impact your daily life?

I enjoy shaping and scoring the most, there is something relaxing and calming during these steps of the process. It forces me to take an uninterrupted moment, and even if it is just a brief moment, that moment is mine.

How do you balance tradition and innovation in your sourdough baking practices?

There is room for both! That’s the beauty of sourdough, you can bake with flour water and salt and make the most delicious traditional loaf of bread, or go on and add a whole bunch of other ingredients and create something totally new!

Have you noticed any new trends or innovations in sourdough baking recently?

I’ve been paying close attention to shaping and scoring techniques lately. Although I have no issue with a loaf that has no ear and no big belly, it nourishes us just the same, but to challenge myself I have been working on trying different/new ways of shaping and scoring my loaves. For example the caddy clasp shaping technique!

What are some common misconceptions about sourdough baking that you’ve encountered, and how do you address them?

That a loaf is only good if it has a huge belly, a big ear, nice blisters etc. My loaves did not have any of those in the start and yet when I cut into them they were just as soft and fluffy and delicious as the loaves I’ve made that do! It doesn’t have to look perfect to be delicious.

In your opinion, what is the most underrated aspect of sourdough baking?

The health benefits! I have had so many people I know personally who haven’t been able to tolerate bread, that can eat sourdough with zero issues!

Are there any books, videos, or online resources you’d recommend to those wanting to learn more about sourdough baking?

I learned everything I know from scrolling along Instagram so I would say take some time, follow some pages you like, and write messages to people! Ask the questions, there are so many kind people out there willing to help!

What advice would you give to someone just starting out with sourdough baking?

Just start! The best way to learn is to go through the process. Watch your starter grow, bake some loaves, tweak your timing. There is no better way to learn than to dive right in.

How do you engage with your followers and the sourdough community on social media? What’s your style?

My page is really a hobby page for my own fun. A little creative space if you will. I like to chat in DM with the sourdough community, get to know people on a more personal level. I am also happy to help anyone starting out, so as always feel free to shoot me a message/question.

Have you participated in any collaborations or community events related to sourdough baking, and what was your experience?

I’ve entered some of the fun challenges that have been posted, it’s a fun way to strike up conversation and connect with others in the community.

What’s your favourite sourdough recipe to bake for yourself, friends, or your loved ones?

A classic artisan loaf. It never fails to impress.

Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to manage a healthy sourdough starter culture?

I would say just keep the sourdough starter environment clean! They are resilient little things so don’t fret if you need a break and leave it unfed longer than intended. My biggest tip is just keeping the jar clean so you don’t run the risk of any bad bacteria/mould growth!

Do you have any upcoming projects or plans related to sourdough baking that you’re excited about?

Not really, I don’t plan much further than my next loaf!

What do you hope to contribute or be remembered for most in the sourdough community?

I want to be remembered as the girl who shared the recipe!

Can you describe a moment when you felt particularly proud or fulfilled in your sourdough baking journey?

I feel this way with every single loaf that comes out of the oven. Every time I get that “I did that” feeling.

If you could give one piece of advice to your past self when you started sourdough baking, what would it be?

Just start, it’s okay if you mess up, you’ll find your rhythm!

Is there anything else Eni that you would like the community to know about you or things you would like the readers to potentially purchase or subscribe to?

I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to learn from such a helpful community! I’m a DM away if you ever have questions about your own sourdough journey! If you want to get your hands on your very own set of liquid silicone oven gloves from Lanon gloves you can use my code sourdoughbyeni15 for 15% off Lanon products!

Closing thoughts

We hope you enjoyed this delightful dive into Eni’s sourdough world as much as we did. From her start with simple ingredients to embracing innovative baking techniques, Eni’s story is a testament to the joy and community that sourdough baking can bring into our lives. Whether you’re an experienced baker or just starting, there’s much to take away from her experiences and advice. Thank you for joining us at The Sourdough People.

For more engaging stories and baking insights, follow us on Instagram and join our email newsletter. If you have a unique or fun sourdough story you think we should feature, please reach out through our intake form on our website. Let’s keep the conversation going and continue to support each other in this wonderful journey of sourdough baking.

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