Why sourdough bread is so hot right now!

2 September, 2020

Food like sourdough bread is central to our lives at home. Cooking and eating brings people together and that feels more important than ever.

Baking and sourdough bread has been a huge hit during the pandemic. Using the extra time we all have to learn new skills is a major trend. Especially sourdough baking at home, which is so hot right now. It is still popping up in our social feeds in a big way!

So we’re talking to an expert about why baking and specifically sourdough is so popular during lockdown. Plus we give you info to help decide if you’re ready to tackle this ancient art at home. 


Anneka Manning from Bake Club is sharing some of her sourdough and baking knowledge on our podcast At Home with Lauren Keenan

Anneka’s been helping people all over Australia to upskill during lockdown with online baking classes. She’s been a writer, food editor and publisher, working on magazines, newspapers and books, including Gourmet Traveller and The Australian Women’s Weekly. And Anneka founded Bake Club to help share her love of food and baking with everyone. 

The way Anneka communicates makes baking seem so achievable. She also has fun with the nerdy scientific side of baking to help her bakers to bake with confidence in their own kitchen. Stream the show here now or listen and subscribe in your favourite podcast app like Spotify or Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode.

Sourdough bread has a yummy tangy flavour, a crisp texture on the outside and it is chewy on the inside. There are three ingredients in a traditional sourdough: sourdough starter (which consists of flour and water), salt and flour. There is no added yeast, no milk, no oils and no sweeteners. 

Here is a really simple sourdough bread recipe from Anneka and the team at Bake Club. 

The key to a good sourdough is a sourdough starter or ‘mother’. Anneka says the starter is the base of your sourdough bread, created to capture the wild yeast in the air and on surfaces around us. 

“Before commercial yeast was available, that is the way that people captured wild yeast to bake levened bread products. Basically it is a combination of flour and water, a bit of love and nurturing and temperature. It likes to be kept between 23 and 28 degrees then to ferment.  

“The wild yeast is captured and the natural bacteria is nurtured, which gives your bread that sour flavour. The flavour will get better and develop more as it gets older, but ten days is usually long enough to get started.”

Here is a step-by-step guide from Bake Club for how to create your own sourdough starter.


Anneka says that a lot of people have been looking to learn more about bread and baking since the pandemic began. 

“We launched this online course when COVID hit because we could see this trend emerging. They’re people that are interested in extending their skills. They’re interested in meeting other like-minded bakers. And it’s a hobby for them, but they’re also looking for something so they can extend their skills. 

“Baking it one of those approachable things. It’s quite a low cost hobby too. Anyone with a kitchen and an oven can do it with very few ingredients, which is another real appeal to baking.

“I’ve been making sourdough for years and years and every time I make a loaf I learn something new. Don’t feel you have to nail it in the first week because what you experience, fails or successes, it’s a continuous learning process.” 


Two people that have taken Anneka’s classes have been sharing their experiences with us on the podcast.

Tracey Kirby from Tasmania is a keen baking student and wanted to stretch her repertoire. And food, lifestyle and travel blogger Jenny Wong, who you can find at See Taste Do and on Instagram where she has over 20,000 followers, has tasted plenty of great sourdough while eating at some of Sydney’s best cafes and restaurants.

Anneka says the reason why so many people have been taking up sourdough baking at home is because it is a challenge and because it is a mindful pastime. 

“Sourdough is one of those things that you have to be very conscious of what is going on with your dough, what the temperatures and and how it is reacting. 

“When you pare it all back, it is one of these very simple basic recipes of flour, water and salt. But when you get into it, it’s quite a challenge and you can have a variety of results. And that’s brilliant for what we have experienced and what we are still experiencing because people do still have more time on their hands. 

“I know whenever I feel a little bit disconnected – life gets busy and I feel like need some grounding – it’s the kitchen that I gravitate to. I’m so lucky that I do this on a daily basis, but I think if I didn’t do it for work I would do it regularly because of that. I love being able to bake something and share it with other people. It’s not the accolades that you get, but it is the joy that you get from sharing with someone.” 

Check out Bake Club’s online sourdough classes if you’re interested in learning more and taking your baking to the next level.


Here are the links for Lauren’s Lovely List recommendations in this episode: Sending flowers to a friend – Little Flowers, Daily Bunch, Floraly – revisit your holiday snaps or ours using #keenaneuro18, and read The Dutch House by Anne Patchett.

Our award-winning interior design podcast, hosted by Sydney interior stylist Lauren Keenan, is now in its fifth year. 

Lauren and Producer Scott are back with new episodes to help you at home during the pandemic. Including conversations with interesting people to help you adapt during these challenging times. Ultimately we want to continue to help you create a home you love. Upcoming guests include Alana Langan from IVY MUSE and Grace McBride from Spend with Them.   

Get in touch if you have a topic you want us to talk about on At Home with Lauren Keenan. Rate the show and subscribe in your favourite podcast app like Spotify or Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode. 

If you want to hire Lauren to help create your perfect home, whether it’s building, renovating or just updating your favourite room, email lauren@laurenkeenan.com.au. Find out more about the services offered at Lauren Keenan Home and check out Lauren’s portfolio of work for some inspiration. And thanks for listening!

join our mailing list

Styling tips, tricks and news straight to your inbox.