Bryan Ford Shares His Best Sourdough Tips For Bakers - Exclusive

Accountant-turned-professional baker Bryan Ford released his first book, "New World Sourdough," in June 2020. At the time, most people were stuck at home, and many were diving in to learn how to bake bread from scratch thanks to Ford's excellent guidance.

Now, Ford is taking his knack for teaching others how to bake to a whole new level. His new television show "The Artisan's Kitchen" debuted on July 15 with the launch of the Magnolia Network. Each episode focuses on teaching viewers a different bake, including the history and significance of the item, along with tips and tricks on how bakers can pull it off in their own kitchens at home. 

With such incredible baking knowledge, we were fortunate to have Ford take time out of the kitchen to chat with us. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Bryan Ford shared incredibly helpful tips for those just diving into the world of baking sourdough.

Ford says it's all about the flour you choose

According to Bryan Ford, one of the most important things when it comes to baking is to start with the proper measurement for ingredients. "If you're just diving in, using a scale in your kitchen is the best way to measure your ingredients," he said. "It's just how a lot of bakers bake, relying on that form of accurate weight measurement."

Once your knowledge of accurate measurement is down, it's important to dive in to learn about the different types of yeast options for baking bread in general. Knowing how they activate will help with producing a better bake.

One more tip from Ford? When it comes to creating your first sourdough starter, it's all about the flour. "I think the best tip I can give you, use a whole grain flour, like whole wheat or whole rye, because those flours are more nutrient-dense, and they're going to inhibit that cultivation of the yeast colony a lot faster than other types of flour," he said. "Use really good quality flour if you can. Use whole grain flour, if possible."

You can use your sourdough starter for more than just bread

As you're working toward mastering a loaf of sourdough, Ford recommends keeping your expectations reasonable. You're not going to have a perfect loaf every time, especially if it's your first go at it. "People really need to stop thinking that they're going to have this all-star, super aesthetic, perfectly baked loaf. Like with all things, it takes time," he said. "Just don't focus too much on the aesthetics because you're really just trying to make something that can nourish your family."

And if bread doesn't succeed right away? Don't discard that sourdough starter! There are other delicious uses for it. According to Ford, bakers can use their sourdough starter for a huge variety of other recipes, including cookie dough or even fried chicken. He added, "I definitely want to see and hope to see more people using their sourdough starter to make Latin American-inspired or Caribbean-inspired breads and pastries." It's all about getting creative and working to make something delicious to enjoy around the table.

To hear more baking tips and tricks from Bryan Ford, tune into Magnolia Network's "The Artisan's Kitchen" on Discovery+.