Hello Bowles Hall! Today I’ll tell you all about the bread baking I’ve been doing over the past couple years in the Hall.
I started baking bread back in high school, when I was living in Marin County. Sourdough has a rich history in the Bay Area, stretching back to 1849, which is part of the reason why I love keeping the tradition alive!
When I moved into my room at Bowles, I had to face a tough question: what can I cook in a dorm? Then I thought about the bread I baked at home! I brought some of my starter over to Berkeley, and just like that, I was mixing up loaves of sourdough in the dining hall in my spare time. I’ll be the first to admit it’s a little odd to run a makeshift bakery next to people who’re studying or having lunch, but it works!
At Bowles we’re lucky enough to have an amazing kitchen staff who let me in to the big kitchen after dinner to bake the sourdough. We’ve even branched out to baguettes, croissants, and pizza!
As time went on, I got my very own Slack channel, #bread. I started posting schedules of when I’d be downstairs mixing dough, and I got to teach mini lessons on each part of the process to fellow residents. It’s always rewarding to work on passion projects like baking, and it’s even better to be able to share it with everyone else.
Recently, people have started posting pictures of the bread they’re making at home, and there’s really nothing like seeing a friend’s proud photo of their homemade sourdough, using skills they picked up during a bread class at Bowles :).
- Scott M.