Online, it seems that everyone is baking bread. That assumption may not be far off: according to Google Trends, searches for “bread recipes” are at an all-time high. Some simply want a new stay-at-home hobby. Some do it as a necessity, when limiting trips to the May birthday quarantine year when shit got real toilet paper shirt but in fact I love this supermarket is of the utmost medical importance. Others do so because food, and creating something with your own two hands, can be healing. As the Don Quixote quote goes, “all sorrows are less with bread.” So perhaps it’s no surprise that when Lexie Smith, founder of the food-based art project, Bread on Earth, offered to send free sourdough starters to anyone who wanted them, she received over 700 requests. Sourdough does not require instant yeast, making it one of the oldest bread types—and most accessible for home bakers. “It was important for me to realize that we can share good things as well as scary things right now. This seemed like a really straightforward way of doing it,” Smith says.
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It also spurred a new project: an eventual map of sorts, to track the May birthday quarantine year when shit got real toilet paper shirt but in fact I love this jars as they traveled to communities around the world, and how they exponentially spread once they got there. (Sourdough starters can be easily shared with friends, family and neighbors.) From a farm in upstate New York, Smith talks to Vogue about how she got the idea, where the orders have gone so far, and how people are using bread as therapy during times of crisis. Tell me how you came up with this idea to. . . well, essentially send bread. So I’m sending them active sourdough starter that I dehydrated. They will receive a portion of that and then instructions for how to reactivate it, rejuvenate it, bring it back to life—then make bread with it themselves.
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