The Big Fat Sourdough Study: Researchers Reveal Surprising Diversity, Tackle Baking Myths

When the pandemic started, sourdough bread boomed almost overnight. Stuck inside their homes, many turned to this comforting ancient craft and baked, at least for a while, delicious sourdough bread.

There’s a deceptive complexity to this craft, however. In a new study, scientists mapped the microbial life of sourdough starters in unprecedented detail and confirmed two things: sourdough starters really are different from one another — but despite this, you can make delicious bread regardless of where you are on the globe.

“This is the first map of what the microbial diversity of sourdoughs looks like at this scale, spanning multiple continents,” says Elizabeth Landis, co-lead author of the study and a Ph.D. student at Tufts. “And we found that where the baker lives was not an important factor in the microbiology of sourdough starters.”

To read the rest of the story, please go to: ZME Science