STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Early in the pandemic, so many people were baking bread, there was a national flour shortage, and then there was a yeast shortage.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
So lots of new bakers turned to sourdough, creating yeast at home, then combining it with flour and water to create what's called a starter and using it to leaven their bread.
BRIAN FORD: You know, honestly, it's addicting - sourdough. It's - you become obsessive. You become obsessed with this thing.
INSKEEP: Brian Ford is a baker and blogger who has a new sourdough cookbook. Good timing. He says if you've kept your pandemic sourdough starter alive this long, great job.
MARTIN: But in case you're a little bored of that classic sourdough loaf, he's got some other ideas for you.
FORD: People think that's what sourdough is. New bakers will be like, oh, I want to make sourdough. I need to make that rustic, crunchy loaf that's got all the holes on the inside.
MARTIN: Ford wants those bakers to think outside the box.
FORD: Go get some fruit, go get some coconut, go get some, you know, whatever ingredient you want. Mix it together with your starter and some flour and some water. Just mix it in the bowl and just leave it there and then see what happens.
INSKEEP: Ford's all about that other stuff you can make with your sourdough starter - sourdough chocolate chip cookies, sourdough waffles. There's even a fried chicken recipe on his blog.
MARTIN: But Ford says there's nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned loaf, and he's delighted to welcome all the new bakers into the fold.
FORD: I think bread is kind of the staple of life in a way. When you think of making something for your family, for your loved ones, something that's warm, something that's delicious, something that's fresh, something that everyone likes, you think about bread.
MARTIN: So let's do it again. On your marks, get set, bake. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.