Balanced Bites Podcast #421: Laura Bruner talks sourdough, kids and jiu jitsu, #vanlife (sort of)…but mostly sourdough

Laura Bruner Balanced Bites Podcast #421

#421: Laura is a certified nutrition consultant, Level 3 CrossFit Trainer, cohost of the Modern Mamas Podcast, and mama to Evie Wilder and Indie Bo. She seeks to find joy in this crazy life with her family, traveling often (including a year and a half spent living in and exploring the country in a converted van), spending time in nature, creating in the kitchen (especially all things sourdough), working out to thrive in motherhood, life, and adventure, and taking time for daily mindful movement Flow.

Laura values authentic connection, real talk sharing, and life long learning. She’s learned more from motherhood than she ever knew possible. And is forever grateful for the journey. 

Find her recipes, sourdough guide and shop, podcast, travel stops map, and musings at

Follow: Laura.radical roots on IG




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Balanced Bites Podcast #421 with Laura Bruner

About today’s episode, Laura is my friend and she’s also a certified nutrition consultant, a level three CrossFit trainer co-host of the modern mamas podcast, which I’ve been so lucky to be on several times, talking about everything from aware parenting, which in my opinion is some of the most profound learnings I’ve ever had around parenting little ones. 

To sleep and fitness and beyond Laura is maybe most importantly, mama to Evie Wilder and indie bow. He will see on her Instagram and along with her husband rusty, they pack up and they travel often, including a year and a half spent living in and exploring the country in a converted van, which I talked with Laura about on episode 49 of the list talks podcast. 

My other podcast, which by the way, is in the middle of a very exciting rebrand that I can’t wait to introduce you all to. Laura loves spending time in nature with her family, creating in the kitchen, especially all things sourdough, which we’re talking about today, working out, whether it CrossFit style or mindful movement flows and exploring ways to thrive in motherhood. And. 

In life and you can find her recipes, sourdough guide and shop podcast, travel stops. or through the show notes to this episode. So Laura and I know each other, thanks to those early episodes of the modern mamas podcast, which led to a lasting friendship with both Laura and Jess Gartner, who also co-hosts modern mamas. 

I adore both of those women and just cherish the time we’ve gotten to spend together both online. And in person, and I wanted to have Laura on the show this time, first of course, to just chat because she’s so lovely and such a great follow. But also, because when we recorded this interview, I had become really interested, but also really intimidated with the idea of making my own sourdough. I know I’m a little late to this party, but whatever I do things on my own time. 

So I became interested in sourdough because my family was eating bread and crackers a lot. And the fact is that depending on the type of bread and cracker you choose, you can really be crowding out space that other nutritious foods would fill. And I’m all about bread and crackers and pasta and whatever balance of food works for you. But I knew that we were a little out of balance, a little lazy and a little out of balance. 

And I felt an opening for an opportunity to do a little better. And we wanted to make some positive shifts around what we were eating. So I decided to go for it. I’ve heard such great things about sourdough, but I hate waiting through the internet for information. It is so intimidating. And every like easy sourdough blog post I read was 10,000 words long. You know how recipe posts are these days with 15 billion, Amazon links right down to the wooden spoon. I should make my dough with, and I just got nervous. 

So because I have the privilege of being able to ask people to donate their time. To me, vis-a-vis a podcast interview and selfishly to answer all my questions. I did what I do. And I asked Laura to come on to answer my questions on the show. And Laura helped me a lot. There were a lot of text messages as I got to know my starter. 

Which by the way I have not named nor have I named my van, my sprinter van, which makes me a very disobedient and uninitiated van and sourdough person. But I just can’t do it. I can’t name things that aren’t human or animal. Even human names are hard for me sometimes. I mean, I still call my almost three-year-old the baby sometimes. So I don’t know what that tells you. 

Anyway. I was particularly interested in the fact that several of my friends and loved ones who do not tolerate gluten containing grains, actually tolerate sourdough perfectly well. Apparently the fermentation process that begins with that starter breaks down gluten and makes it digestible. And I found that fascinating. 

We don’t have any known issues with gluten in my house, but I’m by nature, a curious person. And I was curious about this. So this interview is airing a few weeks. At least after I actually got started with my sourdough. And here’s what I’ve learned so far first for my own starter experience, even prior to making a loaf of bread, I learned that sometimes you’re not feeding your starter enough. 

So I was keeping my starter in a warm room, the bathroom actually, which probably made the fermentation speed up. Actually I know that’s what it does. And I know that’s weird that it was in the bathroom, but I was feeding it. Closing the door for eight hours and peeking in, and it would look like nothing had happened. 

And I didn’t want to kill it by overfeeding it, but I also didn’t think it would be able to grow well, if I didn’t start with enough starter. So it turns out that I was actually number one, beginning the process of growing the starter with too much starter and not enough food for it. So I was worried that I’d overwhelm the starter and smother it with too much food, but it turns out I just had a very hungry starter. 

Which, by the way I got from the amazing owner of the sourdough spot in Kansas City, people are so generous with their starter because you end up with a lot of it. So really I just needed to start with less starter and more food for it. So I ended up the sweet spot being 20 grams of starter with a hundred grams of water and a hundred grams of flour. 

And that works really well for us. And by the way, I got a little gram measuring scale and it makes things so easy. So, so far, all I’ve made is some really good sandwich bread, and some really crappy crackers, but I’m working on it. And I can attest that sourdough making does become part of the daily rhythm for me not daily but I have figured out when it can work into the schedule and it’s actually pretty flexible I don’t know all the terms around it but I can make dough and if I can’t bake it on schedule like Laura says in this episode I can pop it in the fridge and re-engage when it’s convenient it’s not perfect but when i realize we’re almost at a sandwich bread i get the starter going during the day Mix up the beginnings of a loaf in the evening and then bake it the next morning Now i know i’m not a sourdough expert but laura really is and she’s not that intimidating expert in academia who knows everything and can’t communicate it without making your head spin with details She’s also not that expert that serves you up with too much information too fast her take on sourdough is accessible it’s helpful it’s calming And I really hope that you’ll consider going for it after listening to this interview. Let’s go.

Laura Bruner: Everyone shuffled off to jiu-Jitsu? Well, first the library. I kicked him outta the house, so they’re gonna go to the library and then juujitsu while we 

Liz Wolfe: reinkornd. Nice. So Evie does jiu-jitsu, right?

Laura Bruner: Mm-hmm. Oh, that’s so cool. She’s, so, she’ll be six in June and she’s been doing jiu-jitsu since she was. Oh my gosh. Three and a half. It’s like almost half her life at this point. 

Liz Wolfe: Um, oh, I didn’t know that. I was just looking at, um, Steph Gaudreau’s Instagram. I haven’t checked in with her in a while, and she was talking about how she’s like a 

Laura Bruner: brown belt now.

Laura Bruner: I have like, the belts make no sense to me. All I know is it. And Evie went from, she’s gotten, she’s tested up twice, so she’s gotten two new belts and they get a bunch of stripes on their belts, and then they get a new belt. So she’s orange and white now. That’s so cool. It’s, and her, her coach. Is actually al also our naturopath.

Laura Bruner: So she’s known her since even before she started Ju-Jitsu. And she’s just like in awe of her. It’s really cool to, I’m very proud as, as her mom to hear her coach talk about how good she is and how much promise she has and potential. And she listens and she, she’s a little, I don’t know, it’s cool. She’s like an undercover firecracker.

Laura Bruner: I think 

Liz Wolfe: That’s so cool. My oldest is eight and. I feel like I waited too long. Like I would love for her to do something like that. Mm-hmm. But she’s already in that place where she is old enough to old enough to doubt herself, you know what I mean?

Liz Wolfe: And not even doubt herself, where she’s like, oh, I want to, but I don’t think I can do that. She’s at that point where There are certain things that she’s up for and certain things that she’s just not, and I really just wanna make, make her do it.

Liz Wolfe: But I don’t know, I, I need to do it too. My husband would really like 

Laura Bruner: for me to do it as well. Yeah. Evie actually just dropped that cuz I had, when I was pregnant, I was like, I. I’m not gonna start this new activity while pregnant, but I’ll do it after and now Okay. We’re like 15 months later, Evie’s like, Hey, mama member, you said you’re gonna do, just sit with me.

Laura Bruner: I’m like, okay, yeah, I’m gonna, she holds me to it. So they have a women’s class on Saturdays. I think I’ll start there and then, maybe start doing it more regularly. But they also have a really nice Saturday kettlebell class, and so I think there’s a number of things I could do there. Yeah, 

Liz Wolfe: we’ll see.

Liz Wolfe: So does she, Hmm. This is gonna sound like an insult to my oldest child, and I don’t mean it that way, but I feel concerned that she would, she’s like me, she’s the little girl that’s beating up the little boys on the playground. And some of that is just, you know, it’s just who we are. But also there’s I think as a kid I wasn’t the.

Liz Wolfe: The cute pretty one. You know, I wasn’t the feminine little girl, so I kind of played the role of the tomboy. And with that, I felt like maybe a way to be seen would be to be the one that beats the boys up on the playground. I remember I would grab their arms and I would spin ’em around in circles and , launch ’em across the, I don’t know where the teachers were, , I have no idea 

Laura Bruner: where they were.

Laura Bruner: Let’s think about that. When I think about the things that went on in like elementary and junior high. Yeah. Where were 

Liz Wolfe: the teachers? Where were they? They were just, they were, that was their break time, recess was the teacher’s break time. So I wonder though if I unleashed her on this type of thing, if she would go.

Liz Wolfe: Use it on the boys in her class. Cause they’re very high energy too. I could see them getting into some kind of 

Laura Bruner: some scrapes. Yeah. I will say that a big part of the teaching, and it’s not just about the physicality of it and like the actual movements and moves and whatnot, it’s about, there’s like a whole kind of culture and respect for the.

Laura Bruner: I guess the art, I might, I don’t know if they used that word, but for sure, you know? Yeah. I guess it would be a martial art. So the art of jujitsu. Yes. And so I think alongside like all the stripes she gets, there are some that are  character stripes and some that are skill stripes. And so I think they also teach them to not just unleash it willy-nilly on the, at the playground.

Laura Bruner: I think that it’s like a component of his is use this like, with great power comes great responsibility. 

Liz Wolfe: kind of thing. Of course, of course. That, that’s that discipline component too. Yes. Which she, you know, that would be a good thing to practice 

Laura Bruner: I think. I think so. Yeah. Yeah. I love it. And Evie’s definitely not the type we’re like, Hey, just a reminder, you can use this when you need to.

Laura Bruner: Like, we’re trying to help her understand that there is a time and a place to use it outside of class because she can, she’s like a little bit more of a sensitive soul and definitely an observer. Um, we just, you know, want her to make sure that she. Also stands up for herself as needed. And that there’s not been, hasn’t been a, a specific situation where I feel like she hasn’t done that, but I can see it happening.

Laura Bruner: So we’re, I think we’re probably on opposite ends of the spectrum of like what we’re trying to get to happen with Tipsy. Perhaps 

Liz Wolfe: it could be a good thing, like, I think it would be good for me as well, just from, I don’t know, from an empowering perspective. Mm-hmm. You know, but I, it would be good to have some kind of, Self-protection type of skill, but I wonder if other people feel this way, just that hurdle.

Liz Wolfe: For me personally, for me doing it is like, so am I gonna have to actually like physically practice grappling with other human beings? Is that how you do it? 

Laura Bruner: Mm-hmm. Yeah. There’s a lot of touching and wrestling and, mm-hmm. Yeah. For me, that’s, at this stage, I think a, a women’s only class would feel little more comfortable.

Laura Bruner: There’s a lot of like straddling and just a lot of things that are like very, very close quarters. 

Liz Wolfe: I mean, I guess everybody’s there for the same reason, so everybody’s expecting it. But for some reason, I don’t know, like I would need to just really bond with somebody first before I was, You know, straddling them and choking ’em out.

Liz Wolfe: I know that’s not actually probably what you do but that’s like how you, you’re like, oh, maybe kind of a little bit. 

Laura Bruner: So it looks like. 

Liz Wolfe: Sure, why not? So do a lot of, uh, you’re still doing, , CrossFit 

Laura Bruner: stuff, right? Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah. So we have our gym here, storm King, CrossFit, , and Rusty coaches there.

Laura Bruner: My husband coaches there. I work out there. And then there’s a, a coffee box attached. It’s called the Coffee Box. A coffee shop attached, same owners, and so, I have my whole ritual now where I go and I work out all I really have time for these days it’s like 30 minutes. That’s, you know, that’s all you need.

Laura Bruner: Yeah. Um, 30 minutes fitness, and then I just walk next door through the door into the coffee shop and I work for a few hours and it’s just a really cool community, awesome people. And then I’m actually doing work for CrossFit HQ now as well. So I’m on the CrossFit, um, affiliate programming team. So getting to do programming and writing session plans and whatnot for affiliates, which has also been very fun.

Laura Bruner: Mm. Oh, 

Liz Wolfe: that’s cool. Well, I’ve seen some of your Instagram stories where you, it looks like you’re working out in like a real nice, you know, like a real nice cross. I’m so excited because my trainer that I’ve been working with for like four, four and a half years, he’s just opening his own space it’s so nice.

Liz Wolfe: It’s so nice. I can’t wait to work out in there. It’s that feeling of being in a really, a big gym space that’s just full of people that are on it the same way you are. They’re interested in the same type of movement as you are and there’s that community that comes back again.

Liz Wolfe: And that’s what I loved about CrossFit so much was it wasn’t even just the programming and all of that, it was. It was you get together with people that are kind of doing the same thing that you are and just excited about the same things as you are. And even if you know you’re not training together, you still know that the people coming in and outta that door, you’ve got something in common with them.

Liz Wolfe: And that’s cool. 

Laura Bruner: A hundred percent. And it’s turned into this really beautiful thing and we’re now. You know, we moved here. We didn’t, we have friends, we didn’t, we don’t have family or anything, and I was pregnant and had a baby and we now, like, that’s become such a community for us, that we are tapping into it for childcare.

Laura Bruner: So, you know, some of the coaches and their younger sister are helping out with our girls now. Um, and so it’s so nice to just have that. You know, family component and I love it cuz there’s all different kinds of people from all different walks of life and they come in and you have differences. But there’s like that kind of, like you said, that bonding, that thing that unites is the same general approach to fitness.

Laura Bruner: Typically a similar understanding to what like good nourishment is, you know? Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Um, and most of the people that come into our gym, cuz we live in a place where there’s like, I’m looking at the mountain right now, I can see the top of it and then the C is right behind me, not right behind me, but, you know, um, A lot of outdoor enthusiasts, enthusiasts here, and so a lot of the people in there are in there so that they can then go enjoy everything around us.

Laura Bruner: So it’s, it’s cool to have that camaraderie for sure. Wait, I forgot, are you back in Oregon? We talked about this last time. We’re in Washington. Washington. Washington, okay. We’re left. Very, very, very tippy top support Angeles is when I look across that water, I see Victoria, Canada. So we’re like as far up 

Liz Wolfe: as you can go.

Liz Wolfe: Well, port Angeles is where Bella from Twilight went to shop 

Laura Bruner: for her prom dress. Yes, because I, that’s takes place in forks, which is like another hour further west out, out there. They, they don’t see much sun. 

Liz Wolfe: Well, I mean, they can’t because of the vampires, like they’re steam a twinkle. It would just, they would give them away to everybody.

Laura Bruner: Make sure that that doesn’t happen. Oh, yeah. They’re out in the rainforest, which is beautiful. We camped there last summer and I, um, we’ll camp there again, um, this year. But I cou I could, I love to visit, especially in the summer, it’s one of the most magical places on earth in the summer, but in the, in the very, very, very long winter, they get like, it’s like eight months of winter, 10 months of winter, and two months of summer kind of things.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Oh, I meant to tell you. You’d be proud of me. We finally went on a trip in the van. Oh, I can’t wait to hear about it. Well, I’ll tell you about it right now. We didn’t stay in the van. 

Laura Bruner: Oh no. So you, this has the been the only trip in the van. This has been the one and only family trip in the van.

Liz Wolfe: Okay. I took. I took my oldest when, okay, she, at the, the beginning of the school year, she hit her head really hard and it was border. She did not have a diagnosed concussion. I went back to the medical paperwork and it was like severe contusion or something like that. I don’t know. But all, she had all kinds of symptoms afterwards.

Liz Wolfe: Um, like traditional concussion type symptoms, like she threw up and she wanted to fall asleep and all of that stuff. And then, After the fact, it was the day before school started and the, the doctor at the emergency room room was like, yep, she can go to school tomorrow. Just don’t let her, you know, roughhouse.

Liz Wolfe: And I was like, oh, okay. You went to school. And stupid, me not even thinking about it, I was like, Well, you know, if the guy said everything was fine, she’d go to school, I’ll send her to school. , I was so worried in that moment that I needed to, it felt good for me to be like, okay, well she’s good. , we can move on.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, because it was such a traumatic moment, and so I was just ready to move on. Didn’t even call our pediatrician. I was just like, okay, I really like the doctor in the emergency room. You know, he ran through some studies with me around concussions and around, you know, The, the vomiting and the wanting to fall asleep.

Liz Wolfe: And he made me feel a lot better about those things and what to look for. And so I just went home and just kind of like dispensed of it and was like, okay, well she’s going to, she’s gonna school tomorrow. So she went to school and from that point forward for a couple weeks, she was a different kid.

Liz Wolfe: She was struggling so much. It was just too much for her brain. Mm-hmm. You know, her brain was healing or, or whatever was happening. And sending her to school all day long was just, it was too much, too, too much. And I was like, who is this kid? She was having these huge outsized reactions to things screaming and crying, just.

Liz Wolfe: Just, and I didn’t even connect the two things until finally I did reach out to my pediatrician and I was like, what is going on? And she’s like, well, she sprained her brain , you can’t sprain your ankle and just walk around on it and expect it to be okay. And I was like, oh, you’re so right. So I’m bringing it back around here.

Liz Wolfe: So, I took her, I went on hip camp, which is that really cool website now that you book a stay just to park your van or your car on somebody’s farm or their land and camp there. So we went on hip camp, booked a stay on a farm, and she and I went in the van, oh, just she and I to this farm for two or three days no devices, no electronics.

Liz Wolfe: No distractions, no nothing. And we just fished and walked around petted the livestock guardian dogs, red Harry Potter, slept, took our food in the van and it was amazing. We got back and she was a different kid. She just needed that time to really, really heal and connect. So anyway, point being, 

Laura Bruner: we went out.

Laura Bruner: That’s our brains sprain. And that’s for sure. 

Liz Wolfe: Yes, it was a total brains sprain and, and that, that was just so cool. But that was just the two of us. Mm-hmm. And so this was our first. Family trip in the van and I don’t know, we just, we just , I don’t know. The, the little one, the two and a half year old has never been a co-sleeping type of baby.

Liz Wolfe: And we were like, we could probably figure this out, or we could just rent the tree house at the RV park and stay. We’ll stay at the RV park because our friends with the van came with us and they stayed in their van and then us, and then another family rented these little tree houses they had there.

Liz Wolfe: Okay. And we, we stayed in them. So we 

Laura Bruner: had, they lived outta the van. Like your stuff was all there, but you just No, no. Moved into the tree house. We 

Liz Wolfe: moved into the tree house. For two or three days. And my husband did stay in the van, one of those nights when we had a little, uh, sleepover with the girls.

Liz Wolfe: But, we took the van, it was there. And so it was there and we saw it and we were, it, it was parked outside the treehouse. And, um, so, you know, we’re working, we’re working slowly towards it. We’re getting 

Laura Bruner: there. I love it. I love, honestly, I love that you’re not putting some insane pressure on yourself or trying to like play the part.

Laura Bruner: Like you come on here and you’re fully transparent and you’re like, we slept in a tree house with no qualms and unapologetic about it. I think that that is very refreshing in the climate where it’s that when, especially when like the Van Life stuff was so hip and yeah, we’re hashtagging and sometimes I wonder if.

Laura Bruner: The pictures they post are actually like, what? They’re Oh, probably 

Liz Wolfe: not. I mean, right. Like he couldn’t be, we did it. It’s, it’s like kind of stinky and dirty 

Laura Bruner: and so fun, but not, it’s not, there’s nothing glamorous about it. No. And I wouldn’t change a thing. Like I’m so glad we did it. And I like the places that we got to go and people we got to see and places we got to sleep.

Laura Bruner: So Cool. I would never change it for the world. But also it’s just not as, um, hashtag as I think people 

Liz Wolfe: might mi Mine is hashtag not van life. Hashtag not really Van Life. 

Laura Bruner: Hashtag the van was there. 

Liz Wolfe: Yes. It’s kind of cracking me up because my, my dentist, they rented the van from us to take it on a trip.

Liz Wolfe: Before we ever used it, I think, and we are two, you know, I’m a tall person, , I’m a regular, maybe regular to tall, larger size person. So my husband and I are kind of , you know, average to above average size. And then we just have these two little kids. And the dentist that rented it, it was him and his wife and their three older kids, like 15, in the 15 tween range.

Liz Wolfe: Wow. And I was like, dang, that was close quarters for all of them to sleep in there. Just thinking, I mean, it, it’s, and they did it. And they did it. They totally did it. I don’t think they do it again. 

Laura Bruner: I think a top, sometimes my toddler. I think she takes up more room in our bed than like another grown human would.

Laura Bruner: Yes. Depending on the night. 

Liz Wolfe: Yes. Well, you know what I was thinking about the other day and I was thinking about you and, and this chat that we were gonna have is, I, I feel so overwhelmed.

Liz Wolfe: I. And I need you to help me with this. I don’t feel like I could learn how to make my own sourdough. Like do you ever feel that resistance to just learning a new thing where you’re like, 

Liz Wolfe: I can’t do it. Laura, I promise you can tell 

Laura Bruner: me more. I was that way. So my sourdough journey started back when I actually, when I was pregnant with. Evie, I was like, I’m gonna do this Soudough’s Cool. And so that was 2017. Mm-hmm. Um, and I started my own starter, which I don’t recommend to anybody. Um, find a friend, go to my Etsy shop, find a family member who has, everyone has starter now, and inherit or adopt someone else’s because people, you, you have your big jar, in order to make it work, you have to dump some out every single time.

Laura Bruner: So people are constantly dumping out their starter. So just grab a mason jar and collect some of that. Okay. Um, I sell mine in my shop, I dehydrate it and sell it there. Um, but I So first step, first things first. To simplify it, inherit some starter. But back to my story. So I started then tried to start my own starter.

Laura Bruner: And what we ended up doing with all of that dumping, cuz I couldn’t get it to like come alive, is I started making like yeasted. Spread products and like these roles with actual yeast. Cuz I was waiting for the starter to like get excited and it didn’t, it didn’t, uh, it didn’t sit well. It wasn’t a good thing digestively for me.

Laura Bruner: So we took a pause on that. And then postpartum, I had a friend who brought me this, this sandwich that I still to this day. So we’re talking like June, 2017. I still have dreams about it. She went and got like tartine. Bakery, rustic sourdough, and she made her own like shredded, pulled pork with, I mean, I don’t even have the words.

Laura Bruner: It was so good. I still have the recipe written on, um, a card in one of our cookbooks. And that for me inviting that, I was like, I need to do this again. Um, but then it was, then it was not that much later that we mo we moved into the van and it just, it didn’t happen for a while until, um, I, you know, was seeking sourdough because I did learn over the course of that time that it, it could, I could digest it really well.

Laura Bruner: And we’re talking like, the contrast for me is night and day. It’s like the yeasted, anything, or just like regular gluten. I can do it on occasion and be okay, especially if it’s higher quality. But, um, Multiple days in a row or multiple meals in a row. And I, I just feel awful, but sourdough just works for me.

Laura Bruner: I was just telling someone that my digestion now is better than I’m pretty sure it’s ever been in, in my memory. And I eat sourdough like multiple times a day. Um, anyways, I think the question was how can I do this? Can I do this? Is it as hard as, as it seems? And so coming full circle, got some starter and, uh, from a friend, my friend Ashley, and I just realized, I, we watched some YouTube videos with my husband and I watched YouTube videos.

Laura Bruner: I looked at a couple books. I am not like up until this point. Don’t like baking cuz it’s too specific. And I like, I love to cook, but I like to just throw stuff together and see what happens. And you can’t do that when you bake a cake, really. You can kind of do that with a sourdough cake, I’ll say. Um, so I was similar.

Laura Bruner: I was like, I, up until I made the decision that I’m going to do this, once I decide I’m gonna do something, I will, I will make it happen, um, in some form or another. So once I really committed, it was like, it was like overnight I got, I got my friend starter going. Watched a couple videos and it, and I realized in that moment when I, when we like, cut into our first loaf, like, oh my gosh, this is so easy.

Laura Bruner: I think the, the one stipulation is that you have to have a happy starter. So if you feel like you are a bad baker or you can’t bake sourdough, if you, if you try it and it’s a flop, it’s not you, it’s your starter. You just gotta love on your starter more. But the actual process of baking a bread, baking a loaf of bread, of sourdough bread is incredibly forgiving.

Laura Bruner: And very simple and very, very easy to work into your unique life. And I think that those are the three things that hang people up. It’s like I don’t have, my, my, my days are so crazy. Like I don’t have the space to be able to work it into my day or I. I, you know, that, that, or like I just, the, the overwhelm of the steps, the multiple steps, but the beauty of having multiple steps and coming back to a loaf and stretching and folding it every 15 to 45 minutes, depending on what your evening looks like.

Laura Bruner: There’s so much flexibility there. I. If you over ferment a loaf, you turn it into focaccia, like there’s not much that’s gonna come outta your oven that you want, won’t enjoy. 

Liz Wolfe: Do you have to make it in that, the, the circle loaves? Do you had I, I’m very ashamed of this. I’ve been ordering sourdough, fresh homemade sourdough from a local person.

Liz Wolfe: It’s like, It’s like 12 bucks a loaf. And I also pay a delivery fee because I’m like, I ha I need to have it. Yeah. But I can’t make it. So I probably do need to start making it because that is a lot of money for loaf of bread. But it’s also in that, that circle, which is beautiful. Mm-hmm. But also kind of harder for sandwiches.

Liz Wolfe: So I was wondering if there’s a such thing as like sourdough. 

Laura Bruner: Sandwich loaf. I have a recipe on my site for, I, I typically a sandwich bread. It might be like mine is, um, it has, it’s more of like an enriched dough, so it has milk, um, and butter in it and honey. Um, but they don’t have to. They can, you could just have flour, water, salt, starter.

Laura Bruner: Mm-hmm. Um, but yeah, it’s just a different pan. It’s like you have like a, it’s the shape of whatever, whatever, like, you know, you’ve got your dough, whatever you bake it in, it’s gonna kind of form to that shape. So it’s pretty easy to make a, a sandwich loaf in that shape. You just gotta get a different baking vessel.

Laura Bruner: Okay. I bake mine in. , Just an since we, oh gosh, we’re gonna be married for almost 10 years, it’ll be 10 years in September. And I got like a Le Crueset cast iron pot, and it’s really like a pot with a lid. So you put the lid on the lid, it can also be a pan, one of those Dutch ovens and been baking in that same pot this whole time.

Laura Bruner: And it’s like blackened and it has so much character. But I mean, really it’s, I’ve, when we lived in the van, then we settled for a little bit and that’s when I got sourdough going. We were kind of stationed at my mother-in-law’s, but still living in the van. Um, so I had her kitchen. And then we, we still traveled a ton and I would always bring some starter.

Laura Bruner: And then when we landed at like an Airbnb or at a friend’s house, I, at that, in that season of my life, I was baking without a scale and I would just bake in whatever pot was in the, was in as long as it was oven safe. I would, I baked in so many weird pots. I probably left remnants of sourdough loaves, like stuck to the bottom of people’s pots and Airbnbs and stuff.

Laura Bruner: But, um, again, pretty forgiving and pretty foolproof. And I don’t say that to say that anyone who struggled is a fool. But if you have, if you just have like some bare essentials down, um, I truly believe that anyone can bake sour no bread. 

Liz Wolfe: So the other thing that we buy a lot of is these, I’m so inconsistent, but there are times when I really am making a concerted effort to move toward more digestible type of grain stuff.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Because we’ve just gotten lazy. We’ve just gotten really lazy at this stage of life with the eight year old having 17 different practices and Mm. You know, we send her to school pretty far away because that’s just where the school we chose is. And there’s a lot of driving and a lot of all of that.

Liz Wolfe: And then there’s the two and a half year old who literally will not sit down for anything ever. Like the only time she still is when she’s sleeping and it’s, she’s not even sounds like indie. That’s crazy. They’re gonna have to meet each other at some point. I mean for sure. Maybe we’ll actually take a van trip and take a real van trip to see you, which I talked about the last time you were on.

Liz Wolfe: We’ll look for vampires.

Liz Wolfe: So fun. Oh my God. I wonder if that town hates the whole twilight thing or if they’re like, 

Laura Bruner: oh, the Joyce. They eat it up. They eat it up. Okay. Mean, or at least they, they embrace it cuz it tourism. You know, it’s helpful. I was a 

Liz Wolfe: fully grown woman when I read those books and I was so into it. I mean, I really was.

Liz Wolfe: So, I’m, I haven’t read a single one. Don’t, don’t. It’s huge. 

Laura Bruner: We’re potter, but they’re different. Right? It’s not, there’s no like, no comparison. They’re very, very different. Okay. These are like more like teen, uh, romance teen band. They’re like, 

Liz Wolfe: I’m pretty sure the gal that wrote them is a Mormon. And so there are a lot, like if you really dissect them, there are a lot of themes of like chastity and you know, like, it’s very, very interesting.

Liz Wolfe: I didn’t know, but I loved them while I was reading them. I remember, I mean, I think I was in that stage of life where I was like, I need to stop partying so much, but I also like don’t have anything else to do. So either I’m gonna get a puppy, okay. Or I’m gonna read the twilight. Books probably made the right choice.

Liz Wolfe: I think I probably made the right choice. I think I probably did, but that could actually be really fun. But the thing that I wanna do, I’ve been spending all this money on sourdough crackers. Because my girls love crackers. I’m trying to find the right substitute for that. And it’s literally, it’s like eight bucks for a box of like 12 crackers.

Laura Bruner: Yes. Uh, one of the absolute easiest things to make you take starter, you add butter or lard or whatever fat you have and whatever seasoning you want. That’s it. And then you bit, you spread it out on a piece of parchment, on a baking sheet and you bake it and then like a little ways in, you kind of. You know, you make some creases with and some knives.

Laura Bruner: And then once it’s all done, then you cut ’em into crackers and then you eat them actually went through at least two weeks of pregnancy where that was one of the only things I could eat. So I was making sourdough crackers and I, I could deal with like a really sharp cheddar and that was all I could eat for two weeks.

Laura Bruner: And so we, we just had ’em on repeat. I could barely keep the starter going cuz that we were making so many crackers. Cause that’s the only thing, I couldn’t even sand the smell of baking sourdough for those two weeks. Wow. A very rough, rough start to pregnancy. But, um, yeah, crackers don’t spend $8 on, I mean, I will say I love the jovial sea salt, corn sourdough crackers.

Laura Bruner: When I see those anywhere, I always buy them cuz they’re so good. But outside of that, and most of the time, if you look at the box, it’s gonna have more ingredients than just flour starter or flour. Water and salt. Um, yeah, and fat. Some sort of fat. But yeah, usually they’ll be like cane sugar or. You know, and I just never know how much of it is actually fermented.

Laura Bruner: And they just like, because there’s, there’s actually like sourdough flavor, so a lot of these things you buy. Are not necessarily super fermented, they just have that flavor added. And I’ve gotta the point, I’m not trying to sound snotty, but I feel like I can taste it. I can taste the difference. It’s like my husband worked in, you know, he worked for a very for a long time and there is also that insider, they, there’s something that they add so that it doesn’t, I think it’s like to keep it from um, over fermenting and exploding.

Laura Bruner: But he can taste it so he knows if it’s, if it’s got additives in it. Cuz he worked in that for so long. And I feel similarly with sourdough. Like I can bite into a croissant and tell you whether it’s a sourdough croissant or not. 

Liz Wolfe: Wow. So there’s a place here that they say that they make everything with sourdough that 

Laura Bruner: exists croissants.

Laura Bruner: We, I’m actually in the works of creating a sourdough sisters travel guide because whenever we travel, we seek out these spots and people are like, how do you find it? What questions do you ask? I’m like, I’m gonna make a guide. So it’s like, it’s gonna have like what you know, first of all, how to care for your starter when you leave it at home.

Laura Bruner: So you can leave it for weeks at a time and it will be fine. And then, You know, what, what to look for, what questions do you ask of these bakeries? How do you ask them without coming across as a, as an asshole, which I’m pretty unapologetic about things like that. I’m like, I’m just gonna ask the questions cause I’m curious, uh, kindly.

Laura Bruner: Um, and then a list of all of your favorite spots that have sourdough everything. Um, and then how to wake your starter back up when you get home. Uh, because I get questions all the time. But yeah, there’s, there are bakeries where everything, the biscuits, the croissants, the pastries for the most part. Um, Or sourdough.

Liz Wolfe: So I think that’s something I didn’t realize was that other stuff can be made, like besides bread and crackers, you can actually make mm-hmm. I don’t know anything. So is it you have the starter and it’s the, it’s that fermentation of the starter that breaks down the 

Laura Bruner: gluten, right? Mm-hmm.

Laura Bruner: Makes it more easily digestible. Okay. It brings out, you know, any bio, it makes the, because there are nutrients in flours, especially if you’re talking about like einkorn or spelt some of these more ancient weeks. There’s actually nutrition in the, in the. Wheat. Um, and so it makes that more bioavailable cuz a lot of times we can’t absorb it because of the antinutrients and all of that.

Laura Bruner: So fermenting it makes those things more bioavailable, um, and it reduces the gluten, reduces the glycemic index. All, 

Liz Wolfe: all the good things, but then you add more, when you’re actually gonna go bake with it, you add a bunch more flour to it, right? 

Laura Bruner: Yes. So, and then what happens, a, a basic loaf is gonna be you take your bowl, you set it on the scale.

Laura Bruner: If you’re measuring things and you put in water and then you put in starter, and then you swish it around with your fingers, you have a milky mixture, and then you add your flour and then you kind of get it into like a shaggy ball is what it initially looks like. And it’s amazing to watch when, when you come back for each stretch and folds over the course of a couple hours.

Laura Bruner: It just like the gluten starts to do its thing. And this is coming from someone who was like, had definitely a season of life where I was very anti glut and I, we, maybe we could talk about this, but for me, sourdoughs created so much food freedom and is really reorganized and helped me reassess my perspective on food and not demonizing things and not being so dogmatic and always reserving the right to change my mind.

Laura Bruner: But it’s opened up new, new, new food. Um, food fun for sure. So anyway, so flour. Gluten does its thing. And then the se when you, when I come back, then for the next stretch and fold, that’s what I’ll pinch in salt and do more stretches and folds. And that’s your basic loaf. And you’re gonna come back multiple times, stretch, fold, stretch, fold until you have this like, you know, it starts and then you leave it overnight, does its thing, and you come back, it’s twice as big and then you shape it and you bake it.

Laura Bruner: but then there is a whole variety of a book with all different kinds of recipes. So pizza for instance, or focaccia, the only extra ingredient would be like an olive oil. But then I just yesterday, , started a low, , batch of sourdough tortilla dough, and so that is then way less water. And so that has flour.

Laura Bruner: , we have like our local farmers, we got some lard, so it’s flour, salt, a tiny bit of baking powder and lard, and then starter. And then a little bit of water or milk, whatever you’ve got. And that sat for like 24 hours. And then today we pressed em. And right now in the fridge, I’ve got a baked ca, a quesadilla bake, like already just put in the oven this evening for a super easy dinner.

Laura Bruner: Um, we do pizza dough, we do pancakes, waffles, English muffins, cinnamon rolls, scones, uh, pie. I think that. Adding starter, A pie crust is far and above. I mean, it, I’ll never go back. Now. Makes it flaky and delicious. There’s, and, and also you can, the, like, things like pie, crust and tortillas and pancakes don’t need an active starter, so it’s the perfect place to put your discard.

Laura Bruner: Instead of just throwing in the trash, you take this thing that could have been wasted and now you’re gonna make whatever you’re gonna eat for dinner or a meal the next day. Mm-hmm. Um, But things, certain things need an active starter. So it’s, it’s so fun. And as you start to do it more, it becomes really, it’s become such a part of my day that.

Laura Bruner: It just, it works into my daily rhythm so easily. Um, but if I can’t get to a lift, let’s say I’ve got one ready and it’s like I’m supposed to bake it at 6:00 AM but then the baby wakes up and I just don’t get to it. You just put it in the fridge cuz the cold temps slow down the fermentation. I’ve had a loaf sit in the fridge for three days and then baked it.

Laura Bruner: Mm-hmm. And it was still good. Um, so there again, there’s like, it’s very flexible and it’s very forgiving. 

Liz Wolfe: So pizza is like, I, I hate to say it, but pizza. Is such a go-to. I’m not saying we get order out pizza a lot, but there are most days of the week. I’m like, man, I wish that we had like some crust, homemade crust, so we could just put some tomato sauce and some veggies and some cheese on there and just bake it.

Liz Wolfe: I love homemade pizza, but I’ve never wrapped my head around the crust part, so are you telling me? Mm-hmm. I could just. Make this pizza crust at home and be like, Hey, we’re gonna have pizza tonight. And then have pizza. 

Laura Bruner: We do it every So Sunday tradition, I start, I started fermenting on a, on Saturday, Sunday night.

Laura Bruner: I just cut our, we, it’s like a big ball of dough. I cut it into mini pizza. We all have our own. The girls share one and then just, yeah, you just stretch. I use some Selina and that’s what I do. Gluten there, Lina, for shaping pizza dough is next level. Or you could do like a fine ground corn meal. Um, you shape it.

Laura Bruner: Drizzle some olive oil, you know, and then you top it with all the things we put it. We have like a pizza, what’s it called? Like a, you know the big pizza stone? Yeah. With Pizza Stone, the thing, you put it first and then you scrape it off, whatever. Yeah. Anyways, but yeah, so we do the whole pizza, stone, everything.

Laura Bruner: A dream of ours, once we own a home is to, um, I want a pizza oven, like an outdoor pizza oven because yes, we do a lot of pizza. And again, game changing sourdough pizza crust is far and 

Liz Wolfe: above, so, and how long does that take to make it? Like, do you sit it, do you have to make it ahead of time and freeze it, or do you have, does it have to rise and all that?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, 

Laura Bruner: so I’ll just, I, I’ll start it sometime on Saturday and it usually ends up in the fridge. Cuz typically, you know, we’re not eating it till Sunday. I could probably start it Sunday, early Sunday morning, but I just do it on Saturday and then I let it sit on the counter and then I put it in the fridge overnight.

Laura Bruner: It’s just in a bowl covered. Um, and then the next day I pull it out, let it get to room temp, and then I shape it into three smaller pizza ball dough balls. And then it’s, it’s so simple, really. I mean that, like, I think about how much money we’ve saved, Sourdough has been very game changing for us and it feels like Russ and I were actually laughing today cuz we, we don’t really fit into any mold or group and we’re kind of proud of that because we’re like a little bit homemaker and like homesteading with , we grow our own food a lot when we can and we, you know, bake sourdough and all that.

Laura Bruner: But then we’re also like a little bit like, Meathead fitness people. 

Liz Wolfe: Yes. And your van people. And we’re van people. Yes. We had like, we 

Laura Bruner: just were laughing about that actually 

Liz Wolfe: this morning. So we also, digital nomad people. It’s, yeah, that’s, this is why I love you don’t 

Laura Bruner: wear an apron when I bake.

Liz Wolfe: And you do wear a bra sometimes, right? Sometimes. Sometimes, 

Laura Bruner: yeah. Not, no bras with. Like underwire. Underwire, 

Liz Wolfe: yes. It’s a hard No, we don’t do, I mean, that’s just like you just wanna maintain that lymph flow going, but this is why I love you so much because you, you are large and you contain multitudes.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, that means a lot. I feel that. And that’s, that’s a quote, by the way. I’m not calling you large. And even if it were, it wouldn’t matter. It’d be fine. 

Laura Bruner: It’d 

Liz Wolfe: be fine. It’s fine. It would not be a pejorative. It would, it would just be a descriptor. 

Laura Bruner: Yeah. Okay. I’ll take it. Okay. What else? Largest is 

Liz Wolfe: in your, what else is in your sourdough guide?

Liz Wolfe: Because now I know I need to do it and I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna do it because? Because I’m gonna do it, 

Laura Bruner: but what else am I gonna find in there? 

Laura Bruner: So we’ve got sourdough pancakes, sourdough English muffins. An option for sourdough waffles from the pancake banner. There’s burger buns, there’s pizza crusts, there’s sourdough tortillas, there’s um, bread pudding, croutons crackers.

Laura Bruner: Three kinds of four kinds of pie. A full moon cake that we make every full moon. I know I’m missing things for sure, but that’s, those are the main ones that come 

Liz Wolfe: to mind. So with the starter, like how, how much can you make, uh, one, like, it sounds like you’re making sourdough stuff all the time, but how long does it take the starter to recover?

Liz Wolfe: Just a couple 

Laura Bruner: hours. So I, you know, around the holidays. Yeah, especially, and also you can kind of play with it. So if I, if I wanna feed it at night and use it in the morning, like make it, make it take a long time to get ready, I just do more flour than water so that it’s thicker and it takes more time for that to like the starter, basically to eat all that extra flour.

Laura Bruner: So then it’ll be ready in the morning. But let’s say I, like, I just, let’s say I just used it and I wanna use it again in an hour or two, three hours, depending on the temperature. , I would do equal parts flour and water. So it’s a wetter. TE consistency. There’s less food. It’s gonna get pumped up faster.

Laura Bruner: You could also like put it in your oven with the light on. That’ll speed it up. You know, heat speeds things up, cold speeds, cool, speeds things down, slows things down. So like around the holidays. And so I’ve been doing actually, um, I just launched an in-person workshop and so I, you know, I had 10 women coming and each them needed their own jar of starter that they were gonna go home with, that I had to provide.

Laura Bruner: So that required, like really beefing it up and then moving it to multiple jars and then feeding those multiple jars. But, It just keeps, I said that was, my starter’s name is Willow and I said that she had a litter. Cuz then, you know, it’s like, it just keeps, it keeps growing. Now each one of them could go share their starter with somebody that they love.

Laura Bruner: And I just think, and everyone like Renames theirs. My friend Melissa renamed hers, she has Willow but she named it Branch. Um, I know from the, there’s a Primrose, I think, and a, there’s, uh, a Phoebe, a bunch of different names came from that workshop. It’s been so fun. 

Liz Wolfe: So fun. So you can sort of expand and contract based on, like, if you’re in a season where you’re using a ton of it, you can just kind of blow it up. Mm-hmm. Make, make a big one. And then if there’s a time that it’s just a little bit less, like what do you, keep it small and just kind of keep it alive?

Laura Bruner: Yeah, we, I have my same jar. It’s about this big, I don’t know, people are gonna be able to see me, but, , and when we travel, I just feed it, discard some, feed it and just put it in the fridge. And I’ve left it in there for, you know, two plus weeks and then come home. And then you just, there might be a little , I don’t know, what’s it called, the alcohol that you can kind of just brew in your basement.

Laura Bruner: Like moonshine, like a little moonshine on top. You just ditch that and then refeed it and it’ll wake right back up.,you don’t wanna just let it keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger though, because unless you’re gonna be using it, because the bigger it gets, then the more, as far as like feeding the ratio would become it would, you would just need to feed it way more to keep it growing.

Laura Bruner: So you always wanna discard some also helps with the pH balance, which , I know this is probably way more up your alley. I imagine you’d get in there and research . What’s potentially, what’s like, what’s the exact pH and the balance and everything, and I just 

Liz Wolfe: literally do it. And that’s why I feel overwhelmed.

Liz Wolfe: Just, just don’t have 

Laura Bruner: starter. Ok. You don’t have to do any of that. You just, and I don’t measure, I measure my loaves, but even then I’m like, eh, 10 grams over here, five grams under there. It’s, again, it’s, it’s all good and it’s all experimenting. We learned from. Doing it. A lot of it by feel that we like a, a lower hydration loaf, which is gonna mean fewer of the big air pockets cuz we make sandwiches.

Laura Bruner: And if you’ve got some big air pockets, then the avocado and the hummus, it’s like all over your hands. Um, and you can just, you can play around with ratios to get the, the crumb. You know, that’s like, that’s what the looks like when you cut it open to decide to kind of determine what that’s gonna be like.

Laura Bruner: You can play around different flours and it’s. It’s really fun and again, very rare that something’s gonna come out of your oven. Barring it, be barring it being completely raw that you won’t actually like it all tastes good. Just put butter and sea salt on whatever comes out, and I promise you’ll like it.

Liz Wolfe: That’s the thing, man. And I feel like every time we order one of those loaves, it’s gone. In a day because you just, you wanna just, it feels so, I always think of myself like in a Jane Austin book, packing a picnic and just tearing off apic. I don’t know why Jane Austen comes to mind, cuz I don’t know that that would actually happen in that, that genre.

Liz Wolfe: But just tearing off a chunk of bread and having a chunk of cheese and a chunk of butter and just going somewhere and just bringing that and, and you’re, it’s just, there’s something romantic about it. 

Laura Bruner: Yeah. All my friends know when we have Mama hangs or whatever, wherever we had a. Spring Equinox bonfire at the camp, local camp, uh, nearby campground on Sunday.

Laura Bruner: And they always, I’m always gonna show up with a giant loaf of sourdough focaccia. I bring that and I bring cheese and I bring prosciutto and everyone just , it’s gone real quick. And that’s, and I bring those to my workshops and stuff. It’s just, it’s nice having a thing in my back pocket that I can do with my, almost, with my eyes closed and just bring it places and share.

Laura Bruner: It’s I get to share the sourdough love, like on social media and, and, you know, workshops and whatnot, but, But like actually bringing the thing and watching people eat it and enjoy it. I can’t tell you how much of a love language that is for me. I’m not good at gift giving. It’s not, that’s not, definitely not my language, but like sa sourdough sharing is very much so it’s, there’s something incredibly um, cut feeling about that.

Laura Bruner: Very, very, I love that. Very awesome. Yeah. 

Liz Wolfe: Well, if you ever need to give me a gift, I’ll tell you sourdough or. Money or a Lululemon gift. Certifi, which is basically money. That’s it. I, I don’t like receiving gifts. 

Laura Bruner: I find you know, no, the expectation of like, you gotta make sure that you respond in an appropriate way.

Laura Bruner: Yes. And so we’re pretty adamant, this is a tangent, but when it comes to holidays and stuff, if family, we never like FaceTime the gift opening for our kids or anything like that because , I don’t want them to feel that, that I felt for so long they have to react a certain way or fake it, um, to please somebody else.

Laura Bruner: What message is that Sharing showing? Yes. Yes. Oh, 

Liz Wolfe: I couldn’t agree more. We could do a whole episode probably on that, that alone, well, what I just wanted you to do is I’ve asked my questions and now I want you to describe like the sourdough sisterhood and everything that you’re doing with that in your own words, because I’m sure I’ve missed something.

Laura Bruner: All right. Well, it started from, the reason why I’ve actually trademarked sourdough Sisterhood is because it started from a sisterhood. Like I got into sourdough because my friend Ashley gifted me some of her starter, whose name was Sage, is Sage, her starter Sage. And then my friends like Jenna, two different friends named Jenna.

Laura Bruner: Um, really just kind of like helped me to understand the process better and the, the reasons why, you know, coming from a. In many ways, like a food fear background and a food fear. Like years of worrying about what I ate and becoming in many ways. Like, I don’t know that I was like orthodox. I don’t think it needs a label, but I had issues around eating certain foods and having, you know, put them in different camps of good and bad.

Laura Bruner: Um, because of what I heard on the internet, not necessarily because of I was tuning in deeply to my body and I know there are people who can’t eat sourdough. All that to say started from a sisterhood of these incredible friends, especially when we were traveling around the country. You know, one of the Jenna’s lived in Tennessee on this farm, and they made us all this incredible sourdough food.

Laura Bruner: We ate sourdough bagels and tortillas. My other friend Jenna, lives in California and whenever we’d go visit, she’d have these loaves ready. And so I just started to realize, like when I’d eat these things and feel the love from the friends or sisters chosen family who had made them for me, I was like, there’s something to this and I feel really good after I eat it.

Laura Bruner: Like, I feel fine. Um, and so I was like, I wanna do this myself. And then I just narrowly just like with the van, Uh, sourdough is similar in that I just like narrowly beat, for lack of a better word, the really like hype mode of that thing. It’s like we got a van and lived in it before it became super, super cool.

Laura Bruner: Yeah. And then we, I started sourdough in like really getting into it and actually wrote and published my guide in, I think it was, it was like wintertime just before covid hit and then everyone started baking. Sourdoughs the same thing. Like I kind of lucked out in that. You know, it’s now, it’s been three years plus, and I’m not, I wouldn’t call myself an expert baker as you, I couldn’t even tell you the specifics around the pH, but I do it with love and I share my journey and I share like what works for me and, and how I make it work into my life.

Laura Bruner: And I think that’s why people have. Found what I’m sharing to be useful. So it started from a sisterhood. That’s where Sour came from. I did a bunch of virtual workshops over Covid that were so fun. Um, and then from there I created my recipe book. The Sourdough Sisterhood Book recipe book is just called Sour Sisterhood with a bunch of disc card recipes.

Laura Bruner: And that, you know, I started selling that as an ebook through like a Google document now. And then I went, I made a video tutorial. Started an Etsy shop. I now have like a starter kit with like your bread basket, your banin bread basket and scoring blade and scraper, and a tea towel, like a sourdough sisterhood, tea towel.

Liz Wolfe: I just love a tea towel. I know, 

Laura Bruner: yeah. And so now I’ve got that going. And then I, I made a holiday book that sold really well. I had to bundle with that and, a sourdough sisterhood ornament. And then I have just my, my book and now I sell them in hard copies as well.

Laura Bruner: , and just, I just, I don’t really, it’s not like it’s a huge money maker. It’s not this, You know, it’s, it’s a passion project and I love sharing it. And I actually, my sister and I, I wrote a kid’s book as well. , it’s like how Evie comes to understand sourdough through a dream where all these forest animals are showing her the process and my sister illustrated it.

Laura Bruner: And so all this stuff is in my Etsy shop and it’s. See what I get the most fulfillment out of is seeing people who are like, I get a message from this sixty year old woman who has now baking with her daughters and her granddaughters, and just seeing people share that love and then also hearing stories about people who.

Laura Bruner: Had similar fear of eating certain foods. Um, and we’re kind of stuck in that dogma who have found that same freedom. And I just, I love it so much. I love feeding my family with these foods and baking ourselves. And then I love to travel, so see, it’s like a fun kind of, I. Gauge of where we go and, and things and things to look for and conversation starter.

Laura Bruner: And then you get to meet this waitress who then tells you to eat at this place, who also goes sourdough. And, um, it’s really fun. So plus it’s just so delicious. It’s so good. 

Liz Wolfe: It is so delicious. I mean, what better, what better thing when you can make. Money, and I know it’s not about the money, but when you can make a living mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: In whole, in part from something that is so enriching to your family. And so just like enriching to your soul, it’s like, it’s just such a no-brainer. It’s just like the best thing ever. 

Laura Bruner: A hundred percent. And I have all these pictures and videos of me, like shaping lows with indie. She’s always been like a tummy baby.

Laura Bruner: So her on the counter, laying on her tummy, looking into the bowl as I’m stretching and folding. And they both are like, you know, wearing ’em in the, in the solely baby wrap. Uh, just having her such a part of the journey and now she mostly just. Eats the butter off the bread. But I know I do a couple circle and what a vessel too.

Laura Bruner: Like, you know, you can, you get all your super foods, like your liver plates and stuff on bread or your raw cheeses and there’s, it’s such a, I always think about it that way too. The sandwiches I eat every day, I mean, All the goodness between two pieces of bread. And I feel way better eating a sandwich than I do a big bowl of greens.

Laura Bruner: So if you’re in like a salad, if you feel like you need to eat salad every day and your digestion is a mess, that was me and I sure do feel better eating this fermented bread loaded with. Super nutrient dense things. Mm. 

Liz Wolfe: I love that. And the girls will, I mean, they’ll, they’ll tell their kids about, mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: Like, my mom always made sourdough with us. And it, it’s just, it has a resonance that goes way beyond It totally is what we’re doing right now. 

Laura Bruner: Just connection to food in a society that’s really lost that connection in so many ways. And I picture Indie Baking with Willow, and she’d be like, this starter is older than me.

Laura Bruner: You know, like, that’s just so cool. I mean, it’s so fun to think about. Oh my 

Liz Wolfe: gosh. The another thing that’s really cool is that. It, is it, the way you describe it, I’m a lot less intimidated. Good. Now that we’ve had this conversation, and, you know, I’m not a, I’m not a cook.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t love cooking. I wasn’t raised to do all kinds of cooking, and so for me, cooking is really intimidating. I mean, how to throw ingredients together and make it work. I just, I can’t, that’s not, that’s not me. That’s not how I operate. I, I wanna cook more and I work on it. I have some recipes that I make repeatedly, but it’s.

Liz Wolfe: It’s hard. It’s like a mental, it’s a whole mental exercise and it can be kind of exhausting sometimes, especially when you make something and nobody wants to eat it. Oh, that’s hard. But this is, this is like a one ingredient thing. I mean, it’s a few ingredient thing and it sounds pretty darn foolproof.

Liz Wolfe: And I, I’m so much, when I think of it that way, I am so much less intimidated. Cuz even if I made a really crappy bolognese, if we could dip some sourdough in it with butter a hundred percent, no 

Laura Bruner: problem. Well like take some ground beef and some like a couple cans of stew tomatoes, I’d throw some salt nerves and we just like cook that.

Laura Bruner: It’s not even a bolognese. It’s like about as cheap as easy and simple. I mean, that’s meat sauce. That’s just meat sauce, meat sauce. And then you get some focaccia in there. Nobody cares and it’s so good. And also on the like cost front, if you’re paying $8 for a loaf, I buy the double pack of two giant bags of organic, high quality, all-purpose flour, huge bags for $12 at Costco.

Laura Bruner: And that gets me so many loafs. So many loafs only needs water and sea salt. 

Liz Wolfe: So you’re just doing the cost straight up the Costco flour and it’s like the culture, the, , the starter is doing the job of, it has 

Laura Bruner: to be organic and it has to be unbleached. Mm-hmm. So that’s what I used to feed and that’s what, if I was just gonna do like a whole bunch of loaves, I would just do all-purpose white.

Laura Bruner: But, , we buy, we have a local farm called, It’s a Finfin River, which where recipe work, it’s a cery and they also now have an organic grainery and so I buy their whole Spelts and I do a lot of e corn too. But the basic, I always tell everybody either start with just a organic all purpose, , because it’s way easier and then you can kind of experiment from there.

Laura Bruner: It’s just a good that and bread, flours. Even more foolproof, cuz it has a lot higher gluten content. And is 

Liz Wolfe: that just cuz it’s less expensive? Like why you would use just an organic whatever, like you wouldn’t feed it with spelt or you wouldn’t feed it with einkorn? 

Laura Bruner: Um, einkorn starter is almost impossible to keep alive.

Laura Bruner: And I know people are listening and they’re like, I, I, I did, I didn’t like it. 

Liz Wolfe: Um, it’s if you’re listening and you’re acting like that, go take a warm bath and calm down. 

Laura Bruner: Uh, yeah. I just, it’s, it’s easier. It’s significantly easier. All purpose. Is it all purpose? So it’s like, it’s really good for everything.

Laura Bruner: If you’re unsure and you’re feeling like you just wanna get going and you want it to work, because I, I started baking with Einkorn and so I had a bunch of people following me and they all started baking with Einkorn. I got all these fun videos and in stories that were just like this goopy mess cuz iron corn’s sticky and it’s way wetter.

Laura Bruner: Different flours have different protein contents and gluten contents and they’re just gonna work different. And so from experience, all purpose is the easiest to work with that. And bread flour. Um, but you gotta go organic, which I love because if you, it’s one of the questions to ask, like if you ask and you find out that whatever this place is baking is in fact real sourdough, even if they don’t say organic, you know, that that flour has not been sprayed because sprayed flour, sprayed wheat will not, um, it won’t work.

Laura Bruner: Because it’s lost all the good stuff. Wow. Interesting. Like it won’t, it won’t ferment. Mm-hmm. It won’t, it won’t do its thing. It would need, it would need an additional ingredient. It would like, need an actual yeast added because the wild yeast can’t they, they can’t survive in a dead flour that’s been sprayed with Roundup.

Laura Bruner: Fascinating. So I love that. Like our local bakery, they don’t use organic. They’re, cuz they, they’ve used like shepherd’s grain, which they haven’t paid for the organic label, but it’s not sprayed. And so we feel really, and we know because they, they, it’s fermented. So we can, we can eat it and not worry about it.

Laura Bruner: Um, I don’t, I don’t wanna round up in my kids or in my body, no. 

Liz Wolfe: Well, the, is the spelt the same way? 

Laura Bruner: I would say if you can find an all-purpose spell, an all-purpose, more of like a white spell. , that isn’t the whole grain anything. Whole grain’s gonna be denser when you bake it.

Laura Bruner: , it’s gonna be potentially a little bit stickier. Rusty pressed and, and made the tortillas today while I was working and he is like, next time I’m gonna do the one I do the pressing. Can you use all purpose? Because it’s like, it’s just harder to work with in general, like stickier. Potentially crumb or for a tortilla.

Laura Bruner: Um, but I love the taste. So typically what I end up doing is a 50 50 einkorn and white or a f or like a two-thirds e corn, one-third white. I, I combine flours a lot to make it somewhere to kind of meet everybody in the middle. 

Liz Wolfe: I’ll figure all that stuff out as I go. Percent.

Laura Bruner: I don’t have to know that right now. You know where to find me. I would say just if you’re gonna do anything, get some starter, some all-purpose organic, all-purpose flour, a little bit of seas salt, probably have water, use filtered water. I’ve seen a number of starters die because of using hard water or oh, whatever.

Laura Bruner: So filtered water. Ideally we use our Berkey and, and. That’s just start there and try a couple loaves. I make half loaves. I’d use like half my pots smaller, so, you know, if I, if it is a flop, it’s not, it’s not that much to toss again, it’s still gonna taste good. , but we do just half loaves so that we can, it never goes stale.

Laura Bruner: We eat them very quickly. 

Liz Wolfe: I feel really lucky that I have your contact information. It’s, I can have to literally just reach out anytime that I want. Anytime. 

Laura Bruner: I would be so happy to answer questions if it fills my cup. Oh 

Liz Wolfe: my gosh. Okay. Will you just say, I’ll have this in the, in the introduction as well, but just to reiterate it here at the end where everybody can find all this.

Liz Wolfe: Um, I’m on 

Laura Bruner: Instagram, Laura dot Radical Roots. My website is my radical And then all the sourdough stuff you could find if you go to my radical But, if you are on Instagram and you watch even like three stories, you’ll probably see something with a link to something.

Laura Bruner: I’d talk about sourdough a lot and it’s all in my, it’s all there in the bio too. But yeah, Laura dot Radical Roots on Instagram and I share like a lot of. Sourdough Q and a there a lot of reels with like, like you were talking about the einkorn once and quick tips on how to bake with einkorn, that kind of thing.

Laura Bruner: Um, it’s that it’s outdoor times. It’s, you know, mind mindful motherhood, all the, all the fun things, but a lot of sourdough, 

Liz Wolfe: all that life. Motherhood and a lot of sourdough. A lot of sourdough. Yeah. I like it. It permeates everything. It does. Anything else we should tell people? Um, 

Laura Bruner: If you’re intimidated, I’m not gonna tell you don’t be because you get to feel however you feel.

Laura Bruner: But there’s a fun empowerment in like sense of, uh, I dunno, gra it’s very gratifying to cut open that first loaf and you can do it, I promise. I promise you can do it. Feel your feelings. Feel your feelings, and then do it anyways. 

Liz Wolfe: I love that. Well, you’re my favorite. I love when I get to talk to you, so thank you.

Liz Wolfe: It’s such a for coming up. It’s sweet. I’ve talked to you about, , van Life. I’ve talked to you about sourdough. We’re gonna have to come up with something else for the next one. You just, you tell me. 

Laura Bruner: Yeah, maybe. Don’t have to. I’ll, I’ll think on that. Yeah, 

Liz Wolfe: yeah. Think on that. Maybe we move into like level two of sourdough, like level whatever of Ji Jiu-Jitsu.

Liz Wolfe: Maybe there’s like the next level, like you make a Gillette, like you said. Yeah. 

Laura Bruner: I’ll walk you through a Gillette. That’s actually significantly easier than Brad even, but we’ll get there. Well shoot. Ty is so easy. It’s gonna be great. Can’t wait. 

Liz Wolfe: All right. Thanks, Fred. All right. I’ll see you in your van. All right. 

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