This strange and uncertain time of lockdown has seen our lives change in unprecedented ways. But this time has also seen the emergence of new ways to spend our time when it comes to entertainment. Whether it’s binging the unbelievable docu-series, Tiger King, signing up for TikTok, or taking part in Zoom quizzes, we’ve all been kept quite busy. But there are also activities that have seen us striving for some self-improvement. People have picked up paintbrushes and created works of art, some have started learning a new language, and others have exercised their green fingers by growing vegetables for themselves and their community. But one activity, in particular, has enjoyed a little more attention than the rest — baking. By now it’s no secret that people the world over have been filling their time by filling their kitchens with the mouth-watering smell of baked goods. Like most of us, I’m sure your Instagram feed has been filled with a bounty of snaps of perfectly baked banana bread, beautifully whipped up Dalgona coffee, and, of course, a good ol’ loaf of bread. Bread making in all its delightful shapes and forms has experienced a huge spike in interest over the last couple of months. It’s an incredibly rewarding endeavor, but it can also be a little intimidating. Luckily for us, there are some tantalizing podcasts dedicated to all things baking that are here to lend us a helping hand. From helping us understand the science of bread making to recipes of delicious treats, and even a show solely dedicated to the ever-popular sourdough loaf, these podcasts are simply the best things since, well, sliced bread!
1. Stella Culinary School
First up on the table we have Stella Culinary School. If you’ve watched every episode of Masterchef, your kitchen shelves are lined with all top cookbooks, and you dream about cooking like a true professional chef, this is the podcast for you! Hosted by Chef Jacob Burton, a fully-fledged executive chef, this podcast features instructional style episodes that unpack professional-level cooking techniques in an “achievable-at-home” fashion. There are also fascinating interviews with culinary experts from every field, including other top chefs, cookbook authors, winemakers, brewers, and coffee roasters, to name but a few. It truly is a foodie delight! And while the episodes cover all sorts of delicious topics, for the purpose of this list, you should check out episodes 18 (The Four Pillars of Bread) through to 22 (Let’s Bake Some Sour Dough) which specifically focus on all things bread. Once you’ve listened to these, you can also head over to the website where you’ll find informative videos to help you further perfect your bread-making skills. With all this guidance, you’ll be turning out some super impressive loaves in no time!
2. The Sourdough Podcast
Now to focus on the one bread that has received more attention than any other during this time of quarantine…the sourdough! Sourdough from scratch is a serious business, with the creation of your own sourdough starter an adventure in itself! You have to feed it and water it, and some even name theirs! (The best name for a starter I’ve heard to date is Clint Yeastwood! Brilliant, right?) It should really come as no surprise that there is a podcast dedicated solely to this craft. So if you’ve fallen in love with everything about this fermented wonder, then you should definitely check out The Sourdough Podcast. More about the beauty behind the art, this show features inspiring conversations from leaders and innovators throughout the sourdough community. You’ll get to hear the stories behind the bakers, authors, growers, millers, artists, and other creative minds that will spark your culinary creativity and inspire you in your home baking adventures. Not only are the interviews super informative and full of wise baking gems, but the conversational style also makes for a really fun listen. You’ll reap some amazing advice from the guests as they really dig deep and examine their bread-making process. You’ll love hearing the stories behind the bread, and learning from these world-class bakers. Through listening to these episodes, you’ll find yourself plunged into a wonderful bread-making community with whom you can share the joys and the struggles of striving for the perfect loaf. It will truly give you a fresh appreciation for the sourdough and it’s just a really inspiring and encouraging listen.
3. Short Wave: The Science of Making Bread
Okay, so this isn’t technically a whole podcast dedicated to bread making, but it’s definitely worth the listen! Short Wave is brought to us by NPR and is a science-centered show for everyone. It’s got heaps of creativity, sprinkled with humor, and unravels discoveries and mysteries — all in about 10 minutes, with a new episode coming out every day. Baking bread is basically science experiment, so of course, there’s an episode all about bread. So if all you want is a quick lesson to help you understand the science involved in getting the perfect rise, then check out the episode, The Science of Making Bread. In this episode host, Maddie Sofia is joined by chemist Patricia Christie who explains the science that makes bread-baking possible. You’ll get tons of helpful tips to really amp up your baking skills, but you’ll also get some comforting emotional support for if and when things don’t go exactly according to the recipe. If you just want a quick run-through to get you up and running in the kitchen, this is the one for you.
4. Modernist BreadCrumbs
The Modernist BreadCrumbs is another great podcast focused bread – one of the oldest staples of the human diet. This special series is hosted by Nathan Myhrvold, founder of Modernist Cuisine, head chef Francisco Migoya, and cookbook author and food photographer Michael Harlan Turkell as they explore every nook and cranny of the world of bread. From the food source itself to the grains, tools, as well as the microbes used to make this wonder, the science of bread making is explored to the nth degree. The show also looks at the discoveries and techniques surrounding bread making, as well as some great interviews with the scientists and bakers who are shaping the future of bread. There’s also a great unraveling of the history of bread, and you’ll get a better understanding of all things wheat and grain-related – which is really insightful as they have had a bit of a bad rap in recent years. But this podcast doesn’t stop there! There are some eye-opening deep dives into the microbial world, explorations of heritage grains, and all types of bread. There’s also a fascinating investigation of just how bread intersects with all sorts of culture and tradition that weaves its way throughout the series. Whether you love eating bread or making it, or both, this podcast is for you. And if you love a good pun, then you’ll have an extra dose of love for this show! It’s got loaves of bread puns and fun wordplays – you definitely dough not want to miss this one!
5. Preheated Baking Podcast
Number 5 on our list makes the cut mainly for serving up scrumptious baked goods, but also because some tasty bread recipes often show up in the mix. The Preheated Baking Podcast is hosted by home bakers Andrea Ballard and Stefin Kohn, and together, they take listeners on wondrous trips through their kitchens as they share audio tidbits about what they are currently baking. They open-handedly share their baking recipes and generously dish out their combined hard-won kitchen wisdom. They also give you plenty of opportunities to laugh! Andrea and Stefin are warm and welcoming – you’ll feel like you’re right there in the kitchen with them – and they’ll quickly become your baking best friends! Some top bread-centric episodes we can highly recommend are Episode 180: Shokupan Japanese Fluffy White Bread, (yum!) Ep 141: Cocoa Swirled Banana Bread (you know banana bread had to feature somewhere!) as well as Ep 159: Pecan Sticky Buns (okay, so not technically bread, but definitely delicious! And there’s yeast involved, so we definitely think it counts!) But every episode is filled with so much yummy goodness, bread-based or not, that you’ll find you just can’t help but get up and recreate these recipes in your own kitchen. Andrea and Stefin are wonderfully down to earth, sharing their flops as easily as they share their successes, and you’ll feel inspired to just have some delicious fun in the kitchen.
6. The Bread Cast
Hosted by amateur baker Joe Saunders, The Bread Cast is a feel-good, full-of-fun podcast focused on all things bread. While it doesn’t have nearly enough episodes (only eight to be exact), and there hasn’t been a new episode in quite some time, the episodes that are available are jam-packed of solid information, full of flavor and belly laughs, and just pure entertainment. If you love podcasts, bread, and baking, you simply can’t go wrong with The Bread Cast. Joe is by no means a professional, but his passion for his hobby shines through the speakers and he draws you in so effectively that you’ll feel like you can almost take the delicious baked goods he serves up in each episode. The enthusiasm for baking brought by Joe and his vast array of guests is contagious, and you’ll no doubt find yourself in the kitchen more than ever after listening to just one episode. This is just a wonderfully loving, warm-hearted, fun show, and Joe is a wonderfully kind, genuine host. You’ll love the journey he takes you on as he explores his passion for baking all types of bread further, and you’ll gain so much from all his knowledgable guests. The show is very much all about bread, but it’s also about so much more. Each episode is full of heart and is a treat for the ears, but it will very quickly have you whipping up treats of the edible kind too.
There you have it, our top picks of stand-out podcasts celebrating the delicious art of bread making. And by now it should be clear that the baking of the perfect loaf of bread is both a totally do(ugh)able activity and a most-rewarding endeavor. Whether you choose to tackle a simple farm loaf or flatbread, bagels or cinnamon buns, or if you’ve set your sights on the revered sourdough, any one of these podcasts would be the perfect companion as you dive into your own bowl of dough. And while it can be a little intimidating trying something new, with the world slowly emerging from its standstill, now is the perfect time to try your hand at something you’ve never tried before, you simply to hone and perfect the skills you already have. So if you’re getting a little tired of spending your quarantine simply loafing around, we hope these podcasts inspire you to rise to the occasion and try your hand at some good old-fashioned bread making.