117. profile: sour somerville

what if we told you there was a way to have delicious, freshly-baked sourdough delivered in-person to your door? thanks to nicole hogarty's newest project sour somerville, this is a reality for those of us lucky enough to live in the somerville/cambridge area (she delivers via car and mail for those who live farther away). nicole is passionate about all things creative and has perfected the art of making beautifully-textured and ultra flavorful sourdough since focusing her talents on breadmaking. we spent some time baking and sampling (mostly sampling) her expertly-honed recipe. we also got some insight into her love of delivering comfort one bread bomb at a time:

what are some unexpected everyday sources of inspiration? 
i consider myself a special kind of sponge. i write down daydreams and imaginings all the time. an unpleasant group of people could be named, 'the evangelical ministers of misery', i call bread photos 'bread porn'. i have a lot of fun playing with the world around me.

what is your favorite time of day to create? 
whenever i am able to... i always want more time. i tend to do my best thinking in the morning or very late at night, though. during the day, i'm just sort of a work-horse.

favorite or most inspirational place? 
on my bike. there's a reason why i deliver bread on my bike.

has baking always been an important part of your life? 
not really, i discovered baking when i was living in portland, maine and there were some pretty brutal winters. baking evoked a restorative sense of 'hygge' or deep comfort.

what is it about sourdough that makes it so special? 
sourdough is actually a wild yeast culture that needs to be fed and tended to regularly. the act of feeding and building bread in which you make something 'new' with something 'old' resonates with me on a basic creative level.

what prompted you to start sour somerville? 
we really couldn't keep enough fresh bread in the house! the solution was to make bread, but i wanted the bread to be really, really good. when the bread was really good, i wanted to figure out how to share more of it and how to make more of it.

we love your community-focus and the offer to deliver 'by bike, foot, car or mail'. do you get to do a lot of in-person deliveries? 
that is primarily what i do. it's really quite fun to bring bread to people at their jobs and homes. doorbells, doormen and doorwomen are a major part of this project. it is so fun to deliver fresh bread.

how do you see sour somerville growing and evolving? 
i want to design tools to teach people how to bake their own bread. being capable of making things for yourself is something worth sharing.

what is the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given? 
to continue working through a design even when i see there are flaws. i am capable of being a perfectionist to the point of stasis. you have to continue making mistakes if you're going to learn anything.

what is the best piece of creative advice you have to give? 
use your creative impulse to solve problems for yourself and your friends.

order your very own bread bombing at nicole's website.

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