As many people learned during the quarantine-baking craze of spring 2020, a sourdough starter is a living thing. That means it eats, grows, and—in at least one case—celebrates birthdays.
As Wales Online reports, Hobbs House Bakery in England recently threw a birthday party for its 65-year-old sourdough starter. The starter—which consists of wild yeast fed by a mixture of rye flour and water—was gifted to a Hobbs House baker in 1955 after arriving in England via Germany.
Since then, the bakery has nourished the starter with fresh flour and water daily to keep it alive for decades. Every sourdough loaf baked on the premises comes from the culture. It's also well-traveled: Hobbs House sells samples of the starter to customers, so they can make their own sourdough at home. Thanks to the recent bread-baking trend, they've shipped hundreds of jars.
To show their appreciation for the starter's contributions to the business, bakery employees celebrated its 65th birthday on June 19. The party included decorations, cupcakes, and party hats. "Unlike most she will not be retiring at this age," the Instagram post announcing the occasion read, "she will be working for many more decades to come rising an infinite amount of magnificent loaves."
Reaching age 65 is impressive for a sourdough starter, but not unheard of. With the proper care, the same yeast culture can live for more than a century.
[h/t Wales Online]