food for thought

by michelle


with one comment

My very own home-grown sourdough is finally working!


I don’t make bread every day so I’ve been cultivating my sourdough starter for quite a while. There are a myriad of recipes out there for sourdough starter but I decided to make it the old-fashioned way so I used only flour (unbleached organic) and water (spring). First you need a container which holds 2-4 cups and is not airtight as it needs to breathe and the wild yeast needs to get in there. A plastic tub with a hole punched in the lid will do the job. Combine 100g (3½ oz) each of flour and water into a paste and leave it for a day (in a warm climate) or two (in winter). When you see some bubbles in the starter throw out most of it as otherwise there will be too many competing strains of yeast. Feed it again and repeat this process every day or two and the starter will bubble more easily and will be fermented enough to smell the alcoholic smell of lactic bacteria and taste the sourness. If you don’t use it now, throw most of it away and leave just a little in the container and keep it in the fridge where it will remain dormant.


One day before using your sourdough take it out of the fridge. To make 1 cup of starter feed it 120g (4¼ oz) each of flour and warm water. It will rise to double the size and eventually collapse again. When it’s risen or after it collapses add 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and enough warm water to make the dough quite moist without being sticky. Allow it to rise overnight at room temperature (wild yeast doesn’t seem to like too much heat). Place a dutch oven or heavy casserole pot with a lid in the oven and preheat your oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Place the dough onto a floured surface and gently shape it into a ball, making sure the dough is floured all over. Drop it into the hot pot and cook covered for 20 minutes then uncovered for a further 20 minutes. You should have a crusty and delicious bread.

•For your first few loaves the sourdough will add good flavour to your bread but might not be strong enough to make it rise. Just add 1 teaspoon of yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar to the mix until the sourdough is growing more quickly.

• For a rye loaf replace 2 cups of white flour with 2 cups of pure rye flour and 1 tablespoon of gluten.


Written by michelle picker

October 20, 2014 at 5:55 am

One Response

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  1. […] of time. The olives pictured here are homegrown and the antipasti were served with crunchy homemade sourdough […]

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