White Sourdough – Week 9

What is all the fuss with Sourdough?

The cost of buying Sourdough Starter

85g of 35 year old Cumbria Wild Yeast Rye Sourdough Starter £4.69

Derbyshire Sourdough Starter £4.99 for 120g

San Fransisco Starter Dough £4.99 for 120g

Hobbs House Starter Dough £12

A sourdough Starter Kit (An empty jar, whisk and little packet) $20


I am going to open a blog shop. Although to be honest, if you read my previous post ‘Meet Boris’ all that is contained is

  1. Flour
  2. Water
  3. Honey
  4. Time

Its USP is that is is Wiltshire starter dough. Hope that’s good enough eh?

If you have not had a batch of heirloom sourdough passed down to you from your fore-mothers and fathers – it is simple to make! Follow the link! Here

So. Let’s think on a little about Wild Yeast. It is everywhere, in the flour, in the air, on the skin of a bunch of grapes…Wild yeast is a bit of a fusspot, a bit pernickity – it needs to have a sourdough medium to maintain itself. It prefers a cooler temperature and an acidic environment. It takes ages to prove working very slowly. The end result is gooood. Sturdier, chewier, crustier, more interesting and complex. You feel artisan and rustic when you eat it and it is enjoyable. My sourdough is a bit elusive – I have not taken the time to photograph it before eating it. Note to self: don’t be so greedy! In San Fransisco you buy Clam Chowder in hollowed out Sourdough bowls which you eat after the soup is gone. Imagine – hollow out the loaf, eat the centre, fill with soup, eat soup, eat bowl – the only washing up is the spoon! Kapiche!

So, Sourdough is not really mass produced. I saw some loaves on sale in a small Devizes Bakery £3:85 for a loaf. £3.85!

In America this is $5.03, in Australia £6.60, in Kenya 509:98 Kshs, in India 338:00 Rupees.

There are less ingredients in sourdough Bread than in a Chapati!

Go on – try making some. You could even start selling it!

Recipe – takes ages but tastes so good


1 ½ tsp salt

500g strong white flour

300ml warm water

150g white sourdough starter

Baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper

Roasting pan

  • In  a medium sized bowl combine the flour and salt. Then add the starter and water. Mix with a wooden spoon then your hands until it forms a dough. Leave it in a bowl and cover it for 10 minutes.
  • To knead: keep the dough in the bowl and stretch a portion up the from the side and press it down in the middle. turn the bowl slightly and repeat this process about 15 – 20 times. It will only take about 20 seconds and the dough will begin to resist. cover and leave it for 10 minutes.
  • Repeat this three more times. After the final kneading cover the bowl again and leave the bowl for an hour.
  • Lightly dust a work surface with flour. turn the dough out and shape it into a disc.
  • Lightly grease and then dust liberally with flour a round roasting tin/ deep cake tin.
  • Put the dough into the tin and let it settle. Dust liberally with some flour and leave, uncovered until it has doubled in size. This will take 3 – 6 hours.
  • About 20 minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 260°C/ 240°F Gas Mark 9. Place an empty roasting pan on the bottom of the oven.
  • When the dough is ready take a sharp pair of scissors and snip a circular pattern onto the surface of the loaf.
  • Boil the kettle and pour a cupful of boiling water into the empty roasting tin (to create steam and help you get a lovely crusty loaf) Carefully put the bread into the oven and lower the oven to 220°C/ 200°F Gas Mark 97.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. to check if it is done, tap the bottom – it should sound hollow. If it isn’t ready, cook for a few more minutes. cool on a wire rack.








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