Hi! Welcome to my blog. I am a major foodie, with a haphazard cooking philosophy, currently making that transition from cooking and baking for friends and family to 'wonder if I could make this my career'. Follow me for recipes, the outcomes of a few experiments, and general lovely foodiness. Opinions, reviews and recommendations are all my own.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Simple Sourdough Loaf, and Episode Four of Bread

My sourdough journey has been somewhat bumpy, to say the least, and it has kind of derailed my mission to follow and bake from each episode of Paul Hollywood's TV series 'Bread' as the two weeks it took me to cultivate my sourdough starter meant that the series had ended before I got chance to turn the oven on...

That being said, I think it is fair to say that if Paul's mission was as he said to get the British baking bread, he has certainly succeeded with me - if I put half the amount of effort that I have taken in researching, practising, debating and fine-tuning my sourdough into my day-to-day life, I'd be some sort of multi-millionaire genius by now! 

I've documented the trials and tribulations I experienced actually cultivating my sourdough starter (Gizmo II) here, and am pleased to report that he is now healthy and residing on the bottom shelf of the fridge so that he only has to be fed once a week. When it came to making my sourdough loaf, I used Paul's recipe, which you can find on the BBC website here, and made just a few changes;

Gizmo II and my already well worn copy of 'Bread'
  • I used half the amount stated of strong white flour, and made up the rest with rye flour, as I wanted the rye flavour
  • As I don't have a banneton or proving basket, I liberally floured a mixing bowl, and used that to get my shape
Sourdough proving in a mixing bowl for shape
  • I used a mix of strong flour and semolina to dust the baking sheet and the top of the loaf to prevent it from spreading outwards when baking. 
Dusted with flour and semolina and ready to bake

I was really pleased with the texture and taste of my sourdough, I'd never actually tasted one before, so didn't know what to expect, but it reminded me a little of the real ales that my Dad used to drink, quite a hoppy smell and taste. I can tell you that it was absolutely divine, both on it's own, and topped with scrambled eggs and grilled tomatoes for breakfast! Mmm... 

My finished sourdough loaf, fresh from the oven


  1. Looks really good - I haven't tried a rye sourdough yet (only white), as I'm a bit put off by how 'dense' they are - but the texture of yours looks great and not heavy. :)

    1. Thank's Sue, I think because I used half and half it had all the flavour from the rye, and yet still rose like white. :-)

  2. That looks perfect. Glad you got the starter sorted. I had two, but gave up on the wheat one as it needed refreshing too often. My rye is much more robust and if I feel like making a wheat sourdough I can just use that - at least that's the theory, I haven't actually tried it.

    1. definitely! do you keep your starter in the fridge? I had all manner of problems with the wheat starter,but my rye one has worked like a dream :-)


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