Posts in sourdough
Grandpa Sol's Bagels - Sourdough 2.0

This week, we started our new Online Course: Everyday Sourdough: Level Two. It’s the inevitable next step from our first course - full of recipes that can be a bit more daunting to tackle on your own, but still great additions to your kitchen. I’ve spent the last few months working on the recipes and trying to find a good mix of challenging, but useful techniques and food I actually want to make and eat.

For those who haven’t ever taken a course with us, I wanted to give you a taste of what you can expect from a Gartur Stitch Farm online course, (oh and I wanted to share these bagels with the wider world because they are so amazing they shouldn’t be behind a paywall!!). Each recipe has a video, a downloadable recipe card, step by step photos and a super friendly Facebook group to ask any questions you may have!!

The course will cover sandwich loaves, pretzels, ciabatta and, my favourite, sourdough croissants…amongst many others. We will give our tips for working at higher hydrations and really get stuck into sourdough baking. I am soooo excited, but not as excited as my family to eat everything.

As I am uploading the course as we go through it this first time, I am offering a special discount for the month of October - £25 for the course (usually £45) or if you’ve never taken a course with us before, you can get Everyday Sourdough Level One 50% off if you buy it with Level Two. No code needed, just head over to the farm shop.

And now on to why you are really here… Grandpa Sol’s Bagels!!

Growing up, my favourite visits were to my Grandpa Goldin. He had a big garden, played the piano and used to make up songs to sing to me. I would tag along as he went about his day, garden centre, farm stands, and the inevitable stop at the Jewish deli for brunch. He would sit around talking to his pals and I would always order one of two things - Matzo ball soup (with matzos as big as your head) or chewy, delicious bagels. He would have the inevitable lox, but I always went for a sweet schmear like cinnamon. I’ve named these bagels after him and those morning bagels.

I have yet to find a bagel here in the UK that matches the taste and texture of a “real” bagel from the US. The offerings here tend to be cakey and fluffy, where the bagels of my youth were chewy and far more substantial. Over my years of sourdough baking, I have never managed to get the recipe right - the taste would be fine, but the rise would be poor or visa versa. However, this recipe is really the winner.

The added chewiness here comes from the addition of vital wheat gluten. Vital wheat gluten made from flour that has been hydrated to make gluten then processed to remove all of the additional starches and sugars. It is then dried and ground back to flour. This extra protein hit gives bagels their chewiness and helps achieve a good rise in breads that may have a lot of additions like seeds and nuts. It can be left out, simply substitute the weight of gluten for more flour.

The other addition here is non-diastatic malt powder. Essentially this is a type of sugar made from sprouted barley. It would’ve been the cheapest form of sugar in large cities where bagels were traditionally sold as it is often a by-product of brewing. This malty flavour is what distinguishes a good bagel from a great one.


100g active starter (or make a levain about 4 hours before with 20g starter and 40g flour and water)
480g flour
15g salt
275g water
40g malt
20g vital wheat gluten


I use my stand mixer here, because the dough is quite dry. You certainly don’t have to. Just knead on the counter until you get a nice silky consistency.

  1. Add all the ingredients, except the salt and mix well. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes

  2. Add the salt and mix or knead until the gluten has developed.

  3. Let rest covered for 3-4 hours, doing 3-4 stretch and folds in that time.

  4. Cover and refrigerate for 12-18 hours.


5. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.

6. Shape. Either by making a ball and poking a hole through and making it gradually larger with your hand

or roll out a 10inch/8cm tube, wrap it around your hand so the ends overlap on your palm and roll the ends together on the bench to seal. Place them on a parchment lined tray, sprinkled with a bit of polenta or flour to help them stop sticking.


7. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 30-45 minutes. You will know they are ready to cook when you press a finger print in and it disappears after a few seconds.

8. Preheat your oven to 200c/395f. Set up a tray with a rack near the stove so you can transfer wet bagels onto it to dry.


9. Bring a pot of water to a simmer. Place your bagel in for about 60seconds. I find the best rise is given by gently simmering one side for 45 seconds and then quickly turning it over and simmering for another 15 seconds or so.

10.Place you bagels on to your rack to drip off any excess water.


11. Brush your bagels with egg white. This is where you can add any sprinkles. I like salt bagels, but seseme seeds, poppy seeds or other toppings are available.

12. Bake for 20 minutes or so until golden brown.

Wild Green and Cheese Scones

Don’t let the wild green bit of this recipe put you off. While chives, steamed nettles, dandelion greens, spinach or broccoli can all be added to these with amazing effect, underneath is just a really great recipe for cheese scones.

This are a bit wetter than normal scone recipes, so I frequently bake them in a muffin tray to avoid rolling them out.

Wild Green and Cheese Scones:


150g sharp cheddar – grated

230g plain flour

1t baking powder

½ t bicarb

½ t salt

50g of chopped wild greens (dandelion, wild chives, steamed nettles, spinach and/or wild garlic work well here, as does cooked, chopped broccoli)

125g cold butter

200g 100% hydration starter

120g milk


1. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and mix with the flour, salt, bicarb and baking soda until it resembles crumbs.

2. Mix in the grated cheese and chopped greens.

3. Mix the starter and milk and add to the flour mix.

4. Mix just until everything is incorporated.

5. Roll out to about 3cm thick and cut scones.

6. Bake at 180F for 10 minutes or until brown.

Equipped for Sourdough
A banneton, bowl scraper and a razor for scoring.

A banneton, bowl scraper and a razor for scoring.

We are just a couple of days away from our first Sourdough Bakealong. In continuing our discussion of what you need to get going, other than a starter and some flour and salt, you need a couple of other key pieces of equipment to give you the best chance of getting great loaves.


Overwhelmingly, we advocate for using what you have in your kitchen to bake bread.  Its always a more realistic endeavour if you don't have to make a huge upfront investment when starting on a new craft.  Your main equipment is: 

Scales (most bread recipes are done by weight)


Wooden Spoon

Jar - for starter

Baking Parchment - for sliding your dough into the oven

Baking tray without a lip or a pizza peel

A razor or sharp knife for scoring your bread

Optional, but great to have:

bread baked in a cast iron pot (also called dutch oven) with a lid helps protect your bread from uneven oven temps and helps get a nice rise before the crust firms up)

bread baked in a cast iron pot (also called dutch oven) with a lid helps protect your bread from uneven oven temps and helps get a nice rise before the crust firms up)

Banneton: a lined basket used for rising your bread. If you don't have one, try using a colander or sieve, lined with a tea towel. A normal bowl will work in a pinch, but ideally you need something that can breath so your bread doesn’t stick.

Bowl Scraper: a tool to help with folding your bread and cleaning up tables and bowls

Dutch Oven/Cast Iron Casserole: Keeps the moisture of the bread in to develop an excellent rise before the crust is formed. Also protects from uneven temperatures in the oven. Use an inexpensive one as it may scorch as part of the baking process. I keep an eye out for them in the supermarket sales.  If you don't have one, a stainless steel bowl upside down on a cookie sheet is a good alternative. 

Ingredients for a Great Sourdough Loaf (or a Nerdy Discussion of Flour)

The beauty of sourdough bread, for me at least, is its simplicity: flour, water, salt (and a couple thousand microorganisms, give or take) . Commercial bread has up to 45 ingredients in it for plain, white bread, many of which are unpronounceable. 

Making it at home, you not only have the added benefit of controlling what goes into it, but you also are able to save money. A 1kg loaf of bread (the kind we will be making) can cost upwards of £4 in shops whereas bread you make yourself, even with high end flour, is significantly less than that, making it an affordable way to add artisan food to your kitchen. 


The biggest purchase you will make around for your daily bread is flour.  Whatever flour you use, you need to be looking for "strong" or "bread" flour - this is flour with a higher protein content, aiding your starter in developing structure and helping it keep its shape as it develops. We use a local organic strong bread flour from Mungoswells Mill in East Lothian, Scotland, grown and milled less than 30 miles from us.

White vs Brown Flour

For health and flavour, brown and wholemeal flours are often people’s first choice. As we mentioned in the post about starter, wholemeal flours do give the bread’s yeasts and bacteria more to feed on. Also, bread made with wholemeals tends to have a more sour flavour and is generally more digestible.

However, brown bread does have a significant downside. Wholemeals absorb more water than white flour and thus can create a very dense bread.  My advice when starting out is to keep your wholemeal flour content down to about 20-30% of your overall flour content so that your bread retains a lighter finish and is easier to work with.  As you become more familiar with your bread, feel free to create wholemeal loaves.

Organic vs Non-Organic

It will come to no surprise that as a small organic farmer, I am going to advocate for using organic flour if you can the practices used around organic farming have been shown to increase the number of LABs in our flour and thus in our starter (1).  More bacteria, more flavour, better rise, etc etc.

The second reason I would advocate for using organic flour is that it is quite common practice to apply glyphosate (commercially known as Monsanto's Round Up) to wheat before harvest to dry out the husk and make harvest easier.  Glyphosate has been labeled as a 'probable carcinogen' by the WHO (2),  is increasingly being linked to liver and kidney problems (3) and in recent studies was found in 30% of British bread (4). Making your own bread means you can have greater control of what your family consumes and is a tangible way of helping save the bees and other pollinating insects as glyphosate is considered a major contributor to their decline. 

Other Flours Are Available

If organic flour isn't in your budget, there are a number of other really great flours on the market. We love Lidl and Aldi's own brand flour - coming in at 65p for 1.5kg, it makes a great loaf of bread at an affordable price.  Both store are also increasing their 'other' flour options - rye and spelt have both been spotted recently in their bread aisle and both make a wonderful addition to the flavour of bread.

We primarily use strong white bread flour. Even adding a small amount of wholemeal, rye or spelt flour to your loaves will change the flavour profile, but keep it light and easy to work with.

Water and Salt:

The water you use in your bread can be straight from your tap, even in cities. If you have chlorinated water, you can leave it standing on the side for a bit before you use it to evaporate off the chlorine - doing so won't effect the outcome of your bread by a discernible amount, but it will mean you ingest less chlorine. 

Generally speaking, you want your water to be slightly warm when you add it to your bread.  I tend to use lukewarm water straight out of the tap.  This helps speed up the fermentation of your bread, though conversely, cold water can slow down fermentation and is useful if you know it will be awhile before you can get round to baking your bread. 

Salt has two main functions in making bread.  The addition of salt slows down the fermentation of bread, helping it remain in check.  It also is a flavour enhancer, bringing out the different notes of flavour in your loaf.  Biting into an unsalted loaf is always a disappointment as it just doesn't taste "right".  We like sea salt flakes, for no other reason than we buy it in bulk for all of our cooking.

June Bake Along: Starting a Sourdough Starter

With the first of our Sourdough Bakealongs starting next week, I wanted to give everyone who wanted to learn how to make sourdough bread the opportunity - not just those of you who have purchased kits from us. I mean, by all means, do buy a kit if you want to hit the ground running, but it is very easy to establish your own starter for baking.

As with everything on the internet, there are roughly 11.2 million ways to make a starter for sourdough...and all of them are probably in some way right. A starter is simply a way of creating the right environment for friendly yeast and bacteria to grow, so there are naturally a multitude of ways to do this entice different microorganisms. 

Whether you bought one of our kits or are following the method below, the starter we will be working with is a simple 100% hydration (all this means is that the water is equal to the flour) flour and water starter. Depending on the kind of starter you want, you may want to start with a rye or wholewheat flour.  As these flours have more natural bacteria in them and offer food for a wide range of microorganisms, starters made initially with this flour do tend to ferment faster.  However, which ever you pick to start you can always change later.

Ingredients and Materials:

1ltr jar (glass or food grade plastic)

500g strong bread flour, white, brown, rye or spelt*

500g of water *

* you only use 100g of each at a time

“Method for Starting a Starter
Day One: In a glass jar with a loose fitting lid, mix 100g of bread flour (white or wholemeal, your choice) and 100g of water. Give it a good vigorous stir. Cover loosely and leave in a warm place for 24 hours.

Day 2-7: Discard 100g of your starter. Add 50g of bread flour and 50g of water to your starter. Give it a good vigorous stir. Cover loosely and leave in a warm place for 24 hours.

By day 5 the starter should start bubbling.  It is ready to bake with when it doubles in size and or is very bubbly about 4 hours after feeding.”

Maintaining A Starter.

Like any living creature, your starter needs to be fed on a regular basis.  Starters are much more forgiving than people are led to believe and you can pretty much clean out the jar, leaving only a tiny bit of starter at the bottom and your starter will re-grow.

We have changed how we feed our starter. We used to keep more in a jar, using 2 parts starter to 1 part each of flour and water.  This creates a more acidic starter, which we like and great if you are baking regularly.

If you are baking less regularly, a starter with more food in it is better: 

1 part existing starter

2 parts water

2 parts flour

(ie 50g of starter, 100g of water and 100g of flour) 

Using a Starter:

When using your starter for sourdough bread, it is best to use a freshly fed starter.  Generally, you want to feed your starter between 4-12 hours before you bake with it. For example, if I want a loaf of bread for morning, the day before, at breakfast, I will feed my starter, for mixing up that evening. Or if I plan on baking bread for the next day's dinner, I will feed my starter at bed time the night before.  

This isn't hard and fast, if you forget to feed your starter (and it isn't smelly and gross because it was left TOO long), you can usually use it to get an ok loaf of bread, or as an alternative, feed it right away and use it a couple of hours afterward. Starters that are fed more regularly are more active and make better bread, but by no means should you start being a slave to it...that is the fastest way to starter burnout!

Now that you have a starter, you are ready to either bake your first loaf, or join in on the June Bakealong on Instagram and Facebook!

Sourdough Pizza Crust

Sourdough pizza is, in my humble opinion, the master of all pizzas. There is something about the umami flavour of the dough that pairs so perfectly with cheese. The only thing that would make this pizza better is if I had a wood fired pizza oven, but I hardly miss the smokey flavour with a crust this good.

We have a couple of versions of pizza dough that we make. Personally, I like a bit of wholewheat or cornmeal in my pizza for a bit of bite, but using a pasta flour here gives the base a clean taste that shows off the other ingredients. This is THE base we use when we have some nice homemade cheese in the house.

Pizza Dough:

(makes 4 25cm pizza bases)


100g starter

200g water

350g Tipo ‘00’ flour (or add 300g ‘00’ flour and 50g wholemeal or half plain and half strong bread)

20g oil

10g salt


1. The night before, mix the ingredients. Do a few stretch and folds and then refrigerate.

2. About 2 hrs before baking, remove the sourdough from the fridge.  Shape into 4 balls and roll out as pizza bases. To achieve a nice crispy pizza crust roll the bottom thin and oil under it and over it before you put on the toppings.

3. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours and then top. Cook the pizza at the highest temperature, about 220C, for about 25 minutes or until it has browned enough. Ideally you want to use a preheated pizza plate to bake the pizza on, but if you do not have one you can also use a preheated cookie sheet.

4. Tuck in!

To launch our new intro to cheesemaking course, we are offering a special discount if you buy both the Everyday Sourdough and Intro to Cheesemaking course together (because what goes better together than bread and cheese?!?!?!). Use the code CHEESEANDBREAD at the checkout to get £15.00 off your order.

Everyday Sourdough- Online Course And Kit
from 30.00
Online Course Included:
Flour Included?:
Add To Cart
Intro to Cheesemaking - Online Course and Kit
from 35.00
Online Course Included?:
Add To Cart
sourdoughKat GoldinComment
Happy Birthday to Mildred The Sourdough Starter (or how not to kill your sourdough starter)

There was a big birthday in the house this week. Mildred, our beloved sourdough starter, turned 5 years old!! She is our oldest starter to date - having killed at least two previous incarnations in the years prior. In fact, we almost lost ol’ Millie earlier this year, when I contaminated her with some Kombucha starter and left her on her own for a couple of weeks.

Baking 2+ loaves of bread a day to feed a busy household certainly helps maintain Mildred’s activity levels, but more than that, I have learned that starters are a lot more forgiving than they seem. In fact, they are pretty hard to kill and if you do, it is equally easy to start again. So, 5 years on (and a couple of failed starts before that) here are my top tips for keeping that starter in tip top shape.

  1. Feed it regularly, but find a schedule that works for you. Bakeries like Tartine are feeding their starters 4+ times a day. You don’t need to be that disciplined but feeding your starter at a regular interval helps keep it going and helps you get into a routine with it. Ours is fed every night when I make the next day’s batch of bread. It then sits on the counter until we need it the next evening. While its true that starters are at their peak about 4-6 hours after feeding, if you don’t have time to feed it 4-6 hours before you make your bread, don’t sweat it. A good active starter can be left longer than that and still make beautiful bread.

  2. Think outside the bread box. It can feel overwhelming to make bread every day or every couple of days or it can feel wasteful to throw away part of your starter when you feed it. The good news is starter can be used for many things like pie crust, pizza base, scones and even cake. Search “sourdough discard recipes”. These sourdough english muffins are some of our favourites.

  3. Store it in the refrigerator. If you aren’t baking every day, store your starter in the fridge. It slows down fermentation and extends the life of your starter between feedings. Try to remember to take it out and feed it at least 12 hours beforehand or if you forget, build a levain (see below)

  4. Build a levain. One way to get a more active starter or to build up your starter amount if you only keep a small bit is to use a step called building a levain. You simple build a separate starter about 4-6 hours before you bake, using a small amount of your starter and flour and water. For example, if my recipe calls for 200g of starter, I might add 50g of a sluggish starter and 75g each of flour and water to build a levain of that 200g of starter I need.

  5. Use only a small amount of starter. Some of the most active starters you can use are ones that have been created with a small amount of starter and then flour and water. When I say small, I mean the scrapings of the jar small. This is a great way as well to recolonise a starter that is looking a bit off. Throw most of it out, then add 100g each of water and flour and see what grows back. In all likelihood your starter will reinvigorate.

  6. Give it a good stir. Yeast loves oxygen, so if you are seeing a lot of liquid build up on top without many bubbles before that, give it all a really good stir when you mix in your flour and water. I know some people who whip their starters with a whisk.

Kevin's Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

When Kevin and I lived in Windsor, Sunday mornings were for long lie-ins, thick stacks of newspaper and a special breakfast at our favourite coffee shop.  In this life, Sundays start pretty much at the same time as every other day - early - and consist of the same routine as every other morning.  Our one nod to that previous life is a special breakfast, served with a big pot of coffee and lingered over a little longer than the goats would like. 

Most Sundays, Kevin is the one to get up early, switch the oven on and pop in the sourdough cinnamon rolls he made the night before. Sourdough cinnamon rolls are quite different than their commercial counterparts  - a bit denser and they have a lovely depth of flavour lacking in their very sweet counterparts. He's become the pro in our house and has graciously shared his recipe here (possibly in hopes that I will be the one to get up this Sunday and make them). 


  • 200g starter

  • 160g whole milk

  • 1 large egg

  • 60g butter, softened

  • 1T sugar

  • 360g bread flour

  • 10g salt

For the Filling:

  • 200g brown sugar

  • 1T ground cinnamon

For the Icing:

  • 60g icing sugar

  • 2T orange juice


Method for Cinnamon Rolls:

1. Mix all ingredients until no lumps remain

2. Rest in a warm, covered spot for 3-4 hours, doing 3-4 stretch and folds in that time.

3. Roll out dough into a long rectangle.

4.Spread 200g of brown sugar and 1T of cinnamon all over the dough.

5. Roll up from the long edge.  Cut into pieces 5cm in length. Place in a lined pan.

6. Refrigerate over night.  


1. Bake at 180c for 35 minutes. 

2. Serve with icing. Our favourite icing recipe is about 60g of icing sugar with the juice of one blood orange. 

New to sourdough baking? We've launched an online version of our popular Everyday Sourdough workshop.  You can find the details here. 

Any Green Pesto
carrot top pesto

In summer, at least twice a week, we have "Stuff on Bread" night.  It really is that simple - we rummage around the cupboards or the garden and see what is available.  Some veg get roasted or grilled, there may be a bit of leftover meat or egg mayonnaise from earlier in the week, and there is almost always cheese. If we are low on toppings, out comes the food processor and some form of pesto is added to the mix. 

I've used carrot tops in the recipe below, but really you are only limited by what is in your fridge, garden or hedgerow here.  We use this same recipe with ground elder, nettles (don't forget to blanch them first), spinach, rocket, chard, young kale leaves, beetroot greens and wild garlic.  Sometimes we leave out the cheese, if you leave a bit of water on the greens from washing or blanching them, the liquid and oil will emulsify nicely to form a creamy base.  

Carrot Top (or any Green) Pesto:

A big pile of carrot tops (from a bunch of carrots, this is usually around 200g)

2 cloves garlic

1/3 cup (50g) nuts - I like walnuts

1/2 cup (60g) parmesan

1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil

Using a food processor, chop the nuts until they start to stick together. Coarsely chop the garlic, carrot tops and cheese and add them in. Blend until finely chopped and start adding olive oil to form a paste.  Salt to taste.

Serving suggestions:

Mix into whole wheat pasta with sautéed courgette (zucchini), red onions and pecans with oregano sprinkled on top.

Put onto sourdough bread (homemade goat's cheese an added bonus!)

The Power of Doing it Yourself

A few months ago, Scotland came to a standstill.

The "beast from the east" came and dumped snow upon our normally green land, then blew it into drifts large enough to grind the motorways to a standstill and leave most of us able only to travel for as far as we could walk safely.

Living at the end of a 1.5 mile single track road, we expect to spend some part of the winter cut off and prepare accordingly, keeping a couple of dairy goats and plenty of flour on hand so at the very least we can have bread and cheese (I won't go into the fact that we'd under prepared without enough coffee and tonic water to get through - rookie mistake, Goldin), but my uncharacteristically Facebook timeline was filled with my more urban friends who could make it out of their homes and to the shops only to find them empty of bread. Scotland had run out. 

A few weeks previously, I'd run my first Sourdough Bread making workshop. Our informal class had taught a handful of people the skills necessary to make bread with the most basic ingredients - flour, water, salt - in their own homes. As the majority of my timeline filled with folks mourning their lack of toast, these students were posting pictures of their homemade bread.

I count that as one of my best moments in my working life. Of course, not that the country had come to a standstill or that people couldn't get out of their homes to get basic necessities, but that some how in a world where we are so dependent on systems that don't always serve us, I had given a handful of people the skills to do it themselves and provide for their families.

The times that I have felt most creative and then empowered are those where I have HAD to be creative. Maybe we didn't have enough money to buy a finished product or couldn't find something we were looking for and we had to make it ourselves. I started baking because we moved too far out and my love of a baked good wasn't enough to get me to drive the 20 minutes to the nearest cafe. I had to figure out how to do it myself on a budget that ensured we could continue to pay the rent. And once you get into that mindset, its addictive.  I look around at all of the things that need to be done in our kitchen or around the farm and I instantly start singing "I Can Do That" from A Chorus Line**.

Making from scratch, figuring things out, embedding creativity into the most mundane things, taking back a tiny bit of power in a world that wants us to hand it over with our cash...yep, pretty much the reason I get out of bed every morning. Well, that and coffee. 

**In our next instalment, Kevin lists the DIY projects that fall into the "Just Because You CAN, Doesn't Mean You Should" category. ;) 

I've put my favourite sourdough recipe on the blog, if you fancy giving it a go. If you don't have a starter, I recommend this method, or you can always buy one from the shop.

I also have spaces available on my upcoming sourdough workshops!!  

Kat's Everyday Sourdough

We bake sourdough bread most days. Be it as a morning breakfast/vehicle for melted butter or a staple in the summer time "stuff on bread" dinners we have at least twice a week, sourdough is embedded in our life.

We've tried a lot of methods and recipes, but with so many of them, there was a level of technicality that simply didn't fit into our busy family life.  While technical aspects of hydration and starter peaks are important to know, we have come to the understanding that the best bread is the bread that fits easily into your every day life. This bread dough isn't very wet, which makes it ideal for a starter sourdough, as its a lot easier to handle.

I've written this recipe for people who make bread regularly - every day or every other day.  If you are baking once a week, you may not get the rise you need from your starter, so feed it about 12 hours before you are due to make bread and see if that helps.

I start my bread as I am making dinner in the evening and it sits next to the aga for the first few hours before it goes in the fridge for over night.  I then turn on the oven to bake when I go down in the morning for coffee. 


  • 200g 100% hydration starter (This is a good method for starters here, or you can buy a kit here).

  • 400g tepid water

  • 650g strong bread flour

  • 20g salt


1. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients until the flour is completely incorporated.

2. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 3-4 hours, depending on the warmth of the room.  Every so often (at least 3x), stretch and fold the dough to help with the gluten development.

3. Tip dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a tight round. To get a nice surface tension, stretch the dough from the outside and bring it into the centre all the way around. This will be considered your seam.

4. Place seam side up in a banneton or bowl lined with a lightly floured towel. You can either leave for about an hour in a warm place and then bake or place in the refrigerator over night.


1. Place your dutch oven in the oven and heat the oven to its highest temperature.

2. When the oven has reached temp, place your baking parchment on top of your banneton, then the baking tray on top of that and flip your bread out of the banneton onto the tray.  There is no need to remove your bread from the refrigerator prior to this, in fact it is easier to work with a cold loaf.

3. Score your bread using a knife or razor blade.

4. Slide the loaf into your hot dutch oven and put the lid on.  Place it back in the oven and reduce the temperature to 220c/430F. Bake for 35 minutes with the lid on. Remove the loaf from the dutch oven and bake for another 12 minutes or until the crust is brown.



– Replace 200g of the white flour with brown flour

– Add 2T of turmeric at Method stage 1. Then add about 2c of finely chopped leeks and onions on your final stretch and fold.

Want to know more about Sourdough baking? We have on online course!!




A List for A Wednesday: My Go-To Cook Books


Recently, everything has been about food. Last year I made a commitment to learn to be a better baker.  I have always been a decent cook, but baking eluded me - something about it being a bit too prescriptive I think. I have tried to bake something every week and in doing so, I have really rediscovered my love of cooking.

My best Christmas presents all involved food.  I have a new smoker and have hot smoked pork and am going to be cold smoking some bacon this afternoon.  I am so in love with the process of smoking food, I have been reading up as much as possible and highly recommend the Curing and Smoking book in the River Cottage Handbook series if you are interested in the same. I have a bag of venison off cuts in the freezer awaiting processing into biltong and salami. 

Much of the last few weeks have involved meat.  Just before Christmas we bought a full pig from some friends of ours and 2 roe deer from the estate we live on.  Its been a full blown education in meat  - using as much as possible of an animal while not eating ourselves sick on venison pie and pulled pork (if that is possible, I will let you know in a few months). Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's Meat book has been invaluable. 

However, the gift in daily use around here is the book pictured above - Sourdough by Sarah Owen.  Words can not express my love for this book.  We have made the Brooklyn Sourdough recipe as our new standard bread and I have a loaf of the Butternut and Cherry bread cooling downstairs that I will be eating for lunch.  It is a glorious mix of bread and other foods like pastries, pies, crackers and sweets.  I am utterly besotted with it and will be getting it for everyone I know! 

As much as I love these ones, I am always on the lookout for new cookbooks. Do you have any you love and couldn't live without? I would love to hear more!