Sticking To The Sourdough


Have you ever seen something on the Internet and thought “Oh, I’m going to try that!”?

I expect it would be something of an occupational hazard for a blogger as he/she flits about other blogs and sees places to travel, food to cook, crafts to make, crazy ideas to try. Even a case of “Oh, I like the way you did that, I’m going to use that in my next post.” would keep one busy.

One of the things that flitted across my screen on a regular basis from more than one blogger last year was sourdough.

It always looked delicious and I kept thinking, “Oh, I want to bake sourdough.” But even a tentative investigation revealed a time commitment for such an activity that was daunting to someone cramming in a year full of stuff.

Then, suddenly, it was the summer holidays, there wasn’t much I could do with slowly recovering broken ribs and there was a post from Elaine at foodbod about her year of sourdough.

“Right. Now is the time.” I thought.

So I set off to make a sourdough starter. Because I will never do things the easy way and just go and buy one.

I used this recipe but without the malt. And I just used tap water not spring water. And I didn’t measure the temperature of the water.


You can already see where this is going, right?

My first loaf attempt looked like a cow pat. Fortunately, having three teenage boys, it still got eaten.

My second loaf attempt looked like an elephant pat. It also got eaten. But it wasn’t ideal.

I felt defeated and wrote this comment on Elaine’s post:

sourdough comment 1

Elaine was disappointed it had not worked out but urged me not to give up.

So I didn’t. It’s not really in my nature to easily let something defeat me anyway. Giving up because I’m bored, yes, but that’s on my terms.

For the next attempt, out of some desperation, I cheated and added a little dried yeast. It gave me a bigger loaf but it wasn’t really sourdough. Pedant Me was unhappy.

With further encouragement and advice from Elaine, I pushed on.

And I started to notice a change in my starter. There were more bubbles.

And then one day, my dough finally rose properly. Unfortunately, I had a busy social day and what I thought was going to be a 25C day turned into a 32C day and it over-proved. The loaf didn’t pop up the top like it should but at least it was the size of a sandwich loaf.

I was getting closer. And by accident, I discovered that leaving my starter out of the fridge and feeding it for two days rather than one gave me what I needed.


Not just bubbly but frothy!

The next loaf was better but smaller than I intended because I got impatient and cooked it before it had risen enough.

And then, here’s what I managed yesterday:

Evolution of a Sourdough Fruit Loaf


I had a piece toasted this morning for breakfast. It was delicious.

Now I’m completely obsessed with making sourdough. (I don’t think I’ll ever go on a No Carbs diet…)

So, thank you, Elaine, for encouraging me not to give up and for all your assistance. I’m sure the boys are equally grateful!


Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Rising. Get it? Bread….. rising…..

Sigh. Gosh, I’m hilarious.

And I can make sourdough.



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60 thoughts on “Sticking To The Sourdough

  1. Yay! I applaud your tenacity and your sourdough looks delicious. I would love to eat some but bread making is never going to be my thing so I am always impressed by those that have the patience to create wonderful thing to eat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I honestly didn’t think I would get there. It’s intimidating even to start because it takes so long and there seem to be a lot of dos and don’ts and specific requirements. I think I’m most pleased to have achieved success while ignoring a lot of the don’ts. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You do make me laugh 😀 And I love sourdough but have never been tempted to make my own. The bakery 5 minutes away does a marvellous range of sourdough loaves – ale and walnut, perry pear and hazelnut, apple and something I can’t remember… so you see until I move to a place where there is no bakery within walking distance I’m not tempted in the least.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My sense of challenge and adventure doesn’t normally involve the kitchen. I would be happy if I never had to cook, so making bread isn’t really high on my list either.
    Your’s looks delicious though …and a thick slice toasted with butter would be wonderful with my morning coffee. Alas, you and your bread are far away.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your efforts certainly paid off, Heather. The last photo there, the bread looks magnificent. It sounded like there was a lot of frustration in the kitchen until the successful attempt. Funny how we can take what feels like an age to make food and it gets all eaten in a matter of minutes.

    To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of sourdough. It is always a bit too hard for my liking when it’s not toasted. Of the times I’ve had it toasted with smashed avocado at cafes, it is hard to bite and dry :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mabel. I didn’t quite reach the stage of weeping (although it was a near thing) but there was definitely some grumpy muttering going on.

      If I put a loaf of homemade bread on the bench after school and tell the boys to help themselves, there’s none left by the time I’ve had my afternoon coffee. 😀

      I think sourdough is one of those acquired tastes. I totally understand why you would find it the way you do – but that’s why I love it. I like a bread I can really get my teeth into. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yay!!!! I love this post! You did it 😀😀😀😀 your bread looks fabulous, I’d love to try some ☺️☺️ I’m so glad you stuck with it, you’ve got endless fun ahead of you, I look forward to seeing more of your lovely loaves xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well done, MOSY (both the joke and the sourdough!) I’m so impressed…..I don’t know…lately, you’ve gone off to help others in a far-away country, helped out a relative who had been flooded, and now you’ve baked your own sourdough with persistence….it isn’t possible you’re growing up, is it….. No, you must just be rising to certain occasions……(sorry to borrow your very own pun) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Last night I was at a rehearsal for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and one of my bearded compatriots from the last Shakespeare play and I were saying that since we only had very small roles we should also be fairies in the forest. With beards.

      I don’t think I’ve grown up yet.

      But maybe I have small bursts of pretending I’m a grown up.


      Liked by 2 people

  7. Looks totally delish! The Big T made a sourdough starter last winter and had a few attempts to bake with it. They were a bit like your initial bakes. Then he was away on business and I thought I’d just try it out, see what I could do …. It’s definitely something that rewards perseverance. I found some great recipes from the Burke St Bakery in Sydney (which require minimal kneading) and as long as I stick to them I seem to be able to turn out consistently good bread. I haven’t tried adding fruit though, so perhaps next time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yours was one of the sourdoughs that flitted across my radar. 🙂
      I use recipes from another blogger (Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial). They don’t need much kneading either, although I do knead them a bit more than Celia does because I find I get a better result as far as the sort of result I want anyway.

      Definitely try a fruit loaf – so good. I also threw in some cinnamon and mixed spice. I used dried apricots and dried berries because the Middle Son dislikes sultanas and raisins. That’s when it’s good making your own because you can make it to suit the family. 🙂 (Plus, it was just super delicious with those fruits anyway!)

      Liked by 3 people

      • I love the idea of dried apricots and cranberries — my favourite dried fruits. Do you soak them before you add to the dough? One of the sourdough books I read suggested soaking fruit, nuts, seeds first so that they don’t absorb moisture from the dough. I’ve rolled my dough in sunflower/pumpkin seeds that have been soaked first (waay harder than with dry ones), and I love the taste and extra crunch. Am off to refresh some starter now; will let you know how I get on. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh MOSY I am impressed. No wonder the boys gobbled up your finished loaf, I can imagine the delightful aromas of fresh bread causing much salivating from them, as it would from me if I was there.
    But I shall warn you off the cheese making right away. I have tried it with a Mad Millie Cheese making kit, and the mozzarella tasted excellent but this is a far less complicated practise than making sourdough starter. Cheese making is really just coagulating milk followed by a lengthy process nursing and forming it over a hot pot, in humid Qld summer conditions. Guaranteed to produce a large amount of “grumpy mutterings” and a very real possibility of an added migraine, so you have been warned!
    The sourdough on the other hand, sounds like a lot of fun. I like this concept of a living thing that one has to ” feed” and I was under the misapprehension that I could not make my own starter, so I am glad to find this is possible. Sourdough is so good for our tummy flora, well that is what they tell me, so I am all for it. I used to make bread years ago when compressed yeast was available and that worked out well. But all I can get now is that dry yeast that has a particular flavour and doesn’t ever seem to rise for me! The sourdough must be just my thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A) I’m sorry you had to stop eating sourdough. B) I’m glad you found something else you could eat.

      Thanks for letting me know. 🙂 And thank you for reading and commenting. Always like to meet a new blogger out here in the ‘sphere.


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