Chatting about ourselves - a discussion

Finally got my act together

sourdough bread with oats and nigella seeds

It is a step back to the good old days.

Things are better if left for longer.
It isn’t hard work but it needs time to develop.
Like brewing the magic takes place if you leave it alone.
Brewing and baking are ancient, almost forgotten skills.
Up until recently, they were part of everyday activity in every home.
The yeast and bacteria that does the fermentation is already there.

Each fruit and seed has it’s own built in culture that starts to work when left wet and warm.

First bacteria feed and create an acidic home, which wakens up yeasts which then produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. These give us our alcoholic drinks and the means to make baked goods lighter and risen.

Mankind cultivates these ever present wild things and reaps the benefit.

Creating a starter is an exercise in micro-biology that needs no laboratory and scarcely any equipment.

The methods and secrets were passed on through the generations for maybe tens of thousands of years and only very recently have they actually begun to be forgotten.

Ancient methods using sugar, salt, alcohol, vinegar and smoke are nowadays viewed as toxic and life threatening when at one time these methods preserved food for periods of shortage making survival possible.

Which is better than munching on your toe nails when there is nothing else to eat.

red fox over and out
better canny than dead.


That bread looks delicious @Bobbi. Warm fresh bread with lashings of butter…yummmmmmmm :yum:

You’re a lot more patient than me. I’d get fed up of waiting for it to do its thing :rofl:

Enjoy x


That looks delicious, can’t beat a slice of freshly baked bread :yum:. I would never be able to bake bread, I would want to eat it all. :laughing:

Regards Sue


I love these food pictures. :heart:

Good bread is so hard to resist.

Does sourdough bread have its origins in San Francisco?


San Francisco isn’t anywhere near old enough!

You need to ask @BakersBunny for the historical details - ancient Egypt she says - like 3000 years ago or 3,000 BC but what’s a couple of thousand years compared with the age of San Francisco :slight_smile:


Some history


The ‘earliest’ identified bread has been recovered from present-day Jordan and is over 15,000 years old; this predates the emergence of agriculture and domesticated cereal crops.

A work in progress

That piece up there is a bit more recent, appearing around lunch time the other day. I would have liked the crumb to be a bit more open, but at least the starter I made this week is working okay. The crust was a bit too crisp for me but inside was deliciously soft.

I think San Francisco bread is more a product of the local climate. As with brewing and wine making, local conditions define and distinguish each product.


The bread I am making, including the starter, is just supermarket strong flour, filtered water, salt, warmth and time. Oh and a couple of bowls, a spatula and some scales.

I had a stroke twenty months ago. I am limited but striving to get something out of life with what I have. From bed-bound to here has been an eventful journey that is not over yet.


Do you put butter on sourdough bread?

What is strong flour? Heavier?

Sourdough bread has always been popular in the Bay Area (San Francisco). They must have their own recipe for it. We don’t make it in Pennsylvania.

A typical Pennsylvania meal in rural area (between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia):

Iceberg lettuce salad with French dressing (onions and tomatoes and cheese on the salad

Cottage cheese with apple butter on top

Pork and sauerkraut Or Beef roast and noodles

Dessert: apple crisp or shoefly pie


San Francisco has its own recipe or something…I don’t know. :upside_down_face:
I know they’re known for sourdough bread or people or cars

We do have a baker on here. Her name is BakersBunny. I will defer this matter to her. :100:

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She was on the GBBO season 1…

The main difference between strong bread flour and other types of flour is its protein content.

Strong bread flour is made from “hard” wheat varieties and has more protein, from 12 to 14 percent.

This creates more rise and structural support in the dough, allowing the final product to lift and hold shape



@SimonInEdinburgh & @BakersBunny

i found this for you:

Fame at last !

Keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :grinning: :+1:


Taken same day


The makers were all still making it up as they went along and that stage (apparently)


At last my mini micro starter culture is leaping into action.
Doubled in 90 minutes, unbelievable.
Another ten or twelve days or so and I’ll call it done.
My investment in a pH meter is giving me a much better view of what is going on.
No longer navigating in the dark.
I hope this will give my bread the edge it needs.
Patience wins through at last.


Thank you for letting me know. I appreciate it.

That pistachio and cranberry cake looks amazing. What kind of frosting or icing do you put on that?

Take good care.

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:smiley:@BakersBunny I just realised, that’s the very recipe my sister-in-law makes every year for the family Boxing Day get together :laughing:
She got the recipe from that book, but she does them as individual cup cake size and just dusts them with icing sugar rather than water icing. And they are to die for…they just get in your mouth, as my mother-in-law would say :smile: :yum: :yum: :yum: :yum:


Baking bread and mince pies too much for me but did do acceptable tray bake last night. Left overs to be transformed to soup. Now a good chunk of wholemeal would be good with that.New Years resolution? Bake bread.


Hello @Bobbi. I am watching with interest. My sourdough starter is over 10 years old, and I bake every 1-2 weeks. I found it comforting, if hard work, in the early days, but I could follow a process at my own speed, and you can’t rush sourdough. Perfect.
Your loaf looks pretty good. I get so excited when I cut into a loaf and it is filled with lots of good holes, but I’ve never studied it to really work out why some are denser than others. I just go with the flow, as so many factors at play.
Happy baking, Julia x


Thank you, I value your comment, Julia.
I messed about with sourdough and starters for a number of years but I still have a lot to learn. The quality of what I produce is variable but like you I find it to be an interesting and absorbing activity. I feel that I have made some progress over recent years in understanding the process.
I’m looking forward to more and better loaves.

Keep on keepin’ on,
:writing_hand: :grinning: :+1:

You might be interested in this set of instructions for making your own sourdough starter.

(Click blue link below)

Make your own starter videos

These are a set of step by step videos with a very full description. The demonstration takes you day by day right through the process for 14 days. You get to see exactly what happens.

I’m working through it myself right now. Why not join me and give it a go? It is not too challenging and the result is well worth the effort.

I could hold a few Zoom sessions to compare notes and discuss making a starter if anyone is interested.

Keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :smiley: :+1:

There’s some interesting stuff at this link too:
sourdough information

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Teresa has been one of Lea’s gotos for ages - lots of talk about ‘autolese’ (!? Yeah I’m confused too :rofl:)

You two should compare notes - you share an interest, not just bread but all things food :slight_smile:


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