straight rye

A simple sourdough loaf made with 100% rye flours, water and salt

straight rye

borodinsky rye

An unusual but delicious recipe originating in Russia, 100% rye sourdough with added ground coriander, black molasses and a dusting of crushed coriander seeds on top

borodinsky rye

seeded sourdough

Made with malthouse flour this loaf has no added yeast, but a bit of salt and a scrummy mixture of mixed seeds – usually sunflower, sesame, linseed, millet and poppy – which is added to the dough and sprinkled generously on top

seeded sourdough

pain au levain

Delicious tangy overnight white

pain au levain

about sourdoughs

Sourdoughs are breads made without using conventional baker’s yeast, a process that goes back thousands of years. Their basis is the use of a “culture” or “natural leaven” developed simply by mixing a little flour and water and allowing it to ferment naturally as “wild yeasts” and bacteria get to work. We start the process of making sourdoughs the night before baking, allowing the culture to ferment for at least 12 hours during which time it gets very active. If more flavouring and ingredients are added next day this can also extend the proving stage so sourdoughs really do win a “Slow Food” accolade. The advantage of this process is that the flour is effectively pre-digested making the resultant bread easier on the stomach. The flavour of sourdoughs can take some getting used to as our palates are accustomed to the bland, often sweet products produced by modern baking techniques. Try sourdoughs with cheese, meat or pickled and smoked fish on thinly sliced bread. Its keeping qualities are excellent and it will stay fresh for 4 or 5 days. Many people with yeast or wheat intolerances also find sourdoughs more acceptable, particularly as 100% organic rye flours are used.