Category Archives: Sourdough Bread

CarolCooks2…Week 11…in my Kitchen…made from scratch…Wholemeal Sourdough Bread

Welcome to my kitchen where I cook almost everything from scratch…Just in case you missed it one of the reasons why I cook from scratch…

Sourdough bread is a lovely thing and seeing that starter bubbling and rising is a sight to behold…

You have your starter all ready to make your first loaf…?

Equipment…2 x large mixing bowls, banneton(sourdough basket), large oven tray.


Temperature…220˚C, Fan 200˚C, 425˚F, Gas 7

Cooking time…35-40 minutes.


Wholemeal Ferment…

  • 50g starter 
  • 100g Organic Strong Wholemeal Flour
  • 150ml tepid water


  • 175ml tepid water
  • 300ml ferment (from above)
  • 400g Organic Strong Wholemeal Flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • flour, for dusting
  • oil, for tray

First steps…

Once your starter is bubbly, stir it and measure 50g of the starter into a large mixing bowl.

Add 100g flour and 150ml water, stir until lump-free.

Invert a large bowl over the dough bowl and leave it in a warm place for 4-12 hours until bubbles appear. When bubbly, your ferment is ready to use.

1st rise…Pour the tepid water into the ferment and mix well.

Add the flour and stir to mix.

When roughly mixed, sprinkle the salt over the top and stir until incorporated.

Using your hands gather everything together, gently pressing into a ball of dough.

Knead the dough in the bowl for 100 presses without adding flour…this is my favourite bit a good arm workout or if I am cross with someone it relieves my frustrations…lol

Invert the larger mixing bowl over the dough bowl and leave it in a warm place until double in size which may take 4–12 hours.

2nd rise…Dust the inside of the banneton liberally with flour.

Run a spatula around the edge of the risen dough.

Pour the oil onto the dough and dip your fingers in the oil.

Pick up the dough on the far side of the bowl, gently pulling and stretching it upwards then fold it forward onto the dough still left in the bowl.

Turn the dough a quarter to the left or right.

Repeat the action of lifting and stretching the dough then folding back onto itself five or six times, turning the bowl each time.

Tuck the edges of the dough under to make a ball of dough.

Transfer the dough into the floured banneton with the smoothest side down.

Cover with an upturned mixing bowl and leave to roughly double in size, 2-12 hours.

We are now ready to bake...Pre-heat the oven 20 minutes before you are going to bake.

Dust an oven tray with flour or insert a baking liner.

Remove the upturned bowl and very gently tip the dough onto the oven tray.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.

Transfer the bread to a wire rack and leave to cool.

Just a few notes from first loaf was both exciting and daunting…I know it wasn’t perfect but practice makes perfect as they say…I now use a shower cap rather than a bowl to cover while proving the dough… less chance of breaking a bowl..I can be clumsy by not looking at what I am doing…sigh…

But overall I was happy …probably because it took me a few goes to get my starter up and running and initially I used to throw the excess away I now don’t…it makes lovely sourdough muffins…

For me, it took a while to get my head around everything as it is a longer process making sourdough…but the taste and the satisfaction and now I am getting better my neighbours will be getting a loaf now and again…

Thank you once again for joining me in my kitchen it is lovely to see you here…See you tomorrow for Tropical Fridays will it be fruit or vegetable…well known or little known? xx



Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch – Tomatoes for Breakfast Spanish Style

I love tomatoes any which way and tomatoes on toast for breakfast or brunch sounds good to me… Healthy doesn’t have to mean tasteless and boring it can be amazing and simple like this breakfast dish …Enjoy!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Carol Taylor will be back in the New Year with the Food and Cookery Column after a well earned Christmas break.

In the meantime I will be sharing the Cook from Scratch series from two years ago which combined the health benefits of specific key ingredients followed by Carol’s recipes for cook from scratch dishes.

To kick that series off, I am sharing a breakfast that I was introduced to when we lived in Madrid. I love tomatoes and they were always readily available all year round. With some other simple ingredients, tomatoes provide a wonderful start to the day that keeps you going until lunchtime.

I would love to invite any of you who have favourite recipes that use fresh ingredients, to get in touch at the email at the bottom of the post. And of course another chance to promote your work.

Most of us associate a  breakfast…

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Is it Really Sour Dough Bread??

Sour Dough Bread

I was shocked to read an article recently that stated that sourdough bread is NOT always sourdough bread… Which reinforces my views that no one even stores where I have shopped for years and trusted cannot be trusted…Why I was shocked I really don’t know.

What is sourdough ???

The big difference between sourdough bread and the “normal” bread you buy or bake today is the source of the yeast. Most bakers today use cultivated yeast that comes in a package. … It is the starter what gives sourdough bread its distinctive taste…

Which the consumer Watchdog conducted a survey and only 4 out of the 19 loaves tested were sourdoughs… A sourdough starter contains flour, water, salt and a starter culture.

A starter culture is simply flour and water mixed together and left to ferment for a few days until it becomes a frothy, bubbly, thick liquid.

Many of the supermarket loaves, however, contain additional ingredients such as yeast, ascorbic acid, yoghurt and vinegar, most of which are added to speed up the rising process, boost volume or create sour flavour.

As sourdough is NOT a protected term then there is nothing to stop supermarkets using additional ingredients and labelling their loaves as sourdough.

As consumers we need to become more aware, savvy, question what is in our food and maybe be prepared to pay a higher price for what is an artisan product.

A spokesperson from The Real Bread Campaign stated that the added ingredients do not necessarily make the bread any more unhealthy it just isn’t traditional or authentic which takes me back to my previous comment that as a consumer we need to be more aware and decide what we will accept and what we actually want to eat.

Obviously, if it is for health reasons that you are opting for sourdough bread then you need to read the labels …HOWEVER many stores do not list ingredients on their bread packaging especially any which is baked in-house.

It may be that you will have to conduct online research into companies bread and it’s ingredients.

The four sourdough loaves which did receive the Real Bread Campaign’s stamp of approval are:

  • Gail’s White Sourdough bread
  • Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Multiseed Sourdough
  • Waitrose 1 White Sourdough
  • Waitrose 1 Wheat and Rye Sourdough

I also find it disconcerting that those same companies also sell bread labelled as sourdough when it isn’t.

It smacks of double-dealing to me that the consumer would be misled into thinking that all their sourdough was equal so to speak and it isn’t.

My conclusion is that it is easier and you know what your loaf contains if you bake your own bread.

Sour Dough Starter: ( Easy)




  • 500g/1lb 2oz strong unbleached white bread flour, plus extra for flouring or flour of your choice or a mixture.
  • 300g/10½oz sourdough starter
  • 250ml/9fl oz water
  • 10g/¼oz brown sugar
  • 10g/¼oz salt
  • flavourless oil, for greasing

Let’s Bake!

Mix together the flour, sourdough starter and water in a bowl. Add the sugar and salt. Turn out on to a clean kitchen surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the ‘windowpane effect’ is achieved (where the dough can be stretched until it is so thin that it becomes transparent).

Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and let it prove for 2½-3 hours. You won’t notice as much of a rise in the dough as you would with a normal, yeasted bread and it will take a lot longer.

Turn out the dough onto a clean kitchen surface and knock back the dough. Portion the dough into two and shape into two ball-shaped loaves. Flour generously, and place each loaf seam side up in a bowl, lined with a linen cloth or a heavily-floured tea towel – without the cloth, your loaf will stick in the bowl and you won’t be able to turn it out. Leave to prove for a further 2½ hours.

Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas 8. Put a few ice cubes or cold water into a baking tin and place in the bottom of the oven to create steam. Turn the loaves out onto a baking tray or hot baking stone. Using a thin sharp knife score two or three times on the top of the loaf and place in the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a good crust has formed and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the base.


How to spot faux sourdough  I thought that maybe I could spot a fake sourdough loaf by smell and texture but because there are so many different starter cultures, recipes, flours it is almost impossible you really need to know the ingredients. Sourdough bread does have a longer shelf life … But unless you know the ingredients or the baker and you trust him then the only real way if to make your own.


Do you make your own sourdough bread???

Thank you for reading this post I hope you have a great week xx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:

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Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend 🙂 xx