Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Friday, August 5, 2011

My first Sour Dough....Yipppeeeee!

You may have noticed I have a bright blue button on my blog...it links to a blog by a lovely lady who I have been corresponding with since I joined the Down to Earth Forum.......
Her name is Wendy.....Wendy has been guiding me through this sourdough adventure.....and she even sent me some of her own sourdough baby.....What a lovely offering.

So under Wendy's instruction.....here goes....this is what I have done so far........
After my sourdough baby's big trip across the border...well it needed some time to recover.....so after two days sitting nice and quiet...I moved it into bigger pj's as I fed it 3/4 cup of flour and the same in tank water.

Then the following two days, I did the same but fed it 1 cup of water and 1 cup of flour....It's growing up, so it needs a bigger feed...lol.

After the first feed

Bubbles, bubbles......

so about a week after the birth of my baby sourdough.....
I made the sponge for my first loaf of sourdough......
2 cups of sourdough starter
2 cups of flour
2 cups of rain water

Mixed well, then left it overnight....(best to do this in the morning)

The evening of the same day.......I made my dough....
add the 'sponge' to a larger bowl....
add the following...
2 tspns of sugar
2 tspns of salt
3 tablespoons of oil
2 cups of flour

Kneed the dough for 15 minutes, it will be rather sticky to start with....and I worked in an extra 1 1/2 cups of flour (Wendy said about 1...so It's all good from here)
Then into an oiled bowl....and leave overnight....
 The following morning....Look how much it has increased in size...Amazing!
 Now gently punch it down....see the large air pockets in the dough....You don't want to disturb these too much...there's a huge one touching my fingers.
 Shape the dough, and place on your chosen baking tray....I thought this pizza tray would be good, but the heat didn't get through as well as I expected...so I will think of a different base for the next loaf....
Now that I have a loaf on the go, nearly in the oven....I have made another 'sponge'...using another 2 cups of sourdough starter....and the process begins again.......It's so exciting........
Don't forget to start feeding your sourdough starter again.......I've given it 1 cup each of water and flour..and I will do the same tomorrow.......
Ok...I'm rather inpatient sometimes...and as it was a lovely day...I figured I could speed up the process of the second prove.....by sitting it in my car.....ohhhh it was sooo toasty and warm in there.......

Look how much my dough has risen......Yep even more exciting now.....I can't wait to taste it....

By now my oven is preheated to much hotter than I normally have......and I have cut slits into the loaf...
 placed it in the oven on very high for 15 minutes....then turned the oven down to 190c...for another 30 minutes......

LOOK! OMG......Yep I'm yelling to tell the world that I made my first sour dough....and I owe it all to Wendy.......THANKS WENDY!!!!!!

My family were amazed at the huge size of the loaf....and couldn't wait to try it.....OMG it's better than any sourdough loaf I have ever tasted....I hesitate to think how much this would cost in the stores.....

Making a sourdough loaf isn't really that hard, you just need to be patient.......it's so worth the wait.....
I can't wait to try out other recipes using the sourdough starter....Wendy, If you're reading this....I'd love that pancake recipe you mentioned......
Please check out Wendy's blog, she is an amazing writer....Wendy was thoughtful enough to send Mum and myself a lovely 'Calendula Hand & Body Lotion'.....Wendy sells this lotion and other wonderful soaps and products through her shop at 'Find My Hearth'....

After reading about my paving, she thought my hands could do with some extra care.....Thank-you so much Wendy...Mum was chuffed to know that you thought of her as well.....

I'm so pleased that I have started this sourdough adventure.....Thanks Wendy...Bless Ya!

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend....take care, I hope to see you back here early in the week.


  1. Beautiful! You are a good cook! love,andrea

  2. Just stopped by for a quick visit. My friend,Brendie, over at Bregle Estate,mentioned your site to me. Looking forward to stopping by again to see what's cookin'.Never tried my hand at sourdough yet, although I have eaten it.Maybe one day soon,I'll try to make a batch.

  3. I made my very first sourdough a couple of weeks ago! I had to make my own starter though. Isn't it just wonderful?! It does take some patience, but it is sooooo worth it!

  4. AWESOME job!!!!! It looks so delicious and I'd love a thick slice slathered in butter :) Can I come over, lol????

  5. Well done. There's nothing quite like home made sour dough. We started ours 12 months ago with the help of an American WWOOFer(willing worker on Organic Farmers)He'd started one before and took us through the procedure and now we make one just about everyday.

  6. Wow, that's beautiful! I WILL give sourdough another go sometime soon, I will!

  7. Magnificent!!!! Oh I so want to try that out!


  8. I too made my own starter a wee while ago, and I adore the flavour! Welcome to the world of home baked sour dough - its a lovely place to be :-)

  9. Thanks everyone...I'm loving it, even better, so are the rest of the family....it's really not scary afterall....I should have done it much sooner than this.....
    Cat J B: Give it another go....it really is as easy as this....I can't wait to start experimenting with it in other cooking.

    So now I am looking for recipes....anyone?

  10. Hello Nellymary,

    Just new to your blog but am really loving it. I live not so far from you but down the coast a wee bit. You are really inspiring and I would love to try making that sour dough bread. Thank you for all the great info.

    Blessings Gail

  11. wow girl, after not finding your blog when you started following me, i randomly checked the other day and wah la here you are with an awesome blog. ive just been browsing thru your posts for the last hour or so, brilliant. a little off track when i had to google where you were and found it was south of syndey so ended up having a look at my old residence in elizabeth bay sydney then back to your blog. lucky you to have an inspirational nan, mine(dads) was a bag who had no time for me, and the other died when my mum was 10. I was gived some kefir grains and wondered what i could do with them, and the sour dough...great photos. Im so glad you blog, I shall poke around some more. xxx brendie

  12. Well done Narelle.....your loaf looks fantastic!! I took my starter out of the fridge this morning for a feed as I intend to make a sponge for a fruit and nut bread tomorrow. If it's good I'll put a link on my blog to the recipe. Also I'll post a recipe for sourdough pancakes that I make, very nice indeed.

  13. Isn't it a brilliant skill to have...to be able to make beautiful bread from flour and water...I even forgot to add salt to my last loaf! Mine are still too flat for me but I'll persevere.
    And yes Wendy is a wonderful friend to have....I can attest to that!
    Love from Sue

  14. Looking good, Narelle! This sourdough baking is extremely satisfying, your first loaf turned out great!

    I've been using one of those 'holey' pizza trays for loaves and it cooks the bottom really well..although the young people call it the 'pimply bread', lol!

  15. Gail: Hi there, let me know when you want to start and I will send you some of my Sourdough Starter to get you going.....

    Brendie: Glad you found me and my blog...enjoy poking around, there's plenty to see and learn....

    Lisa: Thanks, for a first loaf I think it looks pretty good too.....I've got another prooving in a bread basket now...that I lined...I hope it works out well....I'm looking forward to making Sour Dough Pancakes....

    Sue: I'm not sure that it is a skill yet, but I'm definately working on it...lol.....I read that the more you touch it when you go to the second proove, that flatter it will be, because you are letting all the air out of it......Oh you lucky gal to know Wendy....say hi to her for me.

    Christine: Thanks for the compliment, I especially love how each member of the family rave on, while eating it....it sure makes you feel like you have done something really good.....Thanks for the idea of the holey pizza tray...I'll keep an eye out for one in the op-shops for now....Oh and I read also that I should have heated up the stone for about an hour before putting the loaf on it to bake...Oh well,...live and learn...lol

  16. Aww Bless Nartelle, your so welcome - really you have done all the work! your bread looks awesome. This past week I have baked sourdough bread, I have have used an oval casserole dish to bake it in... it worked so well and being ceramic it crisped up the base nicely.
    There is so much you can do with it.. it is wonderful with fruit in it and also the batter makes awesome pancakes..

  17. Thanks Wendy...I made another loaf but overprooved it, and it flopped....it wasn't wasted though, as we had it sliced under a one pot dinner...made a brick into soggy bread...lol...I'll get you to send me those other recipes via email, when you have time...
    thanks a bunch.

  18. You are so stinking funny! I just love your enthusiasm! I have bad news my mom clean out my fridge and threw out my kiefer grains.....I still have my water keifer grains but the milk ones are gone. $35bucks out with the trash. So sad. I just love a "helping" hand. I have a clean fridge for it though. I need to send you an email. Love the pictures...Melissa

  19. Gosh! Your sourdough looks amazing! It's making me hungry just looking at the pictures. Glad it worked out for you!

  20. Melissa: That's no good that you lost your starter, but I bet it is good to have a clean fridge....Ya win sum ya loose sum.

    Emma: Thanks!...I'm planning to make another loaf soon....having had a break from some of my cultures for a week or so.


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