Welcome to Sourdough Baker. This site is all about sourdough bread, how to make it at home, and where to go to find out more. If you live in the Newcastle area, you can even order your bread from this site!
You'll find lots of sourdough information here, including:
Since establishing SourdoughBaker Cafe in Newcastle in 2010, we've been running workshops at least every month. Most months now, we fit two workshops in. It's a great way to see, feel and experience the sourdough process as it happens in our small scale inner city bakery.
At the Sourdough 101 Workshop, you'll get to help make the bread, bake some of your own, and become acquanted with a baker's peel.
The mornings are all about dough and the magic of sourdough starter, and how to make them both with minimal effort at home.
We get stuck into a production run of hand moulding, and get plenty of practice with our finishing techniques. We make some beautiful viennas, ready to be baked.
In the afternoon we spend some time with Wal, our brick floored oven. For those of you who follow the goings on around here, Wal is our temporary replacement oven for Bertha, who is currently being redesigned for larger capacity. Watch this space for news!
Then we spend an hour or two baking off we some beautiful sourdough bread. And you get to take some home. Reward for your hard day's toil.
We've moved to larger premises at 15 Denison Street, Newcastle West. It's not a shopfront, so it's a little hard to find - it's up a lane between the two Wesley Mission buildings, only a few buildings away from Hunter street - but our customers agree it's a beautiful space. Why not pop in and make yourself known?
SourdoughBaker Cafe in Newcastle also has a Facebook fan page, and by 'Like', you can keep up with all the latest Sourdough Workshop news, as well as keep up with the daily happenings around our little establishment.
Sourdough Bread Supply
For our Newcastle friends, we have now set up a Sourdough Bread Supply delivery service, which is a great way to get fresh bread every Saturday morning, delivered to your door!
Caterer's Subscription Packs
We can also cater for your function, business luncheon or weekend get together from our new kitchen. We've assembled a selection of your favourites from the SourdoughBaker Cafe menu, modified them to be suitable for easy eating (finger foods and the like) and put together a range of Caterer's Subscriptions to suit every budget!
Our SourdoughBaker Online Shop can help you get started as a home baker.
But that's not all!
We source quality breadmaking books through Amazon. If it's about breadmaking, baking, ovens, and just about anything besides, we've probably got it!
It's also the place where you can book for upcoming breadmaking workshops and classes through the SourdoughBaker Kitchen.
You can buy our famous SourdoughBaker breads at the shop too, if you happen to live in Newcastle, NSW. Follow the link to subscribe to our delivery service, making going out on Saturday for the bread a thing of the past.
If you have a function to cater for, and want it to be just that little bit different, you can also look at our Caterers Selection. We have reinvented some of our most popular cafe goodies and given you a range of budget packages to suit any occasion.
We no longer sell sourdough starter online, due to the demands of running our little bakery. If you have ordered and have not received yours, please contact us for a refund. We do, however, sell fresh starter from our bakery at 15 Denison Street, Newcastle West.
SourdoughBaker's new kitchen and cafe opens!
Our Cafe on Hunter Street Newcastle has closed, and we've started a Subscription based bakehouse just up the road.
The new SourdoughBaker Cafe is now open at:
15 Denison Street, Newcastle West.
We're building a bigger and better Bertha (Bertha 2, as she will be affectionately known) there, as well as a brand new Cafe and retail space and bookshop.
The new cafe is now open Monday to Saturday from 8am. Go up the lane between the two Wesley Mission buildings and you'll find us.
Novocastrians can now receive their weekly bread deliveries by ordering online - and our helpers deliver to their doors every Saturday morning. But you can also buy our breads over the counter too.
You can subscribe to our new service now, and in doing so, you will be supporting a community based enterprise that's all about affordable great bread delivered regularly to your door.
We've continued the Virtual Village Bakery idea to include catering. There's a selection of our most popular bakery and cafe goodies in our online shop to go into caterers subscription packs for luncheon / picnic organisers and local businesses. Very original, very yum.
If you're interested in reading about the behind the scenes action, and Warwick Quinton's rants and ramblings about life in the bakery world, the Newcastle world, and the world in general, check out the SourdoughBaker blog.
What's SourdoughBaker.com.au all about?
This site is for everyone who wants to know more about the ancient and fascinating art of making bread from a natural sourdough culture, or levain, as the french call it. While some people have come to sourdough bread in recent times, others have been producing it for decades.
Sourdough culture can be used in regular vaking recipes too, to add flavour and nutrition to any recipe!
Note: If you would like to flesh out your breadmaking knowledge, I've begun selling some of my favourite Baking Books too, right here, through Amazon. My customers report fast shipping and good prices, and as long as they are happy, so am I!
One thing has emerged over the past couple of years of writing this site - Sourdough starter is THE issue amongst beginner Sourdough Bakers. At the SourdoughBaker Cafe in Newcastle, we sell 400 g packs of starter in either wholemeal or white. We no longer sell online, as the bakery is very time consuming, but once you buy from us, we will guarantee it, even if you manage to kill it! At our sourdough workshops, we cover starter and how to keep it in detail, so there's another avenue to persue. But if you can't make it to Newcastle, there's always this site!
SourdoughBaker provides free sourdough breadmaking information on a wide variety of subjects. These include, among lots of other things:
Subjects include information on all the different grades of organic wheat flour, spelt flour, rye flour, semolina flour; as well as good info on types of salt that are best for breadmaking, and much more. I will soon include information about grains such as barley, millet, rice, oats and corn. I also provide information on how to prepare different ingredients for the best results in your breadmaking.
Under 'Liquid Sourdough Starters, there is my sure fire recipe for a 7 day sourdough starter, as well as a sourdough starter made from spelt, how to maintain a sourdough starter, healing your sourdough starter if it gets neglected, how to store your starter for various lengths of time.
This site explores lots of different types of sourdough starter too - for example, 'old dough' sourdough starter is a great technique for a no fuss way of making sourdough. Or, for the advanced sourdough baker, the dry dough or desem technique is just amazing - though you're in for a bit of work to successfully run a desem. Once these starters are up and running, they are virtually bulletproof, and will make awesome bread at a moment's notice pretty much any time.
In this section of the site there are methods showing how to make different types of starter, including liquid sourdough starter, old dough sourdough starter, how to transform your liquid starter to old dough sourdough starter for no more feeding worries. Advanced sourdough bakers will enjoy the demystification of the method called Dry Dough or Desem sourdough, which gives both ease of use and great flavour. There are articles on the ways to use a powdered starter and much more. Coming soon will be some little handy e books too. Right now, this site probably has more information about sourdough starters all in one place than any other!
The sourdough recipe section just keeps growing - right now there are enough recipes in this site to keep you baking for months on end without repeating yourself! Some are raised on liquid starter, like my basic sourdough recipe, a really interesting wholemeal sourdough recipe, a great white spelt sourdough recipe and a wholemeal spelt sourdough recipe.
Then, there are a whole bunch of old dough recipes, including a more interesting 'basic' sourdough recipe, which is designed to teach 'baker's feel', as well as to create some 'old dough' - for use instead of liquid starter. There is another white sourdough recipe, a light rye sourdough recipe, a medium rye sourdough recipe and more to come using the old dough technique.
For the full list of sourdough recipes, follow any of the links below:
Porridge Bread (PB) Recipes
Recipe Section Highlights:
The sourdough recipe section has been broken up into specific sections, common to the type of sourdough leaven used. Some sections are really good for beginners, or for 'young starters', which have not yet stabilised. Others are strictly for bread geeks.
For beginners, there are all the 'semi leaven' sourdough recipes, which are sourdough breads made using small amounts of yeast for lighter and yet flavoursome breads. They include, or will include, recipes for
Semi Leaven breads are really useful when you might be time pressed, or you just want a surefire success. They tend to work really well, no matter what. Also, they contain less than a quarter of the usual amount of yeast in commercial bread, which makes them relatively safe also.
I've included a whole section dedicated to what are known as 'porridge bread' sourdough recipes, which all utilise different techniques for pre-softening whole grains and seeds. These techniques make for delicious and nutritious breads.
The name 'porridge bread' has nothing to do with porridge, by the way - or at least, not the type we have for breakfast anyway. A porridge bread, or blanched grain or blanched seed bread, is a type of bread where a component of either whole grain, seed or whole meal is used.
Blanching is used with wholemeal flours and seeds, whereas making a 'porridge', or cooking is necessary for using many whole grains.
The Porridge Bread section includes recipes for some of the following breads:
Kibbled Wheat Bread Recipe
Real Multigrain Bread
I've recently delved into the world of Dough Sourdough, which seems to be exactly like desem sourdough. It's for advanced bakers, because it takes a bit of work and technique to get it going, but when it's done, it's very low maintenance and makes stunningly good sourdough bread.
So far, there's the following articles are written, but I promise there will be lots more:
A section detailing all kinds of home breadmaking equipment including domestic ovens, dough mixers, processors, breadmaking machines and so on is in the pipeline, so stay tuned. Right now there is a shop where you can get some useful stuff, and some information about basic breadmaking utensils, useful stuff to have in your home bakery and more.
Most of the extra things you'll require to make sourdough bread at home are very inexpensive, and simple. If you have the right things, you'll be able to make your home made sourdough bread cleanly and efficiently. This is important! You'll see the dedicated home bakery really is a place of care and thought. They don't stay clean and organised without some careful thought to setup and ease of use. So far, you can read the following articles:
The site covers baking techniques, how to best use mixers and other equipment, kneading techniques, shortcuts and more. This site is all about fine detail - I don't assume you know everything, but I don't assume you know nothing either. I try to provide just the right amount of detail to get the job done, step by step, with pictures. So far, there's:
Over the years I've accumulated quite a few anecdotes and stories which may bring a smile or a gasp, and describe a bit more about the obsession that became a bakery. There's lots more, and lots more to come. So far, there's:
Note: content that is listed here in blue is linked. That which isn't blue is yet to be written or uploaded, so please bear with me!