We frequently make our own butter using a quality, and readily available pure cream. Our local favourites Jersey Fresh Farm Fresh Cream [Norwood Foodland 300ml] and Tweedvale [some Foodlands 500ml]. You can add 200ml of Jersey Fresh Pouring Cream to achieve the same result. Jersey Fresh Pouring Cream is our all-time favourite for making ice cream.  Yield can vary according to season and the fat content of the cream.

The most important thing to understand with ferments and sour doughs is they can be different every time. So, the need to be intuitive is really important. They are truly ‘the beast’ of the cooking world dependent on room temperature, airborne yeast, naughty mould, clean utensils, stupid chefs who think it’s okay to stick their ungloved dirty hands in….you name it these are the complications. Paranoia, maybe, but no one touches my sour doughs and ferments but me, only because there is then no one else but myself to blame for their failure or take credit for their success.

Best advice, check often. Expect a few failures until you get the hang of it.

AO 15 JULY 20


making the starter

starts with

We have not tried making the starter with commercial buttermilk and understand that it will not work in the same manner.

Buttermilk Sour Dough Starter

this is not started with commercial buttermilk

for the starter
450g non-commercial buttermilk

Cover with a damp cloth. Check daily and dampen the cloth again until the buttermilk starts to ferment; three to four days – depending on room temperature.

Refer to the image which will give you a clear idea of when to proceed.

Looking after the starter
Once the buttermilk is clearly fermenting proceed as follows.

DAY ONE – add 50g flour and mix well
DAY TWO – add 100g flour and mix well
DAY THREE – nothing
DAY FOUR – 225g buttermilk and 100g flour and mix well
DAY FIVE – nothing
DAY SIX – 170g buttermilk and 100g flour and mix well

Day Nine – start the sour dough loaves

Maintaining your sour dough starter click here

sour dough

Mix the starter well and weigh 300g of starter and set it to on side. To the remaining starter add 175g buttermilk [we used commercial] and 75g flour and mix well. Cover again….for more about feeding the starter click here

for the loaves
makes two large loaves

300g starter……previously reserved
300g filtered water
400g buttermilk…..can be commercial buttermilk and we have used milk
2g dry yeast…first and second batch only

150g Four Leaf Organics whole grain rye
50g lightly roasted sesame seeds
25g chia seeds

900g Lauke Bakers flour + about 30g for kneading
20g EVO
20g fine sea salt

20g egg white
10g filtered water

Into your proving bowl [large bowl with a tightly fitting lid] weigh the starter, water and sour dough and yeast and whisk until the yeast is dissolved. Weigh I the oil and mix well.

Weigh the rye, roasted sesame seeds and chia seeds into a Thermomix and grind until just a few crushed rye grains remain. Add them to the liquid, weigh in the 900g flour and partially mix together before adding the salt. Work until mixed together, making sure that flour and grains have been scraped into the dough. Shape into a smooth ball, flatten slightly and cover with the lid. Place in a cool place for 24 hours.

It is a little sticky but use as little additional flour as possible.. Knock the dough back and scrape the dough out, knead into a smooth ball.

Cut the dough into two, knead each piece separately and shape according to your bannetons. If you don’t have bannetons you can use bowls lined with baking paper or bowls that are lightly buttered and floured. 

Cover with bowls or caps and prove for 2-4 hours until they are doubled in size. Gently tip the loaves onto baking sheets covered with silicon mats. Whisk the egg white and water together, brush the loaves and set a timer for 30 minutes.

Pre heat oven to 200°C
When the timer goes put the loaves in the oven. Approximately 1 hour.

Cool on racks to keep the bottoms crunchy.

Posted July 14, 2020


Again this requires intuition and experience, most importantly gauging the room temperature is critical.

  • Don’t want to use your starter on a weekly basis…freeze it!
  • If you’re going to make a couple of loaves a week, twice a week 150g buttermilk or milk and 100g flour.
  • At least once every two weeks tip out your sour dough wash and sterilise the container and sterilise your muslin cover.

Lastly don’t give up if it takes you a couple of goes to get it working the way it should.