Sourdough recipe at last

Yolanda Botha, Somerset West

I was so excited when I read through the Bolander today and saw Norman McFarlane’s recipe for perfect sourdough bread.

What a find! I have tried many of your recipes over the years with great success and always look forward to your new ‘shares’. I am a mother of three and cook for six people every day. Children love their bread, which had me buy a bread machine in order to bake unbleached stone ground flour breads. Later, me and my husband decided to go all out: we took the plunge and bought an electric stone ground mill – so expensive – in order to bake freshly ground whole grain wheat breads. As you obviously know, it is quite tricky to get these breads to rise and I have possibly tried more than 50 different combinations.

My most successful attempt is when I add one cup of stone ground spelt to my wheat flour. It is a lighter flour and seems to help the rising process along, as well as using buttermilk instead of just plain milk. I have a friend who bakes sourdough breads for a select cafe in Stellenbosch, who has a yeast plant, but he never wants to share a part of it in order to grow my own! Is that what you are referring to when you say 100g sourdough starter in your recipe? I would appreciate it if you could give me tips on how to get my own going! What I like about this recipe is the fact that it still uses wholegrain flour in combination with other flours, as it’s such healthy flour to bake with.

Norman has since propagated a sourdough yeast starter for Yolanda. Ed.