To help pass the time : Hello everyone... - Asthma UK communi...

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To help pass the time


Hello everyone,

I myself received the dreaded NHS text yesterday tho didn't really class my self a extremely vulnerable. So.... Now I have 12 weeks at home oh the joys.

In my normal life I'm a manager of a multi award winning sourdough bread bakery which I will be going back to eventually. But....... I'm going to use this time perfect my bread making even further. Over the years people on here have helped me with advice so Im offering to help others bake there own bread at home with guidance and support over the Internet, email, WhatsApp etc completely free. If your amateur, professional or never touched a grain of flour before in your life I'm offering free bread mentoring at all levels whether it's sourdough or yeasted bread it's all going to alot healthier for your mind and gut than the soft white you grab from the local supermarket PLUS its also fills in time. Making bread is a great way to pass the time and gives you focus you never know you might even enjoy it. 😁😁. You don't need a big fancy mixer or tons of ingredients to start just the basics. If anyone is interested please let me know. These next 12 weeks are not going to be fun but why not use the time to learn a new skill. If we get a good response with can create a group where people can share there photos skills and more. Hopefully new baking buddy's will be made.

Stay safe everyone. Happy baking

53 Replies


I have also been isolated already for 4 weeks now I would love some info anything to take my mind off what’s going on in the world


Thanks this is all still rather new to me. I just woke up thinking of the idea after I got an Instagram message from someone yesterday asking to help their mother make bread rolls from scratch. I thought what a great way to pass the time..

I had a go at making bread rolls on Sunday they were so good.

That is excellent. Do you plan on making them again?

Absolutely so relaxing to make for sure

It really is. Have you ever experimented with sourdough?

No I haven’t but I want to make some looks delish

To start from scratch it will take roughly 7 days to create a strong enough live culture. If you have some spare flour you can start your sour starter today 👍👍👍. Better still if you know anyone with a starter you can take a small amount from them to get going.

I know it’s a unknown territory we are entering with this virus, your skills could help people use their time making bread at home now a lockdown is in place

in reply to daleboy3

That's the plan hopefully. I just want to help people through this tough time best way they can. The vast majority of people eat bread so why not make it your sefl it will look, taste and be better for you. 😁

Hi Dean, what a lovely idea, thank you! I’d love to get a starter started but no idea how. Am in iso too so hoping I have the right stuff in the cupboard. I guess to access your kindly offered knowledge we log on to this chat? Or do you have a YouTube ? Thank you and look after yourself 😊

Hello and good morning Devongirl,

All you need to start a sourdough starter is some strong bread flour, a jar with a lid and water. It will take around 7 days for the starter to become active enough to bake with. But once you have it up and running there's not stopping it you can bake fresh healthy bread daily with little expense.

Hi Dean, good morning! Thank you! I hopefully have some b flour in the cupboard. I’ve Sen your reply to Jacoel and will follow your instructions. Have a lovely day 🙏

Thanks same to you. My plan is to make kalamata olive sourdough today and deliver it to my father tomorrow. (well leave it on his door step)

Hi Dean!. We only have 1 bag of strong white b flour in the cupboard, and then some self raising and plain. How many grams of the strong white b flour will I need for the first 7 days? Do I need to add a new 100g every day? I’m just rationing as we are stuck in. 🤪

.... and after the first 7 days do I need to feed it weekly or daily? Thank you again for your help!

Hi, you could cut it down to 50g flour per day for feeding for the next 7 days. Which will only use 350g. After the sour is active enough you can keep it in the fridge and re feed every 3 days or so. I do mine every few days but I usually make bread most days 😉

Thank you so much . I’ve been blithering on about learning this for so long, and now I’m finally in the perfect circumstance and I have a teacher! Very grateful 😊

😊 Absolutely no problem at all. Glad to be here to help.

I realised I was being dense and added 50ml water. 👍🏼

Sorry just seen this haha

How's the starter looking today? There should be some small bubbles forming? And a faint vinager type smell?

Hello! Yes, bubbles today - v exciting. I'm adding the 50g flour, 50ml warm water at roughly the same time each day. I can't smell faint vinegar just yet but maybe I should be keeping it with the kilner jar lid open. Hope your kalamata went well!

Great!! Before you feed the sour today you'll need to discard about 60% before feeding. If you dont the there will be too much yeast and bacteria to feed on what you putting in. General rule of thumb is when the starter is up and running you only need about 10% of the previous day's starter before feeding otherwise it will become too acidic.

Thanks dean!! Can I use what I discard for any baking tomorrow?

Unfortunately the sour won't be strong enough to make bread rise at this stage. But you could add it to a yeasted bread mix for extra flavour. Starting a starter is never great because you do have to discard a portion untill you get going.

Thanks Dean! I’ll do that , or I’ve seen a recipe for crackers and as we are stuck in without any rn I may give that a go!! It’s looking promising !!

Hi Dean! I don’t want to be bothering you on here every day, but I’m terrible at maths so am unsure what to do now from day 4 -7?) you said about 10% but I’m not great at working out what that means practically 🤪

& if I’m right, after day 7, I just put it in the fridge and add 50g flour/ 50ml water each week?

THANK YOU for your help!!🙏

Hi Devongirl88,

Don't be daft it not like I have much else to do nearly 1 week down 11 to go😁😁. The 10% I mearly a guide. Before you refeed today you want to tip most of the sour out and leave a little in the jar. In which case if you adding 50g flour and 50g water you want to leave around 20g ish. It's a shame photos cannot be posted on here as I'd like to see the sour and at what stage it's at. The amount of time you feed it once it's ready depends on how much bread you plan on making? 2 loaves a week?

Heya! Eek that is long isn’t it, but so many good loaves are goingTo be coming out of that I don’t doubt! Thanks, I’ll discard all but 20g tonight and feed the 50/50.

For days 5,6&7 - do I need to do exactly as I’m doing tonight?

Then, day 8 does it go into the fridge?

I’d prob want to just bake one large loaf a week, but perhaps 2 some weeks. Not sure how that works with feeding but imagine I’d keep it in the fridge and feed it 50/50 each time I bake?

So many questions, thank you in advance! Really enjoying learning this 👌🏽

Yeah you do exactly the same for days 5 to 7 hopefully by day 7 you should have a bubbling acidic smelling sour. In the case of maintaining your sour you can put it on the fridge and feed once a week but you'll probably have to feed it the night before you need it and leave it in the kitchen I'd even use warm water that should wake up the yeast and bacteria.

Do you have a basic bread recipe?

Thanks- amazing! I’m writing all of this down into my recipe note book 😊 it’s bubbling and smelling sour now, exciting! I don’t have a basic recipe, is there one you’d recommend ? Thanks!

That's exciting and excellent news. a basic recipe would consist of 300g flour, 6g salt, 210ml water and 75g sour.

Awesome thank you! Does it matter what kind of flour? And should the water be warm? I have no idea about the process, is there kneading and proving involved?

There is a process involved I'll write it up for you no problem.

Thank you so much. No hurry 😊

Hi Devongirl,

To start with you can just throw all the ingredients into a mixer and mix untill ready to test when the gluten has developed enough you can do the window pane test. The water temp depends on how hot your kitchen is going to be I'd just have the water luke warm. After mixed don't be tempted to add flour to the dough it's meant to be soft. Once mixed transfer to a bowl or tub. Pre oil the tub so the dough doesn't stick. And leave for 45 minutes you should notice a difference in the 45 minutes. You will notice the dough proving up slowly and possibly even smell a yogurty smell. Fold the dough like you would a piece of paper and leave for 45 minutes. Repeat this 3 times in total. Then shape and mould into your bread basket or tin and cover with clingfilm, leave to prove up until doubled in size then place in the fridge overnight this develops the flavour of the bread if you baked it on day 1 you wouldn't get as much of the sour tangy taste. The next day pre heat your oven to 240 degrees, flour and slash your bake to your own design and bake for around 30 minutes possibly slightly longer. Then enjooooy!!! Any questions please ask

WOW thank you soooo much Dean!!! That’s amazing! I really appreciate the time you’ve given to writing all this down for me 😊👍🏼 🍞

It's also a good idea to put a roasting dish in the bottom on the oven while heating up then add 250ml boiling water to it when you put your bread in the oven this gives steam to the oven for a better crust and better colour. 👍👍

Thank you, pro tip! Just to clarify I haven’t misunderstood- folding the dough like paper, is that into a half or quarters? And I do that 3x with a 45min rest between each fold? Want to get it right hehe. Thank you!! 😀

Yeah that's 3 times this is why we fold, if you imagine the heat from the kitchen is hitting the outside of the dough folding it distributes the heat through the dough giving a even prove, also creating layers in the dough builds a strong structure abit like a lattice effect. This will help the loaf stand up and give more oven spring.

Here is a good idea of folding.

👍👍👍 Any other questions just ask.

How's the sour looking today?

I have just realised I can post videos on the YouTube then on to here for a better explanation 🤔🤔🤔

Hi Dean Samson. I too got the dreaded text Monday followed by the 4 page letter on Tuesday. Like you I was soo shocked to be lockdown for 12 weeks. I am a carer for people with Learning difficulties and I was so bereft. I dont do Not working very well. I would love to learn how to make sour dough. Its a great idea. And help me focus away from grief of not having my 2 girls.. Thank you. Jane

in reply to Jacoel

Good morning Jane,

I was the same in shock. But we will get through it. Do you have a sourdough starter already or do you need to start from scratch?

in reply to DeanSamson

I need to start from scratch Dean

in reply to Jacoel

That's no problem do you have enough flour available. There seems to be a national shortage of flour at the moment. 😂

in reply to DeanSamson

No will any flour do? And how much do I need.

in reply to Jacoel

The start the sour starter you only need around 100g flour but your going to need this every day as the sour requires feeding every day for the first 7 days.

Day 1

Add 100g flour and 100ml warm water to a jar mix slightly until there is no lumps of flour left. (at this point the mix will be a little lumpy which is normal) leave in a warm place untill tomorrow

in reply to Jacoel

Also strong white flour is best but all purpose will be fine.

in reply to Jacoel

I should really explain what's happening inside the jar.

So.... Here goes on the first few days you won't notice much inside the jar possibly small bubbles. The natural yeast spores will begin feeding on the sugars in the flour. The bacteria called lactobacillus will create lactic acid which is the sour taste and smell in Sourdough. The natural yeast creates carbon dioxide which is the bubbles in the starter, these bubbles get trapped in the gluten in the dough which make the bread rise. That's why it's very important the properly develop the dough so it has the elasticity to stretch. 😁👍

in reply to DeanSamson

Right I am on it. Will try and source strong flour today. I'm excited.. at the prospect..

in reply to Jacoel

Excellent good luck

Hi dean, I’ve added another 50g today to yesterday’s day 1 100g and 100 ml starter It’s like a dough tho, so I need to add water or will it absorb? 😊

Hi, everytime you feed the starter you should add 50g flour and 50ml water in equal quantities. From day 3 you need to discard some of your starter before re feeding.

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