School is in!
Welcome to the School of Sourdough!
Making natural bread has been my life's work. I've been committed to it for three decades now. I didn't go to bread school, or even do an apprenticeship. For what I wanted to do, at that time, there was no school. I didn't miraculously discover that I was born to be a baker, or to be in the kitchen at all, for that matter.
I became a baker to answer needs. Needs led to kneading, and the rest is the story I intend to tell through this school I've set up.
The School of Sourdough is, in a way, the legacy of a life spent making bread. I can confidently say that over these thirty years, I have made pretty much every mistake it's possible to make in the name of making great bread. If it's possible to get it wrong in any way at all, I have probably done it - and usually more than once. I am a living crash test dummy for what not to do in the bakery, and indeed in the bakery business.
Which is why you need to be here. I want everyone to be happy with their lot, in general. So if for some reason you choose to make natural bread, I'm here to help. Otherwise, you stand a very real chance of hurting your soul, through the endless process of failure. You don't want that. Your soul needs to sing, and when you get the sourdough process right, it certainly does this - particularly if you also choose to bake with natural fire, like I do.
If you are here due to the natural process of internet rabbit holes, I congratulate you in getting this far. If this rabbit hole has passed through some of my territory, for example my long time website sourdoughbaker.com.au, then you will be familiar with some of the content I have tried to offer. Never before in history has there been so much information available to us, and yet, despite the best efforts of Sergey Brin and Larry Page, aka; the founders of Google, we remain forever unenlightened. So many people come to my website, and my workshops, completely and utterly confused. I used to spend quite a bit of time trying to answer their numerous confusions, but these days I just work through my process of making sourdough bread with them, and eventually they begin to understand. All the guff they have been endlessly absorbing via innumerable sources gradually falls into place through the kind of understanding I teach here at the School of Sourdough. I'm more interested in helping students to understand 'why to' rather than 'how to'.
Life is short. I could spend days and years learning, and then documenting, what I have learnt to you. I could travel the world, shopping for this or that authentic method, and faithfully report my findings so that you could make intelligent decisions, based on your own judgements and quite possibly prejudices. In this way, you could try various different techniques, and safely and dispassionately assess them, according to my learned recommendations.
Unfortunately, I don't have the years for this. Nor am I a proper journalist. I am a baker, as well as a perennial student. I have been able to refine my technique, over many incarnations, to be very flexible and indeed useable from a variety of perspectives. The methods I instruct, from experience, work well. My techniques are quite different to many, but because they have been developed over many years in a fairly scientific fashion, they tend to stand up to pretty rigorous analysis. At the School of Sourdough, you can be certain you are starting from a solid base. Experience.
If you like what you see on these pages, or in my various social media feeds, why not come to a real, live workshop? You’ll get to see, smell, feel and taste the processes involved with true sourdough bread making. You might end up joining some dots from the various snippets of information you have already picked up from the internet, and in the end it may all make sense to you. If you’ve read this far, here’s a link to guide you to more. There’s all the current workshops there, as well as sourdough starter for sale, and various other bits and pieces. Enjoy!