One of the things I used to really enjoy was baking bread and I rarely get round to it anymore. So I found a supplier of sourdough starters (this is a 15 year old one) and got it going at home

My initial suspicions were that it may not have travelled well and this was confirmed a few days later by a vinegar smell. Sourdough can get a vinegar smell when it’s got too warm and uses up the available food. At this point the plant can become out of balance and it’s best to throw half away and feed twice a day until it recovers. You can then refeed it.

Mine actually developed a “hooch” (a vinegary alcoholic brown fluid) on top. Don’t stir it in, drain it, throw away much of your sourdough starter (keeping back a tablespoon or so) then start again in a clean vessel.

The vinegar smell continues, but I’ve baked off it and I can say it tastes absolutely fine!


Just look at that! I added about 15g of starter to 250ml of water, 300g of strong flour and left overnight. I added another 300g of flour, mixed and kneaded until it became glossy/dough like. I left it to rise whilst I went to work and my wife knocked it back (gently removed the air) about 3 hours before I was due home. I left it a little longer – another hour or two as it hadn’t risen much and then baked in a hot oven.

Left it to cool overnight and for breakfast I had lovely sourdough with homemade bramble jelly I got for Xmas from my wife’s aunts!

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