The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from New Zealand

AndrewT's picture

Hello from New Zealand


I'm Andrew from Rotorua, New Zealand.

My wife and I bought a clay pizza oven a few weeks ago. I tried making some pizza then used some of the dough to start a sourdough culture. Once I started using the sourdough, I got hooked on it and now I make bread every day.

We did an artisan bakery course a few years ago here:

I have a long way to go though :)

The sausages pic is some focaccia that my wife gave to my nephews just now. Love the focaccia!

I feed my starter every day with stoneground roti flour and I've used every bit of it.

Sometimes I can get my clay oven so hot that it can cook a pizza in just over a minute!

leslieruf's picture

there is a handful of kiwi members scattered around.  I am in Katikati so not too far away.

your bakes look pretty good. look forward to future posts.


nmygarden's picture

Oh, my, Andrew, you are hooked on baking! Each of these looks wonderful and will surely bring friends and family back for more. We're glad to have you here and look forward to learning more about you.


Weizenbrot's picture

Your photos are making me hungry.

yozzause's picture

Welcome Andrew from across the ditch  and over on the far side Perth. You look like things are going well for you there.

When you said you used a piece of the left over dough to start your S/D culture was it from an original sour dough? otherwise what you have is your normal yeast propagating itself, still quite useful but not actually a sourdough culture.

Kind regards Derek

AndrewT's picture


Re. ..."was it from an original sour dough? otherwise what you have is your normal yeast propagating itself, still quite useful but not actually a sourdough culture."

Is that a fact? Well my culture what ever it is, looks and smells and tastes and works for me fantastically so far and has improved over the weeks (yes it was started with some dough that contained active yeast out of a jar).

I add bakers yeast into most of my recipes anyway. I add my culture for flavour and texture and it makes a big difference. Wouldn't my starter be full of lactic acid which would give the sour flavour and so perhaps be called sourdough? Wouldn't the yeast in baker's yeast originally have come from naturally occurring yeast?

I thought even I went to San Francisco and bought some hundred year old starter and smuggled it past the border patrol into my country, after a fairly short while the yeast would be replaced by the naturally occurring yeast from my area?

Or is my culture permanently tainted by the original baker's yeast and I should throw it away and start again if I ever want to make true sourdough?

yozzause's picture

Hi Andrew,  I am not suggesting that what you have or are doing isn't good, pre fermenting part of the flour is always going to give an improvement in flavour profiles. I was just pointing out for the benefit of other readers and newer members that there is a difference between a sour dough culture from wild yeasts and propagation of a dough piece that may have come from commercial yeasts. The use of sponges and biga are examples of the latter put to good use. Semi sour dough where there is the addition of commercial yeast  is also very useful and is employed myself for some breads.


dabrownman's picture

far behind.  It all looks so good.  Well done, welcome and happy SD baking

AndrewT's picture

When I started making coffee I thought I had to have the most expensive beans, roasted within the last few days, the super-expensive coffee machine, etc, etc.

Now I find I can get really good coffee with the cheapest beans by getting the grind right, right amount of tamping, right amount of water through them, well frothed milk, etc, i.e. all in the technique.

Now I am thinking it might be the same with bread. I am persisting with the cheapest flour and working on my ratios, timing, working and shaping of the dough, etc.

AndrewT's picture

Darn it! Just baked my first brick :)  I forgot to add any salt. I realised something was wrong when it didn't rise as usual. Tasted a crumb from the corner and can tell straight away.

Reading about salt now:

I've been using this 1, 2, 3 approach from here:

I'm going to remember 1, 2, 3, 5 now e.g.

100g sour dough starter
200g water
300g flour
5g salt !!!

Bread1965's picture

I did the same thing not to long ago by accident.. So I sliced it, toasted it, and put some fresh cut tomatoes, olive oil, basil and salt on top.. getting hungry just thinking about it.. couldnt' tell that the salt was missing!

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

That's a good, real-life example of why that little bit of salt is so important, and not just for flavour! I now always measure the salt along with everything else, putting it in a little bowl and sitting it right beside the mixing bowl with the autolyse in it.