Strange times and Sourdough!

How are you finding things in these strange and difficult times wherever you are in the world? I mean it, how are you?

Here at The Cooking Pages we certainly have much more free time on our hands. We have been busy with planting and getting our garden organised for the summer and autumn. This year we have tomatoes, chillis, peppers, potatoes, cucumbers, spring onions and a variety of herbs and wild fruit. We have a reduced garden size this year so it’s just a selection of yumminess.

Something we do on a daily basis is bake bread. We are a family with significant food allergies so making things from scratch is not new to us. There are many of us that are finding and developing a love of baking and it is a wonderful activity that the whole family can participate in. This goes a little way to explain the shortage of things like yeast at the moment. If you are finding yeast a difficult ingredient to get your hands on and you want to bake bread, you may want to consider sourdough.

With sourdough bread, a starter is grown and is used in place of dry yeast. The resulting bread is a crusty, delicious and tangy bread that will delight bread eaters. We enjoy it using it with everything from bacon butties to Welsh rarebit.

Sourdough bacon sandwich Homemade bacon on our sourdough

In this post I’ve given your our recipe and method for growing your own sourdough starter. H, the youngest member of our family is responsible for feeding our starter and it’s something he takes very seriously.

So, get your starter growing and make a loaf.

Sourdough starter


  • 100gms strong white flour
  • 100mls tepid water
  • Clear open top jar so you can see the bubbles


  • Begin by pouring 100gms of flour into a bowl and mix in the 100mls of lukewarm water.
  • Mix well so there is no dry flour.
  • Cover loosely with a tea-towel and leave in a warm spot in the kitchen.
  • Stir every now and then, especially if the water and flour starts to separate.
  • After a few days, you should start to see bubbles on the surface and the mix will have a slightly sour smell. This can take up to a week so some patience is needed.
  • Once you see bubbles, take out half of the mixture and mix in 50gms flour and 50mls water. Continue doing this every day for a week.
  • This is called feeding your starter and it’s where your starter gets its strength from.
  • After a week of feeding your starter, you are good to go. The starter should taste sour and be a little fizzy on your tongue.

Our starters Maurice, Martha and Myrtle

There are a wealth of recipes and methods on the internet for how to make sourdough. There are so many in fact that it’s too hard to put just one here. We use lots of different methods depending on what we feel like doing and each of us has our own different style. So grab your starter, search the internet and experiment!

Sourdough A beautiful crusty sourdough boule

We love chips!

Over here at The Cooking Pages HQ, we’re trying new recipes and tweaking our old favourites.  We have wide and varied tastes as far as food goes but one thing we always strive for is real food with no added nasties.  Our products have no artificial additives or preservatives and we plan on keeping it that way.  Whether it’s a sauce, meat rub or jam you can trust that it’s full of goodness.

Something that gets almost daily use here in The Cooking Pages kitchen is Doug’s Seasoning Spice.  It’s great for adding to meat for a little extra kick but our favourite is to coat our chips for an amazing alternative to salt. Once you’ve cooked your choice of chip (we love potato and sweet potato), toss your chips in a bowl with the seasoning spice and serve with your favourite sauce. In our house, tomato is our go to although sometimes we mix it up with BBQ.  

There are different ways of cooking your chips whether it’s oven baked, deep fried or air fryer. I’ve added a recipe here for homemade oven chips but you can cook them whichever way you love to do them.   Remember, shop bought chips work well too. We all have busy lives.

Homemade Oven Chips

  • 5-6 large potatoes. We use Maris Piper as that’s what we grow in our garden.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil. We use olive but you can use whichever oil you favour.
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Doug’s Seasoning Salt


  • Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
  • Peel your potatoes and cut them into long chip shapes – the thickness you do is entirely up to you!
  • Rinse under the cold tap and pat dry with a tea towel.
  • Spread the chips on a large non-stick baking tray and toss with the olive oil. Lie them flat in a single layer, use two trays if you need to rather than overcrowd one.
  • Bake for 45-50 mins, turning now and then.
  • When they are golden brown and crisp with a light fluffy centre, remove from the oven and toss in a bowl with the seasoning spice.
  • Serve with your favourite sauce and enjoy!
Photo: stock image