Real Bread Campaign

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The Real Bread Campaign helps you to discover that: Life's sweeter with sourdough!


It's sweet to tweet about #SourdoughSeptember


Please remember: sourdough's not just for September!

See also

Wild thing, you make my loaf spring

The ninth month of the year is when the Real Bread Campaign goes on a mission to help everyone discover that: life’s sweeter with sourdough!

From 1-30 September, Real Bread bakers worldwide are encouraged to organise their own local events and activities to help share sourdough secrets and demystify the delicious delights of the oldest way of raising a loaf.

How to get involved

Two fantastic ways for people to fall in love with genuine sourdough are when it’s made into toast or used as a pizza base.

That’s why this year the Real Bread Campaign is also encouraging its supporters, friends and other leaven lovers to hold:

  • sourdough toast and tea mornings
  • sourdough pizza evenings or
  • make naked pizzas to show off the unadorned (or minimally topped) glory of their brilliant bases.

Here are some more ideas of activities bakeries, baking schools and others can organise:

  • Join forces with local brewers, charcutiers, picklers, cheese makers for a feast of fermentation
  • Run sourdough Real Bread classes
  • Put on a Sourdough September special loaf
  • Give away free pots of your sourdough starter to customers, along with a Real Bread recipe to make at home
  • Add an optional donation (eg 50p-£1) to our charity onto customers’ bills - perhaps limit this to the special, other nominated sourdough loaf, or the pots of starter

And for the pizza people:

  • Run sourdough spinning classes – ie pizza making lessons to share with people the story behind why your pizzas are so fab, and hopefully encourage them to get flour arranging at home
  • Give away free pots of your sourdough starter to customers, along with a pizza and/or Real Bread recipe to make at home
  • Add an optional donation (eg £1) to our charity onto customers’ bills (or perhaps limit this to 20-50p added to the special, or other nominated pizza)

Once you decide, please ADD details to the Real Bread Campaign calendar

What's going on

Across thirty days of sharing food, facts and fun, Real Bread bakeries, baking schools, mills and food festivals around the globe will be running sourdough classes, tastings, feasts and more to help everyone experience and enjoy the power of sour.

Find and ADD details of local events on the Real Bread Campaign calendar

Events already added by Campaign supporters for 2016 include:

  • Nourish books publishing Slow Dough: Real Bread, the Campaign's first recipe book
  • The Artisan Bakery School’s Croatian Bake-ation on the island of Korcula
  • Hobbs House Bakery’s #KingOfTheSourdough final
  • The School of Artisan Food's rye and heritage grains bread course

Many more will be added much closer to (and during) September.

Highlights of past years


  • Champions in Hobbs House Bakery’s quest to find #KingOfTheSourdough will win a class in Chipping Sodbury with Hobbs House bakery’s finest bakers and one will be declared the first ever King or Queen of the Sourdough
  • Sourjoe September at Joe’s Bakery in Bristol, with tastings, classes, Q&A sessions and a new loaf launched.
  • The Loaf in Crich, Derbyshire, is creating nine new sourdough Real Breads during the month.
  • Brick House in Peckham is running Sourdough Starter for 10, giving away a pot of starter and one of their award-winning loaves every week.
  • Paul Brennan in Cardiff will be giving away loaves from his wood-fired microbakery’s oven to the first 32 neighbours who email to ask for one.
  • Aidan Chapman’s Phoenix Bakery in Weymouth is shunning baker’s yeast for a whole month, instead using only using sourdough starter for all of his Real Bread
  • Andrew Whitley launches on 2nd September to connect people who use and share Bread Matters’ starter (descended from the one given to him in Kostroma in Russia in the 1990s) and holding a two-day Sourdough Special course in the Scottish Borders on the 21stand 22nd
  • Roger and Sally Birt’s Red Dog Bakery in north Devon is running a sourdough baking class on the 6th and tasting on the 7th
  • The Hornbeam Bakers Collective introduce sourdough in their alternative breads class in Walthamstow on the 8th
  • Tom Herbert will cover sourdough as part of his baking masterclass at Hobbs House School in Chipping Sodbury on 11thand 24th
  • Carrie Winger shares sourdough techniques in an Allendale Bakery class in Hexham on the 14th
  • Robin van Creveld will be Going Wild for two days of dosas, dhokra and other sourdough breads at Lewes Community Kitchen on the 20th and 21st
  • Chris and Joanna Brennan will be running sourdough start-up classes on 28th and 29th as part of Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival’s new Bread Zone
  • Chicago Amateur Bakers dedicated the September edition of the monthly, international Twitter #breadchat to sourdough. You can download the transcript from their website here.

To be kept up to date with the latest details, and to support us being able to run more events like this in the future, please join the Real Bread Campaign and we'll send you Breadcrumbs, our monthly enewsletter.

New sourdough recipe book

Slow Dough: Real Bread is the Real Bread Campaign’s first recipe book. It contains around 90 recipes for genuine sourdough and other long ferment Real Breads.

They range from a basic white loaf, to Laotian kalpao and Friesian fryske sûkerbôle. It is brought to life by around 70 full colour photographs by Victoria Harley.

The book will be published on 13 September 2016 (USA) and 15 September (UK) by Nourish Books.

Read more and pre-order

What is sourdough?

Using a sourdough starter is the original (and some would say still the best) form of rasing a loaf of Real Bread.

Now, we're not talking the par-baked things that get rebaked in some supermarket loaf tanning salons, or other suspicious substitutes made using dried sourdough powder and commercial bakers' yeast....quite possibly with a lacing of artificial additives, and even hidden processing aids, to boot.

We mean genuine sourdough made with as little as just flour, water and salt, plus time and care. Real Bread bakers nuture the yeasts and bacteria  naturally present in all flour to create a starter culture they then use to leaven luscious loaves.

In the hands of skilled bakers, what is the oldest and simplest recipe for Real Bread can also become the most delicious.

There is also growing evidence that genuine sourdough Real Bread made using long-fermentation with a live starter culture may have health benefits, too...

For much more about sourdough, click here.


It is both flattering and frustrating that some supermarkets and industrial loaf fabricators have spotted the increasing appetite for sourdough made by Real Bread bakers, and decided they want a slice of the action.

Sadly, what they are producing is not always genuine sourdough.

The 'ingredients' industry is busy concocting 'easy' and 'quick' packet mixes that try to replace time, skill and quality ingredients with a litany of flavourings, acidifiers, artificial additives, commercial yeast and allsorts.

Read labels, ask questions
Whenever you buy a sourdough loaf, it's worth asking how it was made and with what - genuine sourdough is made using a live sourdough culture (aka a starter or leaven) but NOT any of the following:

  • added commercial yeast
  • dried sourdough powder
  • sourdough concentrate
  • yoghurt, vinegar, or other non-sourdough acidifier
  • flavourings, preservatives and other artificial additives

Baked products made using such things are what Real Bread Campaign cofounder Andrew Whitley calls pseudough.

Protection from misleading use of the word sourdough is included in our call for An Honest Crust Act.

If you have seen something sold under the name 'sourdough' that you just know isn't, take a photo of the ingredients list and the marketing claims and post them on Twitter during September using the #sourfaux hashtag.

Learn to bake sourdough Real Bread

You can find more than 100 places to learn to bake Real Bread on our classes and courses page, many of which share the secrets of sourdough.

Many also offer discounts to Real Bread Campaign supporters.

Where can I buy real sourdough?

To seek out places to buy genuine sourdough Real Bread near you, visit our Real Bread Finder and check what sorts of loaves they've listed.

Sourdough September logo and posters

Real Bread Campaign supporters can download artwork to promote their events/activities.