Real Bread Campaign

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The Real Bread Campaign invites you to discover that: Life's Sweeter with Sourdough!





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 everywhere 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.

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

What's going on

You can find and ADD details of your local events here.

Highlights in 2014 include:

  • 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.

To give you a taste of what else you might be able to expect this year, here are some highlights of the first Sourdough September in 2013.

  • 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.

You can find - and add your own - events to our calendar here.


The School of Artisan Food are offering their fellow Real Bread Campaign supporters the chance to win a place on their introductory two-day wild yeast and sourdough course with Campaign ambassador Emmanuel Hadjiandreou on 25 & 26 October. You can read full details of the course here.

Five runners up will receive a copy of Campaign cofounder Andrew Whitley's latest book, Do Sourdough from The Do Book Company.

To enter, you just need to answer a simple question.

  • If you are a Campaign supporter, you can enter here.
  • If you haven’t yet made the jump from Campaign friend to supporter, you can find out how (and many more reasons why) to take that step here.

The winner will be picked from all correct entries received between 1 and 30 September 2014.

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 Real Bread made with as little as just flour, water and salt, plus time and care to nurture yeasts and bacteria (which are naturally present in all flour) to leaven luscious loaves.

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

There is also growing evidence of possible 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 members.

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.