bethesdabakers's picture

Just signed up and wanted to say greetings to you all and that this looks like it's going to be a great forum.

Don't believe in magic or miracles but I met an acquaintance on the street yesterday who asked if I could make her pure rye sourdough on a regular basis. This hit my conscience because my rye starter had been sitting at the back of the fridge for well over six months. Dug out 50g from the murky depths, refreshed it this morning, it's going like a rocket by this evening. Nearest thing to a miracle.

Best wishes,


270 users have voted.


bethesdabakers's picture
bethesdabakers 2005 December 17

Fancy meeting you here. Where's all the Australians?

And don't jest - we've been boiling our water here since raw sewage got into the supply.


Anonymous 2005 December 18

Dunno where the guy's from Oz are? Do like Grahams site alot though, yeah Graham!


TrevorM-L's picture
TrevorM-L 2005 December 19

Welcome Mick...

been a regular reader of your posts on Dan's forum for a while now... always very informative...

great news about your rye starter... looks like there is hope for my 20 year old rye starter that I have sitting at the back of the fridge for the last 2 months without refreshing...!!! been putting off gettig it out in fear that it was going to be DOA...

Grahams site is good... had some great advice on here a coupole of times... just tends to be a little quiet at times... aussies are a bit like that sometimes I guess... except in the pub...


Graham's picture
Graham 2005 December 21

Thanks Jeremy, Mick, Dave and Trevor for the good site feedback. It is a bit quiet. Aussies can have a fairly large fear of ridicule. However they will talk in situations where words dissolve and are forgotten the next day. Which is why pubs are so good, as well as travel outside the country and dangerous situations where they will probably die

The exception to this are Aussies that have been ridiculed so many times that they are used to it, and know how to work it in their favour. We desperately need more of those tormented individuals on this site to compliment the growing International community.

Really, it's just a matter of convincing Australian Artisan Bakers that they are truly worthy of all the attention. The gallery photos prove it. You are worthy, You are worthy, You are worthy (much emotion).

Speaking of galleries, I did a quick search for bethesda bakers and found this: [url][/url]

Are these your photos, Mick?

Maybe you can tell me about Wales some day. My grandfather was from Llandrindod Wells. I did go there once and stayed with a distant relative for a few days. It was very beautiful, but really I don't know much about Wales.

Anonymous 2005 December 21

Yes, those are my pics, Graham. I was going to say I stopped worrying about being ridiculed a long time ago, but maybe the truth is I started managing my potential for being ridiculed (all men fear ridicule).

I could give you a perspective of Wales i.e. that of an English person living in Welsh-speaking Wales but I still want to go on living here. Llandrindod Wells holds a strange position in terms of Welsh Wales. It's only a small country but North/South travel is pretty complicated and Cardiff, the capital, is as far south as you can go. So the North always feels marginalised. Llandod (as it's known) is deemed to be equidistant between North & South Wales so all official meetings with any sort of a nationwide perspective take place there and it suits no one (although the town does pretty well out of it).

Excellent site.


Graham's picture
Graham 2005 December 21

Yes, I think your view of ridicule is the healthiest one. My comments were perhaps a little dark, typical 2 am talk. Wales sounds like a stimulating place in terms of culture and natural environment. There would be lots to talk about at the dinner table.

Graham's picture
Graham 2005 December 21

We have just upgraded the User Albums area in the Gallery [url][/url]

Users now have their own personal gallery space which they can manage as they please. If you login to the gallery you should see a link to your album at the top right of the page. Click on the link to get to your album. The album is created automatically when you log in. Please let me know if there are problems, it is early days. Graham

SourDom 2005 December 22

Mick, Graham

I suspect that the difference in traffic in this forum compared to Dan Lepard's, is more a function of difference in population size, than of the intrinisc personalities of Australians versus Poms (thats the local vernacular for natives of the UK - for those international visitors). Also - there is a critical mass in online fora, that determines the frequency of posts, and the number of people with similar experiences and interests. With 30 odd members, compared to 300 plus (in DL's site), I am not sure that this forum has reached such a critical mass yet.

Having said that, I wonder whether there is as much interest in home artisan and sourdough baking in Australia as in the UK. I usually get strange (but often admiring) looks when I tell people that I am baking sourdough. I have yet to meet someone else interested in home baking, but perhaps I don't get out enough It is one of the virtues of an online forum, that a small but geographically disparate group of individuals with similar interests can share experiences and provide support and encouragement.


bethesdabakers's picture
bethesdabakers 2005 December 22

Hello Dom,

I think that's right. I've been contributing to bread forums for several years. Even though the net is a wonderful thing for putting people in touch with each other across the globe it's still useful to have regionally based forums because local conditions (types of flour, etc.) vary.

In the UK Andrew Whitley's Bread Matters forum was the one for some years but even though his courses at the Village Bakery at Melmerby had an international reputation traffic could be very slow for weeks at a time on that site.

Then a guy called Malcolm Osman set up which was lively for a while but couldn't compete with Dan Lepard's site. Now sadly some intelligent person has hacked it so it can't even be accessed now but Malcolm was thinking of closing it anyway.

Even Dan's forum was pretty slow until The Handmade Loaf was published in various parts of the world.

So I'm sure this site will pick up speed - it's got the resources to attract people. On the other hand all you really need is a few people who really care about what they're doing and who want to share ideas.

Best wishes,


SourDom 2005 December 22


I might have to disagree with you about the intelligence or lack thereof of the numbskull who hacked the breadbakers website (I suspect your comment was ironic).

I was enjoying perusing it, and had yet to explore many of the interesting recipes posted there. There were a few of yours that I may have to get from you directly.


bcooper 2005 December 27

hi everyone ,sorry to cut back to the source of the post but........ 6 month old starter? woah dont poison the poor dear!

kurtlayne 2005 December 28

Well this site has certainly picked up already since I first visited but like some of the other postings I am also not down under. I am writing from London where we are trying to make Sourdough available to all here. Good to know there are people so close like Mick.

bethesdabakers's picture
bethesdabakers 2006 January 4

Dear BCooper

I wasn't recommending abandoning your starter for six months, I was CONFESSING having done it. Does show how resillient a sourdough culture can be though.

Best wishes,


Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 January 6

You would be surprised at the resiliency of a goood moldy culture in the nether reaches of my fridge, bio hazrd nah! Give it some good water and flour and were in with Flynn!

Right Mick?

Nick 2006 February 5

I thought it interesting to read a tiny fragment on the current status of naturally leavened baking at home in Oz, considering how well spoken of are it's professional bakers.

It appears as if home baking in England is undergoing a current return to form (though I confess to only being a recent addition to it's numbers). How are things over in Australia?

Graham's picture
Graham 2006 February 5

Hi Nick

We are lucky in OZ because there is a network of independent bakers that bake from a philosophical perspective. These bakers are stubborn enough to bake a good product and educate the market, rather than pandering to the masses from the moment they open their doors. They tend to influence the market rather than the other way around. The principle that basic sourdough is simply flour, salt and water is strong amongst people that bake and know a bit about sourdough, but many Australians are also being exposed to a range of "sourdough concentrate" sourdoughs popping up in fast food outlets, franchise and supermarket bakeries wanting to cash in on the sourdough name. There are also several conventional bakeries that are trying to do it right, though I think it is more difficult to emerge sourdough bread from conventional environments. But they are trying!

Home bakers are getting a good start to sourdough, partly due to the folks in this forum I think.

That's a bit of background for you.

dj 2006 April 15

My comment is mainly to Dom. He mentioned that maybe there were not many Australian interested in home made sourdough. I know that was a long time ago but just thought I'd tell him they do exist.

I am a sand groper (from WA for the non Ozzies) I found this site by accident and since I too enjoy home made bread I have been enjoying a browse of the site.

It was dissapointing to note that it looks like there are no WA Bakers involved here. but maybe with time.

SourDom 2006 April 15


welcome to the site

I have no idea how many sourdough bakers are out there, but it is always nice to meet another likeminded soul!


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