Our New Cookbook: Introducing 'Simple Sourdough'

Our New Cookbook: Introducing 'Simple Sourdough'

We’ve written a new cookbook! It’s called ‘Simple Sourdough: The Easiest Starter and Bread Recipes You’ll Ever Find’. This is a sourdough cookbook for everyone, but especially the beginner; a sourdough cookbook for real life. No prior bread experience necessary and no fancy terms or science lessons - just the essential information you need to bake a delicious loaf of sourdough bread at home. Everyone can do it… with our straightforward recipes, tips and tricks.

This book has been co-authored by Alyce and sister Ellen - Ellen’s mastered the ‘simple sourdough’ technique, teaching herself everything sourdough and simplifying the whole process along the way, while the book has been written in Alyce’s quintessential simple and straightforward style.

Please note this is not a thermo cookbook nor a slow cooker cookbook - no appliances needed.

Check out the book here!

Alyce says…

I’ve always been committed to the ‘homemade is best’ mantra... it’s what I live by, it’s what I’ve based my business around, it’s why I write cookbooks. And what is a more fundamental food than bread?! While I’ve always been a keen bread baker relying on dried yeast... I would still frequent my local sourdough bakery. So, when my sister and business partner Ellen set about conquering homemade sourdough (without the pomp or fuss) and succeeded in the most impressive fashion, I knew it was something we needed to bring to you! And what better way than in a beautiful book such as this one. Although, like all the cookbooks I’ve written in my life, this isn’t an aspirational coffee table book, this is a real cookbook – a helping hand to partner you in the kitchen.

What’s important to me about this book is that we’ve included everything you must know… only the essentials, none of the fluffy extras. We’ve drilled it down to the basics of sourdough cooking – no science lessons, no history lectures, just the information you need to bake an incredible loaf of sourdough bread (and a few other goodies along the way). Nothing is overcomplicated, nothing is fancy. Would a professional baker think we’ve bungled sourdough baking? Potentially! But we haven’t created this for them, we’ve created it for you, the beginner. This is a sourdough book for real life.

With this book in hand, you’ll be able to bake a beautiful loaf of sourdough you’ll be proud to serve and share, and that’s both exciting and empowering! And guess what? I’ve started baking my own sourdough now too. I consider myself a ‘weekend warrior’, baking a loaf and feeding my starter just once a week (page 42 will step you through how). And I don’t think I’ll ever look back.

This book marks my family’s tenth published cookbook; a milestone I’m very proud to reach. What’s the secret to our success? It’s simple – we keep it simple! Our recipes are doable, real-life recipes for real-life cooks. Our books have become a cherished part of households worldwide, with oil splatters and crinkled pages – the books that never make it to the bookshelf because they’re safely tucked in the kitchen. And that’s my wish for this book, too.

Now let Ellen take you on a journey. Put your trust in her… and let’s see what you two can create! I can almost smell the aroma of freshly baked bread.

Alyce xo

Ellen says…

Welcome to my world of simple sourdough baking - you won’t have seen anything like this before! A world where sourdough is stress-free, easy, enjoyable and achievable for anyone, no matter your previous cooking experience or skill set. And of course, a world where the recipes work, and taste delicious. Every. Single. Time.

My simple sourdough cooking concept stemmed from my fascination with sourdough starters and fermented foods. For years, I watched my family full of cooks make everything from scratch; chutneys, pasta sauces, pickled vegetables, kombucha and yoghurt, yet they’d still venture out to the local bakery Sunday morning for a loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread. This baffled me; we all loved eating sourdough, so why was no one making it?

I started doing research, reading cookbooks and recipes online, and soon realised why my busy family had never taken this on - it all seemed so daunting and time consuming. From recipes that were five pages long, unique flours and grains I’d never heard of (let alone would know where to source), to foreign terminology, techniques and scary science talk about bacteria - it was overwhelming! I’d worked with food my whole life but even I couldn’t fathom it all. It felt that unless you were happy for sourdough to be your whole life - what you lived and breathed 24/7 - you just couldn’t be a sourdough baker.

I was thrown in the deep end when I was gifted my first sourdough starter (it made sense - I talked about sourdough a lot for someone who didn’t even have a starter). So, like with everything else in life, I went in head first and embraced it all, with a mission to be able to incorporate this delicious artform into my already very busy schedule.

Some would say I became obsessed with sourdough, and those people would be right. Obsessed with breaking down recipes, shortening techniques, speeding up processes, and reducing the amount of hands-on time needed. I very slowly and carefully combined methods, removed steps and taste-tested everything along the way to find the sweet spot where sourdough baking could be quicker and easier without sacrificing flavour or texture. In that year, I learnt that simple sourdough baking could be a thing – just not many people were doing it. And the icing on the cake? Through all that testing, nothing got wasted! My family and I ate it all. And that’s the thing about sourdough baking - even your absolute worst loaf will still be yummier then 95% of breads out there.

I was drawn to sourdough baking because of all the gut health benefits (cue my fermentation fascination!). Gut health is such an interesting topic and one that needs more attention - I really believe it is the key to optimal health and root cause of many issues. We all have trillions of tiny microorganisms, known as microbes, throughout our body, with the majority of them living in our gut (the place where food is digested, metabolised and absorbed). A healthy gut communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones affecting things far beyond just a healthy digestion, including our immune response, and how we regulate our mood as 90% of our body’s serotonin (our happy hormone) is made in our digestive tract. Thanks to the ongoing fermentation process, sourdough foods act as both a prebiotic and probiotic, meaning they feed and encourage the growth of good bacteria in our intestines, improving gut health - and, in turn, overall health and happiness.

Let me be clear here - when I’m talking about sourdough, I’m talking about real sourdough. Not the stuff supermarkets pass off as ‘sourdough’ that neither tastes nor has the health benefits of the real thing. A real sourdough is a slowly fermented bread made from a living starter. Supermarket sourdoughs are often fast-proved with commercial yeasts, adding just a tiny amount of sourdough starter to justify the label; they couldn’t be further from the slow-food, artisanal loaves we’re referring to in this book (and will be baking ourselves!).

I found therapy, inspiration, health and a very full, satisfied stomach thanks to my sourdough baking, and I’ve set out on a mission to show everyone just how accessible and stress-free it can be, so others could experience this joy too. I truly believe nothing tastes better than a homemade, freshly-baked loaf of sourdough. I am very excited to be your friend, partner and teacher in this new artform of yours.

I like to think of sourdough cooking, all cooking actually, as an artform rather than a science, which means my approach is very different to most. The beauty of this? My recipes are all about building your intuition, not mastering precision. However, when you start out you’ll need to measure your ingredients precisely, but in no time you will understand the dough, and much of the process will become second nature.

The most important thing to remember with any type of cooking is to have fun with it - life is serious enough, so let’s keep the stress out of the kitchen!

This sourdough cookbook and guide is written from one home cook to another. I am not a professional chef nor baker, so the good news? You don’t need to be either. It is not a lengthy textbook or deep dive into the ancient practice of sourdough bread. I haven’t overexplained nor overcomplicated anything. I haven’t used confusing terminology or a million steps - it’s simply the essentials you need to get a great result. It’s just you and me in the kitchen keeping baking simple, delicious and fun so everyone can be a modern-day sourdough baker!

Ellen xo