I wish I knew what I do wrong when I start with high hopes of an un-failable sourdough starter to make sourdough bread, and end up with something which has failed…  Sometimes the whole thing just dies and becomes slimy, sometimes the starter limps on, but I know it’s not right although I have tried to make bread anyway and the result is worse than I imagined… but I will try again!

I love rye bread of any description, that sour distinctive flavour is as delicious to me as it is disgusting to others (apparently) I am OK at making ordinary bread, although I haven’t done so for a while. When I was at home and the children were small I used to make ordinary white and brown (and barley) bread all the time – the only problem then was that it was so tasty I ate too much of it!

I came across a site, Riot Rye, which doesn’t just give a recipe for sourdough, but wants to promote the whole notion of people baking and eating their own bread, or at least buying bread which has been made on a non-industrial scale with all the extra things which might go into it in order for it to be made that way. To quote from their ‘manifesto’, they are working towards:

creating and actively fostering a culture of bread without the use of industrial additives or chemicals

Joe and Julie who run the bakery, bakery school, and website, don’t just want to make bread and sell it, nor just teach others how to make it, for them it is a whole lot more. They are from Ireland, so their campaign if you want to call it that, is aimed at Irish people – but fortunately for us, the internet allows it to spread across the world!

We believe that for too many years Ireland has been unnecessarily dependent upon the industrial baking and chemical industries for its bread.

 It struck me again, as it did when I first started making bread at home, that not only would making this bread be much healthier (no baking powder which I really am sensitive to!) and environmentally healthy – the bread wouldn’t have been transported from miles away (sometimes countries away), it would probably taste really good (if only I can get the recipe right!) would be more convenient (once you have a starter always there, more bread can be made whenever you want) and obviously much cheaper!

On the transport thing – there is a mill not far away which mills its own flour with a similar environmental commitment so the grain is local. I’m not sure they mill rye, but at least I could get back into making bread!

I really do urge you to follow this link and look at Joe and Julie’s site ( Joe Fitzmaurice & Julie Lockett are Riot Rye):

http://www.riotrye.ie

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