Frequently Asked Questions

Sourdough Starters Information

How are your starter kits shipped?
We ship our live starters in a clean plastic zip-lock bag, gently pressed and with all the air out. This ensures they are well preserved for shipment (sometimes they spend a night in the fridge prior to shipping which also helps). The acidity of the starter slows down formation of any spoiling bacteria/mould, but this will not last forever!

After receiving your starter kit, you should feed it within a few days. Use a silicone spatula to scrape it off the bag and transfer to a clean container, and feed according to instructions. You can also simply cut one corner of the plastic bag and squeeze out the contents. No mess and easy to do! Don't worry if you cannot extract the whole contents of the bag - the starter will work anyway.

We also introduced dehydrated starter kits which come with a longer shelf life and can stay in their dried form until you're ready to bake. To rehydrate, mix with fresh flour and water, stir well and put aside in a warm place. Follow our detailed instructions to use successfully in any recipe.
What container do you recommend?

Our favourites are the wide mouth containers, like Weck or Mason style jars. Their lids come with a rubber lining that helps lock in freshness.

You may also use a recycled glass jar with a lid. It should be clean, you may sterilise it quickly with boiled water.

Pre-weigh an empty container and note its weight on the lid or on the bottom). Zero the scale, and transfer your starter. Add the same amount of flour and water.

*EXAMPLE* If you received  50g of starter, add 50g of flour and 50g of water.

Stir well and put the lid on, but no too tight to allow the gas (CO2) to escapte the container. Put the container away somewhere in the kitchen in room temperature. Do not put in direct sunlight.

*TIP* We recommend maintaining small amounts of the starter to limit any unnecessary waste. It is also much easier to maintain going forward.

Refer to our detailed instructions on Starter Maintenance.   

Which flour should I use for feeding?
The same flour as your starter type. If you have the rye starter, use good quality rye flour; similarly, with the wheat starter you should use your regular baker's wheat flour. 

Use the best quality product you can get in your area. Aim for organic, sustainable. Each starter needs a high protein flour (11.5% -13.5%) to be healthy and active.

If - after mixing - your starter seems 'runny', simply adjust the ratio next time you feed. Use less water/more flour for a firmer texture, or more water/less flour for a more liquid starter. Both versions will work equally well in most recipes.

Refer to our detailed instructions on Starter Maintenance.
How do I feed the starter?

Keep in mind 1-1-1 ratio of starter, flour and water, by weight. This means if there is 50g of starter in the jar, you need to discard half (25g) and add 25g of fresh flour and 25g of water. Mix well, cover with lid, and put somewhere warm or simply in a room temperature. After a few hours, depending on starter activity and the conditions around, you should see some activity.

It is common to discard half of the starter volume first, and only then continue to feed. This can be the moment when you take a spoonful of the mother starter to prepare the levain/leaven (for extra activity), or incorporate this discard into a sourdough recipe (like pancakes).

So, if you had 50g of the 'hungry' starter in the jar, discard or use the 25g, and stir in 25g of fresh flour and 25g of water at room temp. You will end up with about 75g of a fermenting culture, which is an easy (and low) volume to maintain.

If you bake regularly, it's best to maintain higher volume so that you always have an active starter to be used as the 'pre-ferment' (about 20% in the recipe). Otherwise, keep low volumes of your mother starter, and when you want to bake, prepare a leaven (as it will allow you to quickly scale up the amount of the required 'pre-ferment'.

Refer to our detailed instructions on Starter Maintenance.

What is the recommended storage temperature?

Warm. Sourdough starter is made of cultures of live lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and wild yeast. The yeast feed on the carbohydrate nutrients in the flour (natural fermentation process), and bacteria feed on the products of this fermentation (hence the sour taste). As most living organisms, they require warm conditions. Room temperature is best for a sustainable and healthy growth. During winter months, you may want to store it somewhere warmer, like in a cupboard, near cooking stove, or in the oven under the light. 

Refer to our detailed instructions on Starter Maintenance.

Can I store my starter in the fridge?

Yes, you can! You need to understand though it will slow down your starter culture. Lower temperatures will definitely slow down the yeast so the fermentation will take much longer (if at all). The bacteria may still work. Storing the starter in the fridge is a better option for seldom bakers. If you're planning to bake, simply prepare a levain - get a spoonful of the starter, and feed with double the amount of flour and warm water. Do this in a separate container, and leave at least overnight so it becomes activated. Look for obviouys signs of fermentation like bloating and bubbles on the surface. Feed your starter too, let it ferment the flour for 24-48 hours, and put it back to the fridge.

Refer to our detailed instructions on Starter Maintenance.

My starter doesn't rise. What do I do?

First of all, there is nothing to worry about as the solution will be simple.

There is a good chance it simply needs more time. Each culture will vary depending on the conditions they are in. Generally, your starter should double in volume after few hours or overnight. With the freshly received one, though, it may take a little longer for the fermentation to kick off. 

Keep it in a warm place. Even a few degrees cooler makes a huge difference. This especially applies during winter months. Be patient with your starter as it may take longer to complete the fermentation. Try keeping it in the oven right under the light, or closer to your cooking stove. Our trick is to put it on the coffee machine (where the cups are). It will thank you with an increased activity.

Refer to detailed instructions on Starter Maintenance and Troubleshooting.

What is a levain/leaven and how to prepare it?
A leaven, otherwise spelled a levain, is an 'off-shoot' of the mother starter, activated by feeding with generous amounts of flour and water (for example in 1:2:2 ratio), and allowing to ferment for a few hours until it reaches its peak, and then adding to the dough mix to commence bulk fermentation.

It lets you quickly scale up the amount of the 'pre-ferment' required in a recipe. Usually, it is 20% of the total amount of flour, so if the recipe calls for 700g of flour, then you need to add 140g of an active starter, or the leaven (0.2 x 700g = 140g).

We normally use the whole levain mix in our recipes, and prepare it at 1-2-2 ratio. For a large loaf to be proven in our bannetons, we recommend the following mix for a perfect levain:
- 40g starter
- 80g flour (wheat or rye)
- 80g water 

These amounts are rounded up but guarantee you will have enough leaven for an active fermentation! This is a 100% hydration levain. You may add extra water, or reduce the amount, depending on the recipe. The whole levain represents 20% of the total dough mix (reference to the flour - read about bakers percentages). 

Care Instructions & Other

How to prepare a rattan banneton before use?
Rattan material is able to easily absorb moisture off the proofing dough, so it will be regularly exposed to moist and dry conditions interchangeably. Rub generous amounts of flour in all grooves and crevices of your banneton, then brush/shake off the excess. This should help to minimise sticking the dough to the banenton, and will seal it. We recommend RICE FLOUR or SEMOLINA for that purpose.
All our bannetons come with a linen cloth which can be used instead of flour. However, you will not be able to achieve the beautiful groove pattern on the crust.
How do I clean and store a banneton?
After use, it is best to brush off all excess flour that remained in the banneton after proofing (if applicable), and let it dry out by itself. We sometimes put our bannetons into the oven once it's cooled down a little bit - this makes all the remaining moisture evaporate and get the basket ready for storage. 
*IMPORTANT* Do your best to avoid mould formation which may happen if you haven't dried your banneton completely.
How do I clean and store a Danish dough whisk?
Rinse with warm, soapy water, and wipe dry. Leave on the kitchen bench to dry out completely before storing. Clean all the nooks and crannies around the area where the metal hoops meet the wooden handle.

Our Danish dough whisk is made of stainless steel and wooden handle. All wooden elements may be coated with food-grade mineral oil to preserve the material and maintain its colour. We recommend doing this every month or so. Simply apply some mineral oil on a paper towel, and wipe all wooden surfaces. Allow a few hours for the wood to absorb the oil. Repeat the process regularly.
How do I clean and store a dough cutter?
Rinse with warm, soapy water, and wipe dry. Leave on the kitchen bench to dry out completely before storing. 

Our dough cutter is made of stainless steel and wooden handle. All wooden elements may be coated with food-grade mineral oil to preserve the material and maintain its colour. We recommend doing this every month or so. Simply apply some mineral oil on a paper towel, and wipe all wooden surfaces. You may also wipe the steel, but wash before the next use. Allow a few hours for the wood to absorb the oil. Repeat the process regularly.
How do I clean and store a bread lame?
Rinse with warm, soapy water, and wipe dry. Leave on the kitchen bench to dry out completely before storing. 

Our bread lame is made of stainless steel and wooden handle. Razor blades are stainless steel and should be replaced every few weeks, or when they loose their sharpness.

The handle of our bread lame is made of oak wood that has been impregnated with timber oil. It is well sealed and from our experience does not require coating with a food-grade mineral oil.
How do I clean and store a silicone bowl scaper?
Rinse with warm, soapy water, and wipe dry. Leave on the kitchen bench to dry out completely before storing. They are made of silicone, so there's very minimal wear and tear over time. Our bowl scrapers are dishwasher safe.
Can I bake my bread in a banneton?
No! Bannetons are only used for dough proofing - that is the last step before baking when the dough is conditioned and reaches the airy crumb inside (which we want to capture by baking). Bannetons may easily burn if exposed to high oven temperatures. Use a Dutch oven (or other cast iron vessels), a cake tin, a baking tray or a pizza stone instead.
Bakers percentages - what are they?
No worries, this is a really simple maths. Bakers percentages are used commonly (by bakers of course) to describe the amount of ingredients in a given recipe as referenced to the flour, which represents 100%. It is preferred to use percentages as it is easy to scale each recipe up or down. So always start with the amunt of flour!

Let's say we want to bake a 75% hydration sourdough. A large loaf would require about 700-800g flour (100%). To achieve the required hydration, we need to add 525-600g of water (simply multiply 0.75 x 700g or 800g). The same rule applies to all other ingredients like salt, butter, grains, etc.

Order Information, Returns & Exchanges

What is the status of my order?

Once you have placed your order, we will send you a confirmation email to track the status of your order. Once your order is shipped, you will receive another email to confirm the expected delivery date as well as the link to track your order. Additionally, you can track the status of your order from your "order history" section on your account page on the website.  

Can I change my order?

We can only change orders that have not been processed for shipping yet. Once your order has shipped, we are unable to accept any edits to your order, because it is already on the way. To make changes to your order, please reach out as soon as you can using the contact form, or call us.  

How long does it take to ship my order?

Once you've placed your order, it usually takes 24 to 48 hours to process it for delivery. We ship products from Monday to Thursday. Standard shipping time for Australia is 2-8 business days, depending on the delivery address. It may take longer for remote or rural areas. We also offer Express Deliveries with Australia Post (1-3 days to most locations) - just choose this option in your cart.

Do you accept returns?

We do accept returns in respect to the following conditions:

- The item must have been sold on our online store

 - The item shouldn't have been used in any way

 - The return or exchange request is made within 28 days of delivery

 - The return is made within 14 days of the return or exchange request

To ask for a return, please contact our support through the contact form.  

Can I exchange an item?

We do accept exchanges and they follow the same conditions as returns.  In order to ask for an exchange, please mention that you would like your item to be exchanged with another item when preparing your return.

Are returns free?

Returns are the responsibility of the buyer. However, if your product arrived damaged, we would dispatch a replacement to you on our cost. Feel free to contact our support through the contact form for more details.  

How long does it take to process a return?
Returns are confirmed within 7 days of receiving the package at our warehouse. Once your return is accepted, the reimbursement, exchange or credit will be issued within 7 days of our services accepting your return.  

Payment, Delivery & Warranty

What forms of payment does the shop have?

You can purchase on our website using a debit or credit card: AMEX, MASTERCARD, VISA.  We additionally offer support for Paypal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Shop Pay. You can choose your preferred payment method at checkout.  

Which currency will I be charged in?

All prices listed on the website are in Australian dollars (AUD). This is the currency our customers are charged in. If your credit or debit card use another currency, then your bank will apply the corresponding conversion rate from AUD to your local currency.  

Do you offer split payments option?

At the moment we do not offer split payments or multiple instalments (no buy-now-pay-later options).

Where are your packages shipped from?

All products are shipped out of our warehouse location in Marsfield, NSW 2122, Australia.

Where do you ship?

We currently ship our products Australia wide. For international shipping, please reach out to our support through the contact form.  

Is there a warranty?

We guarantee any of our product sold through our online store to be free of defect. Each item is thoroughly inspected before shipping. We would gladly accept any return or exchange request resulting from a defective item granted they respect the following conditions:

- The item must have been sold on our online store

- The item shouldn't have been used in any way

- The return or exchange request is made within 28 days of delivery

- The return is made within 14 days of the return or exchange request

If you have a return or exchange request resulting from a defective item, please reach out to our support for more information on how to proceed.  

Can I pick up my order in person?

We currently don't have any physical stores under our brand name. However, if you are a Sydney local, you may arrange a pickup in person at our location in 30/20 Busaco Rd, Marsfield, NSW 2122. Please use the contact form to make arrangements, or give us a call.

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