Choosing Your Sourdough Culture

January 5, 2024by melissa

San Fransisco – (moderate sourness)

The authentic San Francisco sourdough culture is a living heritage, boasting a special blend of Candida humilis wild yeast and Lactobacillus San Francisco bacteria. Their century-long partnership creates a unique symbiosis absent in most commercial yeasts. This harmony gives San Francisco sourdough its unmistakable tang and texture, making it a timeless classic in the world of baking. Opting for this authentic culture not only honours tradition but promises a baking experience rich in history and unparalleled flavours.

San Francisco sourdough is often recognized for its moderate sourness. It carries a tangy flavour, but it’s not as intensely sour as some other sourdough cultures found around the world. The balance between the wild yeast and the Lactobacillus San Francisco bacteria in the culture contributes to its characteristic mild to moderate sour taste. This distinguishes it from more intensely sour variations present in other sourdough cultures, offering a unique and more subtle tanginess that sets it apart.

Italian Ischia and Camoldi – (very sour)

From the birthplace of pizza in Naples, authentic Italian sourdough cultures offer a delightfully tangy experience. These strains, reminiscent of the 1800s, bring a notably sour essence to Neapolitan pizza and Italian country breads like ciabatta.

Renowned for their distinctive sourness, these cultures are exceptional contributors to the revered Neapolitan pizza tradition. Sharing similarities, they’ve been pivotal in the creation of exceptional Italian breads, infusing each bite with a taste deeply rooted in Italy’s culinary history. Their tangy character makes them essential to crafting these beloved Italian flavours, adding a unique zest that sets them apart.

New Zealand general purpose – (very mild)

– In the heart of New Zealand lies a unique sourdough culture crafted from wheat flour, celebrated for its gentle and versatile nature. Perfect for beginners, this culture offers a smooth entry into the world of sourdough baking, allowing for diverse culinary explorations.

Hailing from Rotorua, this culture boasts a mellow flavour profile, distinguishing it from more intensely tangy variations. Its versatility is its charm—it’s an ideal companion for crafting a range of breads, from whole wheat varieties to potato and sweet breads.

The beauty of this New Zealand culture is its adaptability, catering to different tastes and preferences. Its gentle flavour profile makes it a wonderful starting point for those new to sourdough adventures. Its mellow nature ensures a delightful, subtle taste that complements a myriad of baked delights, making it a go-to choice for both budding and seasoned bakers alike.

New Zealand Rye – (medium)

Captured by a baker from the US, deeply rooted in Eastern European rye traditions, this New Zealand rye sourdough culture thrives on coarse rye flour. It crafts beautiful, moderately tangy rye breads, echoing a cherished heritage. This gem brings the essence of traditional rye loaves to New Zealand, offering a unique flavour and texture experience.

Australian Tazmanian Devil – (medium)

From the picturesque surroundings near Hobart, Tasmania, comes an Australian sourdough culture that’s distinctly different. Known for its medium sourness, it’s an ideal fit for creating breads with ancient grains, especially Khorasan and spelt.

This culture has its own personality, shaped by the Australian landscape. Collected and nurtured in this region, it brings a unique taste that pairs beautifully with the hearty, nutty notes of ancient grains. Its versatility and medium sourness make it a go-to for creating breads with a touch of tradition and a distinctly Australian twist.

South African (medium strong to very strong sourness)

In the suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa, a versatile sourdough culture thrives, offering a range of flavours depending on its fermentation period. This culture, at times medium and occasionally very strong in taste, adapts beautifully to whole wheat, favouring pure whole wheat for its culinary creations.

Its flexibility in rising times and hydration levels allows bakers to experiment with various dough types. Particularly adept with whole wheat, it proves its prowess by leavening whole wheat bread better than its white flour counterparts. An excellent choice for home millers, it presents a nutty flavour profile, adding depth to the bread.

This South African sourdough isn’t limited to one type of grain; it pairs wonderfully with whole wheat, spelt, and Khorasan. Its origin in the suburbs of Cape Town is echoed in the culture’s adaptability and diverse range of flavours, making it a valuable asset for home bakers exploring the world of whole grain breads.


Nestled in the village of Palekh, a mere 100 miles north of Moscow, resides a distinctive Russian sourdough culture known for its exceptional speed in leavening. This culture excels in handling whole wheat, making it an ideal companion for whole grain enthusiasts.

What sets this culture apart is its adaptability, not only in traditional baking but also in modern home bread machines. Its rapid leavening makes it a valuable asset for those seeking quicker results without compromising on flavour or texture.

French Sourdough – (very mild)

Imagine a bakery on the outskirts of Paris, where time stands still, and tradition weaves into every loaf of bread. This 150-year-old bakery holds a secret—a sourdough culture that has quietly thrived, playing a silent yet essential role in the bakery’s daily rhythm.

What’s remarkable about this culture isn’t just its age but its unique character. It’s a swift riser, ensuring the daily demands of the bustling bakery are met. But what truly captivates is its taste—extraordinarily mild, a flavour that whispers rather than shouts.

This sourdough’s journey is a tale of endurance and artistry. For 150 years, it has been the silent partner in the bakery’s success, blending into the dough to create loaves that reflect a heritage of subtle, timeless flavours.

It’s a slice of history in every bite, a nod to the dedication of a bakery that has seen generations pass through its doors. This 150-year-old culture isn’t just sourdough; it’s a custodian of tradition, preserving the taste of a bygone era within each delicately mild loaf.

Austrian –  (very sour rye culture)

In the heart of Austria, the legacy of sourdough thrives in a business established in 1795. This Austrian culture, known for its affinity for rye flours, embodies a slow and steady rise, a testament to the adage that good things indeed come to those who wait.

What sets this culture apart is its distinct sourness, a result of its unhurried fermentation process. Patience becomes a virtue as this sourdough takes its time, infusing every loaf with a tangy depth that only time can cultivate.

Hailing from the establishment’s centuries-old legacy, this Austrian sourdough represents the enduring value of tradition and the art of slow, deliberate baking. Its sourness is a testament to the rewards of patience, offering a taste that reflects the rich history and patience of its time-honoured origins.

Yukon – (medium sourness)

Straight from the heart of the Yukon, a sourdough culture traces its origins back to the early days of prospectors. With a medium flavour profile, it’s not just any sourdough—it’s the secret behind authentic Yukon sourdough flapjacks.

The allure of this culture isn’t just in its taste but in its historical significance. It’s a relic of the gold rush days, cherished by prospectors who relied on it for hearty flapjacks. Its role in this Yukon speciality connects it to a tradition that echoes the rugged spirit and resourcefulness of the region’s pioneers.

This Yukon sourdough isn’t just a culture; it’s a slice of history, preserving a culinary heritage that’s uniquely Yukon. It’s the essence of a time when flapjacks were a staple, crafted from a sourdough that symbolizes the adventurous and enterprising spirit of the Yukon’s early days.

Finnish Sourdough – (medium)

In Finland, there’s a sourdough culture that defies explanation. Its flavour and aroma are simply beyond words. Rising beautifully, it weaves an indescribable essence into each loaf, creating an experience that’s as mysterious as it is delightful.

Red Sea culture – (mild)

In the historic kitchens of Hurghada, Egypt, resides a sourdough culture from one of the oldest ethnic bakeries. This Red Sea culture boasts a mild flavour, an inheritance from a rich culinary heritage.

Not just steeped in tradition, this culture is adaptable, complementing the convenience of modern home bread machines. It’s a delightful taste of Egyptian baking history, offering a mild yet distinct flavour that’s as versatile as it is rooted in the region’s legacy.

Giza – ( mild to medium)

In the shadow of the great pyramids, there’s a bakery with a culture that whispers tales of history. Derived from the traditions of the workers who built these colossal monuments, the Giza sourdough culture rises magnificently, weaving a moderately sour essence into its loaves.

A sleeper with a fascinating past, this culture is a window to ancient times, possibly stemming from the very culture that nourished the 30,000 builders of the pyramids. Its place in the heart of Middle Eastern bread-making traditions adds to its allure, creating a taste that’s not just baked but steeped in the history of an era that continues to captivate us.

Bahraini Sourdough – (very sour) 

In the land often likened to the Garden of Eden, Bahrain, there resides a sourdough culture that’s as ancient as it is remarkable. This culture, heralded as one of the oldest, rises magnificently, offering a deeply sour taste.

Bahrain, where the blend of East and West intertwines, hosts a culture that mirrors this convergence. It’s a testament to time and traditions, resonating with a flavour that harks back to ages past. A sourdough that stands as a tribute to Bahrain’s rich history, it’s a taste that carries the essence of a land where the best of both worlds converge.

Saudi Arabia – (medium)

Amidst the changing sands of time, the Bedouin of the desert have remained resolute, embodying a legacy that endures. Similarly, the Saudi sourdough culture mirrors this unyielding essence. It rises moderately, yet its flavour is among the most distinctive cultures.

As desert-born as its Bedouin bakers, this sourdough represents an unwavering link to the arid landscape. Its taste is a testament to the resilience and character of the desert, carrying a flavour that echoes the enduring spirit of those who thrive in this challenging terrain. This is the essence of the desert captured in a culture, a taste that holds the story of an unchanging land amidst a changing world.

View our selection of sourdough cultures