waste not sourdough workshops!

After spending the last year slowly becoming obsessed with making my own sourdough bread at home, I decided I wanted to start sharing the recipe with anyone else who would like to learn. I’ve always felt like teaching is a way to really cement the things I know, as well as pointing out the areas that I could use some refinement/additional knowledge. As far as sourdough bread goes, I have a great sense for the general processes, and the feel that I’m going for, but could definitely use a bit more information on the chemical processes taking place.

Nevertheless, I’ve run two free workshops so far – one in November, and one in January – and both were a lot of fun! I’m so in love with this recipe, which is almost magic in my mind. Flour, water, a bit of salt. That’s it. Plus time, technique, and fermentation.

some happy bakers, at home with their first completed loaves ^_^

The sourdough recipe I use is my own modified and tweaked version of Zero Waste Chef’s recipe (found HERE), which itself is taken from Chad Robertson’s Tartine Country Loaf recipe (found HERE). If you click through to glance at either recipe, you may find yourself quickly overwhelmed by the many steps, terms, and processes – and believe me, it took me a few weeks of making bread consistently before I started to feel even remotely less stressed by the length of the recipe. I really wished I had been able to have someone just show me how to do the recipe, and so that’s more or less the goal of my workshops!

I make this recipe zero waste by bringing my own containers to Bulk Barn (which they now accept at their Willowgrove location!!!!!!!), and filling with whatever I need. I also often use Two Stones Mill, which had been out of operation for a while but is now back in service. Excellent spelt, red fife, etc!

Both workshops I’ve limited to 6 people, as I don’t have a mightily large kitchen or anything. Both filled pretty much immediately, with a mix of people I know really well, and those I don’t. An unexpected benefit of hosting the workshop was getting to meet and hang out with people, since the recipe takes a lot of time (and features a lot of down time, perfect for chatting and crafting).

Koa, excited to learn about sourdough (and play with puppies)

Participants met on the Friday night before bake day to assemble their ingredients, create their leaven, and set their grains up soaking. Everyone was responsible for bringing their own ingredients, and I made a sourdough starter (which I like to call sourdough babies) for each person. The night before baking is all about prep, so it’s a good time to teach other aspects of sourdough, like how to feed your starter, etc. It can be a little bit overwhelming, but it’s a tough recipe to teach over a single weekend, since the starter is a bit of a cyclical process.

little sourdough starter babies all ready to go!

Everyone came back to my place Saturday morning, which is the bake day where most of the magic happens. We start by combining the prepped ingredients.

Saturday morning – combining the leaven and the soaked grains!

The next 3 – 5 hours are spent facilitating bulk fermentation, which is essentially 3 – 5 hours of down time. Great for crafting, chatting, and asking questions!

hanging out, waiting on the fermentation to do its thing!

The recipe requires that you gently turn and stretch the dough as it ferments, so every 45 minutes or so you “fondle” it. The rest is relax time.

bulk fermentation – seriously a beautiful thing

At the end of fermentation, we shape the dough into two boules which are then ready to head home to proof in participants’ fridges.

dough relaxing, before being shaped into boules
me demoing how to shape the dough!

At the end, everyone went home with two boules, which can be baked in the oven after proofing in the fridge or on the counter top. The results are AMAZING.

Taylor’s sourdough, fresh out of her oven at home


My goal is to run these workshops once every 2 – 3 months, so stay tuned on Facebook if you’re in the Saskatoon area and want to learn from a self-professed amateur!

crumb shot from one of my recent sourdough loaves ❤


waste not yxe in 2017…

2017 holds some exciting developments for Waste Not, and the most exciting one is…. we’re opening up our project to include Melissa Nygren and Reuben Ditmars, AND we now have a facebook community blossoming HERE.

This is a group for Saskatoonians who are seeking to be conscious about their impact on and relationship with nature, in part through waste reduction. Small, collective action has big impact. We will be posting monthly zero-waste challenges with sweet, locally sponsored prizes to get the ball rolling, so check back often!


For 7 days, bag and keep your household garbage (rather than putting it in your black bin), and take a picture of the result!

The purpose of our first challenge is to start to simply notice how much packaging and waste is involved in our average day-to-day, and how easily we can take it for granted. We suggest bagging it and storing it somewhere cold like a back porch to see how much your household generates over a 7 day span.

PRIZE: Donated by the amazing Green Tree Beauty, Woods Body Goods’ Paddock Wood Beer soap (fully recyclable packaging, locally created) and all-natural deodorant, two Brush Naked (fully biodegradable) tooth brushes, Green Tree Beauty’s custom coconut oil lip balm, and Northlore’s Lowlands Body Oil in a re-usable glass bottle. Total value of $75.

TO ENTER: post your picture of your 7 days of garbage in the Waste Not group, and then share Cass’ original challenge post from the group onto your own timeline. The winner will be randomly selected on the morning of February 1st!