Learn to bake sourdough bread - the best bread in the world!
Get discount here!
Favorite Bread Baking Equipment
Only 15 dollars     Sitewide3of4-Oct-15dollars300x250
Discovering Sourdough, The Books:
Discovering Sourdough - The bread books!

Bread Love Tee

Bread Love T-Shirt

Baker Tees Dark Colors

Baker T-Shirts!

Baker Tees Light Colors

Baker's T-shirt

Amazon Portal - Purchase on Amazon!

Links on this site are often my affiliate links.

A Starter from New Zealand!

I was sent a sourdough starter from New Zealand by Neville Chun. He sent me some pictures of sourdough breads that he has baked:



  Look at what baking ovens he has!:


What is really astounding is that his starter proofs in only 2.5 hours! You have to use quick and one day sourdoughs to use this starter. It is the fastest most vigorous starter I have ever seen. He sent me not only the starter, but also a recipe and technique for “Pain au Levain” Kiwi style. So I guess we can call it Kiwi Sourdough. Here is his recipe sent to me:

Kiwi version of Pain au Levain

Day 1 Starter Culture
Mother rye seed firm 100g
Coarse ground organic rye 150g + 150 g Bread flour
Water 230g

Day 2 Main Dough
organic flour, predominately white to 80%. 1000g
Water, adjust to flour hydration, 750 – 800g we want a very sticky dough which will firm up with proving
Salt 20g
Organic Barley Malt syrup or a good local organic Honey – 1 tablespoon
All of Starter Culture above

Mix flour, water, Barley Malt or Honey, Starter until just coming together and looking shaggy

Stop mixer and let autolyse for about 1 hour

Add salt and mix again until dough combined, but don’t overmix

Bulk ferment for 2.5 hours, folding 2 times at 50min interval

Bring dough out and shape into bannetons

Prove for 2.5 hours

Bake at 230C for about 30-40 minutes with steam on insert

I make this loaf on Day 2 and don’t retard overnight. I find it loses a bit of flavour being in the fridge and the culture seems to be very strong and fast to leaven the loaf.

Here are pics of the method:

Starting with the overnight preferment:






I had trouble with the hydration of the dough. I think the overnight preferment just soured too quickly and acidified my dough. Kiwi flour seems to absorb more water than my flour also, as Neville’s dough looks like a lower hydration than my dough did. The dough was at 80% , so it is really a Ciabatta style of dough. I modified the recipe to 75 % hydration and added a small amount of salt to the preferment to keep it from souring so quickly. Here are my modifications:

Kiwi Ciabatta:


  • NZ Starter – 100g
  • Coarse cracked Rye berries – 300g
  • Bread flour- 300g
  • salt – 5g

Next morning mix up your dough (This recipe will make 3 – two pound loaves) :

  • All of the preferment
  • Water – 680g
  • 950g Bread flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Malt Syrup- non diastatic
  • Salt – 25g (add this after autolyse)

Mix preferment and the rest of the ingredients except the salt just enough to make a shaggy mess. Autolyse for 30 minutes. Now add the salt and mix for 8 – 10 minutes on slow speed. Unlike regular long fermented sourdoughs, this is a quick sourdough so you will need to mix longer than usual to develop the gluten, as it will not have the long hours to develop by itself. After mixing, pour the doug into a folding container. Let the dough raise for 2.5 – 3 hours, folding the dough approximately every 40 – 50 minutes. You should see the dough getting stronger with each fold. After bulk ferment, shape the dough and place in heavily floured bannetons or bread molds. Let dough raise until light and bubbly, 1.5 – 2 hours. Bake as usual in a preheated oven at 475 degrees for the first 15 minutes, turning the oven down to 425 for the last 15 minutes. Either use the roasting pan method to trap the steam or spray water several times in the first 10 minutes of the bake. I did not slash the loaves as my dough was just to wet. As you can see from the pictures of the very holey crumb, my dough was much wetter at 75% hydration than at Nevilles 80%. If you wish to add more flour to handle the dough more easily, it will still be great bread. This is one of the tastiest breads I have made yet, thanks to Neville!

Here are pics of my Kiwi Ciabatta:





The crust is crisp and the crumb is so moist, tender, chewy and full of holes with large chewy pieces of cracked rye berries. It toasts up really nice, and makes super sandwiches. This bread is really terrific!

Thankyou for your recipe and hard work Neville…and your starter!

Similar posts
  • Quest for Sourdough Workshop – Pt 1- LibraryWhat a wonderful two days spent in St. Vith Belgium at the Puratos Center for Bread Flavour! A year ago Karl De Smedt asked me if I would like to visit the sourdough library in Belgium. I answered that I would love to visit someday. His reply was intriguing, “Well, we’ll have to see if we [...]
  • Some Interesting Baking Site LinksI don’t know about you, but here in the northwest, we went from some unusually hot (for us) weather to cool and rainy. It feels like summer is gone and fall has made it’s claim. I’m okay with that, although I love summer here. I want to let you in on some great [...]
  • Crumble Sourdough Biscuits – SconesI just felt like whipping up something quick to go along with cold chicken for dinner. I thought biscuits/scones (I know in the UK biscuits are considered cookies)  would be a good idea. So I used up some sourdough starter that was spent (not active and sour). Here is what I [...]
  • Buried Bread – A Sourdough ExperimentMany years ago, when I was working with and experimenting with Desem, I would bury the Desem dough ball in the bag of flour and then later dig it out and see that it had cracked open with the fermentation going on inside. I remember thinking about how nice the skin on the dough ball [...]
  • Scoring a Sunflower LoafHi everyone! We are having a challenge in our group on Facebook called, “Perfect Sourdough.” The challenge is to score a loaf to look like a sunflower, some 3d scoring fun. So I made up a variation of the Alaska Sourdough bread and had a super lot of fun scoring the loaves. Here is how [...]


  1. July 10, 2013    

    Nev’s fabulous!!! I get his malt powder all the time and I LOVE his oven…

    here is an article on him in a local paper…


    and yep, you can find his bready products on trade me in nz…

  2. Andreea Archip Andreea Archip
    September 21, 2012    

    Hello Theresa!
    If I can’t find coarse cracked rye berries, can i grind berries in the coffee grinder? Would it work? Do they have to be presoaked in water?
    Thank you!

  3. January 2, 2012    

    Have you left the water out of the preferment in your version of the recipe? If as you have now and assuming starter about 100% hydration you have preferment at 16% hydration counting just the bread flour! Original recipe seems to have about 76% hydration for the preferment. Do you think preferment should be stiff or average?

  4. September 8, 2010    

    Can you recommend a sourdough to use in a breadmaker machine?

  5. October 1, 2008    

    Hi Dennie, according to Neville it is a “NZ manufactured BakBar turbofan with water injection.”

  6. Dennie Dennie
    October 1, 2008    

    Looks really good. Do you have any idea what kind of oven this is that Neville has in his kitchen?

  7. August 12, 2008    

    Beautiful bread, Teresa! Very lovely. I will make one batch of this dough for tomorrow as well. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Online Baking Course Bundle – 8 Courses

Baking Course Bundle
Email Sign Up



Follow on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Custom Cutting Boards
My memoir - It might surprise you. Click here:
Reach for Joy - My Memoir