This project has evolved from an idea my friend, Elizabeth, had and as a result of my growing obsession with sourdough. Modern life is busy. Often too busy. But my work with sourdough has created a crucial creative space. Like a breath of fresh air.

The entire process depends on bacteria and yeasts doing their “thing”. To do that, they require the right combination of variables. I have to concentrate on this ancient process.  It involves all my senses. It is totally absorbing and, each time I do it, I get to witness the amazing transformation that occurs as the dough matures through the work of microbes.

The Francis Project is like a sourdough chain letter.  If you participate, you get to witness the magic of microbial action up close and then you get to eat the delectable results. You pass on some of the sourdough mix of flour, water, bacteria and yeast (sourdough starter) that you have created to some of your friends. And then the process begins again.

It is our hope that The Francis Project will spread through families, friends, communities, schools, places of work, thereby increasing human understanding and intentional experience of microbes.

There are two documents to The Francis Project – read Why first and then How. We are in the process of making a How video too. I will add that in here as soon as possible.

©Jo Webster February 2018

The Francis Project – Why?

The Francis Project – How

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Me again!! The pancakes and pizza’s were fab. The thinner the pizza crust the better we decided, Sarah definitely did the best job there. If I were to make bread which stage of Francis do I use? Do I just take it from fridge and wait until it starts bubbling again?
    Thanks Jo

    1. You take her from the fridge & do a feed – 50g of starter & 100g of BREAD flour & 100g of warm (body temp) water. (compost the remaining old starter or make pancakes with it), cover with clean tea towel. Then after 8-12 hours do the same again only 100g of starter & 200g of Bread flour & 200g of wam water.

      Then you need to wait until this sponge is ready for baking – usually somewhere between 8-12 hours depending on ambient temperature. BUT you have to catch it at the right time – when the sponge floats, and stays floating on water.

      When this happens, you are ready to use that sponge to make dough for bread. Remember that before you make the dough, you will need to remove 50g of this sponge, feed it again, leave for a couple of hours, then put away in the fridge so that you have some starter for your next baking adventure.

      The steps to make the dough & the bread are a bit more lengthy… perhaps I need to run a sourdough baking course at some point….

      1. That’s really helpful, thank you. I would definitely be there for a sourdough course, would LOVE it! This sourdough bread making looks like a weekend venture, not sure I can be responsive enough in the week. I will put Francis back in the fridge – I might have a pancake first 🙂

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