Su Dennett’s Emmer Wheat Sourdough Bread

Here at Pachamama we LOVE sourdough, so we are so excited to bring you this recipe from Su’s sustainable, low-waste kitchen at Melliodora.

Su Dennett loves to bake bread. And as she’s always feeding lots of volunteers, community friends and those who work in the Holmgren Design office, Su needs a recipe that’s easy to make, and of course delicious. Su Dennett is partner to David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept, and together they have been living a low carbon way of life for over 3 decades.


Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes (plus overnight rising) ~ Makes: 2 loaves


  • Emmer grain
  • Rain water (or whey)
  • Wild microbes
  • Sourdough starter

Here’s how Su does it:

  1. She grinds 3 cups of emmer grain and adds it to a cup of sourdough starter (leaving some starter aside to feed and use for next time) and enough water to make a cake mix consistency. She leaves the bowl to sit overnight.
  2. In the morning she grinds 3 more cups of flour and adds them to the bowl. Su and David keep goats and Su is a passionate cheese maker. As all cheesemakers know there is always a lot of leftover whey. Su doesn’t believe in waste and uses the whey (you can use water too) in her bread. She adds slightly less liquid than the night before. You don’t want the ‘sponge’ to be sloppy.
  3. She oils two bread tins (you can use any oil) and then pours an even amount of mixture into each tin. She places the tins into the warming oven of her Bosky (wood stove) for ten minutes. She then cooks the loaves for 45 minutes at around 180˚C, or until the bread starts to come away from the sides of the tins and the top turns brown.
  4. Once out of the oven, Su runs a knife down the inside of the tins and lets the loaves cool on a wire rack.