Pear and Parmesan sourdough bread

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Something of a resurrection has been going on in my kitchen: what I though was dead sourdough starter has now been gently nurtured back to life……

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I have been positively itching to be able to use my starter again for a loaf, so working in some sweet, juicy pears and salty Parmesan was just what I wanted for my inaugural sourdough resurrection bake!

This is a slight variation on my favourite Pear, Walnut and Gorgonzola sourdough

Reviving a dead starter

I have never neglected my starter before: it has had a regular cycle of feeding and using for many years, but a particularly busy few months in my life led to its neglect and to what I thought was its demise…

…a heart-sinking gloopy mass with an aroma that could only be described as rank!

I scraped off the top few inches to see what was below, thinking that as a new starter was probably on the cards, what had I got to lose?

BUT I managed to get a teaspoon or so of starter from the bottom: more like putty than a recognisable starter, it had a more pleasant fragrance so I decided to use this to try and make up a fresh batch: nothing ventured, nothing gained……so 100g each of flour and water was mixed in, half was discarded the next day and then repeated (the usual feeding cycle)….

….and after a couple of goes I had a nicely bubbling starter again.

Phew: lesson learned and now it is back to being my often-cared-for kitchen pet!

Recipe: pear and Parmesan sourdough (makes 2 loaves)

  • 1 quantity of sourdough (recipe here , using 650g strong white flour and 150g strong wholemeal flour)
  • 3 ripe medium pears or 2 large pears: peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 200g Parmesan cheese: chopped into rough cubes

For this bread, simply make up the dough as in the recipe link above, omitting the walnuts and replacing the Gorgonzola for 200g Parmesan. Shape and bake as in that recipe.

Top tip: pat out the dough after its long rise (bulk fermentation) before you want to shape it. Then sprinkle over the pear and Parmesan evenly, roll it up loosely (like a Swiss Roll) and shape.

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

7 thoughts on “Pear and Parmesan sourdough bread”

  1. great flavor combination! I’ve never used pears in my sourdough bread, but I can tell it works great!

    yes, I’ve been guilty of neglecting my sourdough too, good thing they usually come back from the depths of hibernation..


    1. Thank you, yes the pear adds a lovely moistness, too. Now I normally would add walnuts here, both as a paste and in chunks, but these were made with someone with a nut allergy who was coming over

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your bread looks awesome! A real treat, i love the combo of sweet and savory 😍
    Btw…u know you can dry your sourdough starter as a backup…? It can be rehydrated and that way you can save your “old” good quality sourdough and u dont have to start from scratch if it ever really goes bad.


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