Fake Sourdough


Hello there! I'm having a run-in at the moment with supermarket giant Morrisons and the local Trading Standards and need some support. I noticed a few months ago that Morrisons had these fantastic looking "Sourdough Boules" on display for £1 (yes, just a one pound coin!). I asked for the ingredients of the sourdough dough and was given them and, as suspected, they included commercial yeast and in this instance citric acid which they said was to simulate the sour aroma related to sourdough. I have protested to Trading Standards saying that we specialists sweat and strain to achieve a perfect sourdough loaf over something like 15-24 hours work and patience only to see a cheating lot of mechanised non-bakers claiming to produce the real thing for £1. We need to highlight this and make a stand. \i am sure that Morrisons are not the only ones cheating the profession so please send your experiences and thoughts on the matter.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Culverhouse

Badger Bakery

Yarlington, Somerset, England, BA9 8DG

302 users have voted.


mcallisterpm 2013 February 2

I can certainly confirm that its the worst 'sourdough' I have tasted on the market.  It was obvious when eating it that it hadn't been made using a sourdough starter.  Its tasteless and the texture is just wrong.  Trading standards should be showing them up for sure.

bethesdabakers's picture
bethesdabakers 2013 February 2

Quite by coincidence I was in Morrisons, Bangor on Monday and for the second time looked at their "sourdough" with the intention of buying a loaf just so I can say I have tried it it before making any response. For the second time I couldn't actually make myself buy it. The look and feel of it is bad enough and I know it's crap.

The problem with Trading Standards is there is no legal definition of sourdough.

I have a great weakness for sarcasm and I was thinking of trying to overcome this by writing to the manager and saying, look, I'm your local sourdough specialist, I could help you out by training your bakers to make the real thing. I know I would be wasting my time.

So, do you have any suggestions for a coordinated approach? I could go ahead with my idea, see what information is forthcoming and report back.


Sue2404 2013 February 4

.....I'm not sure that the majority of the public would know what a real sourdough loaf is or is made of.  Education is really the only answer and the more people join the bandwagon the more that will happen.  In Macclesfield we have a monthly market (Treacle Market) and excellent bread from Flour Water Salt - it's starting to make people sit up and take notice.  Slow process (like so much involved in sourdough!) though.

Graham's picture
Graham 2013 February 8


We have the same problem in Australia (I will post a pic of the local 'factory sourdough' shortly).

Standards Australia have reacted in a similar way, at one point conveying to a baker that 'sourdough' should include all breads that are 'sour' to taste.

Really it is up to bakers themselves to define what sourdough is, and come together under one sourdough standard.

The Artisan Baker Association has a working sourdough standard, with over 200 participants so far.

If enough bakers participate then bread eaters will expect to see the Association's logo on genuine sourdough.


grandmamac 2013 February 9

I've not been able to persuade myself that the Morrisons, Sainsbury's and M&S versions of sourdough are the real thing. My concern is for the real bakers in the area who need to persuade customers that the higher cost of their loaves is worthwhile.

The difference in taste and texture when making toast with my own sourdough and with a Chorleywood Warburton's Toastie slice is convincing enough for my family.

yarlingtoncensis 2013 February 10

Thanks to everyone for their comments. I think the guy has it right who says that we should educate local residents into knowing how proper sourdough is produced. I think that I will bake a batch and set up a stall in Morrison's car park to lobby people on their way in. It'll get some publicity at least when I get arrested!


Badger Bakery

Graham's picture
Graham 2013 February 11

Hi all. Have just posted some pics of our local fake sourdough.

There is a lot worse out there on the shelves...this one doesn't have the imitation sourdough flavouring that many industrial loaves have.

Fortunately we keep pigs.

jean valjean 2013 February 19

We have been inspected couple of time here, mainly to check that we are using organic flours as stated on our price list. But if you try to challenge them about "Sourdough" "Au Levain" or "Poolish" they don't have a clue ! they think you speak chinese. Trading standards are as good as their knowledge hence why Britain is struggling with Horsemeat DNA in food.

one thing is sure "knowledge is power"

Barrythewomble 2013 February 19

I'm sure the Real Bread Campaign is working on getting a change in the law regarding Sourdough. 


How far it's gone I don't know, but I do agree that education is the key. I bake bread with my kids and they are only 1 and 3, so hopefully they'll want to do it in the future. The more children and young people learn about how much fun making good food can be the better, it starts at home but should be carried on at schools I think. 

Karenja 2018 June 18
Interesting thanks. I've come on here via Google as I have digestive issues but have found genuine organic bread and genuine soughdough OK. However I couldn't get anything bar M&s soughdough this week and every time I've eaten it it's knocked me for six, no energy within a hour of digesting it, then hugely upset stomach and wasted for three hours or so. Cannot find what all the ingredients are anywhere but there's definitely something in there affecting me adversely. Not trying this again, not at £2 a pop. After trying slices three or four times now the remainder is going to the badger....
Sourdough king 2019 May 25


I am completely livid with these pricks trying to pass off their sourdough as authentic... @barrythewomble i completely agree, sourdough should be part of the school curriculum, in protest I have began a campaign of pelting cars with my freshly kneaded sourdough during the morning school run, I can only hope my actions will make a difference.

yours sincerely 

the sourdough king

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