When you talk to Susann Wiedermann, her passion for sourdough is clearly evident. She describes the world of sourdough as like ‘falling down a rabbit hole with lots of interesting twists and turns’. The self-taught baker grew up in Germany and was used to a wide range of breads, most of which she couldn’t find when she came to Australia over a decade ago. So, she decided to make them herself!
‘I grew up with great baking by my mum and my grandma, and Germany is renowned for great breads,’ Susann says. ‘But the bread situation in Australia was pretty limited and was very different to what I was used to, so I decided to teach myself to make sourdough.’
However, the art of making bread was not as easy as Susann thought.
‘For many months I made horrible bread, but eventually it became better and better,’ she says. ‘Many years later, after I had finally mastered it, I wondered if I could do it commercially on a small scale. I loved making sourdough and wanted to share it.’
In 2017, Susann, also known as The Sourdough Chick, approached her local health food shop and they agreed to buy half a dozen loaves from her every week. This gradually built up with other cafes and stores in the Northern Rivers selling The Sourdough Chick bread, then, earlier this year Susann joined Byron Farmers Market.
Now Susann has a huge following, both on her Instagram account (@the_sourdough_chick), with almost 10,000 followers, as well as the many loyal customers who buy her just-baked (and sometimes still warm) bread at Byron Farmers Market every Thursday morning.
‘I’ve been blown away by the response,’ Susann says. ‘So many people comment on how beautiful the bread looks, even if they don’t buy it. The support has really been incredible and I sell out on most days. I really love it and feel very lucky.’
You can find Susann at Byron Farmers Market every Thursday, along with her amazing range of bread, including a wholesome white bread (which she says shouldn’t really be called white!), seeded loaf, rye bread and no-gluten sourdough as well as her rye chocolate chip cookies, which now have a cult following. This range is backed up by seasonal specials, such as beetroot and pumpkin sourdough and focaccia and herb breads, hot cross buns and Christmas stollen.
Byron Farmers Market is held Thursdays 7–11am at the Cavanbah Centre on Ewingsdale Rd, Byron Bay.