KYLIE Ferguson knows just how addictive making sourdough bread can be.
The co-founder of Corowa micobakery Flourish Sourdough Bakery said she first started taking her hobby more seriously about six years ago.
With so many loaves of artisan bread crowding out her freezer, Ms Ferguson's four children used to say she had "bread collectivitis", leaving little room for their ice cream.
Today she said she was delighted with the growing number of people making their own sourdough bread at home during the coronavirus crisis lockdown.
"I'm thrilled to see the amount of people having a go," she said.
"It's a challenge that you have to keep rising to, and rising, and rising!!"
Having developed her sourdough starter named "Bob" - after her late father, Ms Ferguson said she had worked on her recipes over about six years.
She said there had been some early failures as she perfected them.
"I broke a couple of bins trying to slam dunk rock loaves but I realised I was trying to rush the process!" Ms Ferguson said.
"I was trying to force the dough to do what I wanted; it took time to learn to work with it."
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Together with partner Troy Briggs, Ms Ferguson tested the market for their sourdough range at an Easter market at Yarrawonga about three years ago.
The Yarrawonga-based couple sold out within two hours, giving them the confidence to open a microbakery at Corowa, at the back of Mr Briggs' workplace.
"We got a stainless steel-lined shipping container and then had an architect draw up plans for our bakery," she said.
"It was high-shine stainless steel so we had to rub it all back to take some of the shine off!"
Ms Ferguson said they had developed a range of bread and pastries for four North East community or farmers' markets and the cafe wholesale trade.
When those markets largely dried up almost overnight after the COVID-19 crisis hit during March, Ms Ferguson said they had to rethink their way of doing business.
"We had to think outside the box to stay in business," she said.
"The feedback has been fantastic; we've been delivering to Rutherglen, Corowa, Wahgunyah, Yarrawonga, Mulwala, Bundalong, Barooga and Cobram.
"This week we sold out of sourdough doughnuts within a couple of hours, so we'll definitely offer those again soon."
Having grown up at Cobram and working in the hospitality trade for almost two decades, Ms Ferguson said they were grateful for the support.
"We have been so blessed and so supported by the network we have," she said.
Flourish Sourdough Bakery,
7 Cobar Court, Corowa
Phone: 0428 738 553
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