sourdough bread instagram social media influencer content creator wood tools for sale Iggy @FloatyGoatSourdough Leeds United Kingdom

Interview With Iggy From @FloatyGoatSourdough on Instagram

Hello, fellow bread enthusiasts! Today, we’re thrilled to introduce you to Iggy, the brilliant baker behind the Instagram sensation @floatygoatsourdough. Iggy’s journey from the tranquil mountains of Oregon to the bustling streets of Leeds UK, is a true testament to her passion for the craft of sourdough baking. In this exclusive interview, she shares her inspiring story, her love for sourdough, and some of her secret techniques that have helped her rise to fame in the sourdough community. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting to knead your way into the world of sourdough, you’re in for a treat! So, let’s toast to the start of this delightful conversation with Iggy and dive into the doughy depths of her sourdough escapades.

Please tell us where you are from and what you love about where you live?

I am originally from Bend Oregon USA – a small high desert mountain town. It is a beautiful place in the middle of nowhere, high up in the mountains with lots of beautiful rivers and lakes. I love how everyone in Bend lives a great deal of their life outside. I love that when I’m there, I can go swimming whenever and wherever I want. I spent a great deal of my childhood and early adulthood in Portland OR as well. Portland made me into a bonafide foodie and my curious tastebuds have since led me to many places in my life. I left Oregon in my early twenties and I have been away ever since. I spent the better part of a decade living in East Asia – mostly in northern Vietnam. It was a glorious way to spend my twenties and I am so proud of my naïve, young adventurous self for taking me there! I met my husband in Vietnam and he is from the UK, so when we decided we wanted to raise a family, we thought that his home in Leeds would be the ideal option for us. Life in Leeds has been fantastic. We have been here for nearly 5 years and we now have 2 young children. The quality of food here in England is great and the restaurant culture is expanding all of the time. My neighborhood is a melting pot of so many different cultures and ethnicities and it is inspiring to be a part of such a vibrant community. The gorgeous Yorkshire Dales are just a few miles away and they are so beautiful with their patchwork green rolling hills, beautiful rivers, and farm life all around. We feel deeply rooted here and I’m so grateful to be living in another somewhat foreign place with such a diverse population of people and an ever-evolving and expanding food culture.

Iggy, what initially sparked your interest in sourdough baking, and how did you begin your journey?

I would have to say that bread has always been my favorite food. As a young girl, I lived for a slice of baguette or an English muffin with a generous portion of butter. When I was in my late 20s, I tried making bread with yeast and it was pretty unsuccessful. I tried making my own starter a few years later and was also unsuccessful. Finally, during lockdown in 2020, like many people, I got a hold of an active bubbly starter and I have been successfully baking sourdough ever since! My first few loaves were not stunning to look at, but they were very tasty. Not long into my sourdough adventure, I started dehydrating and selling my organic starter, which led me into a wonderful world of sourdough enthusiasts all over the globe. I have found baking with sourdough to be an incredibly rewarding and therapeutic practice. It is very grounding and calming for me and I have an immense amount of gratitude for the process and how much it has helped me to regulate my nervous system. Life can be so chaotic and isolating I think that sourdough has also given me a much deeper sense of presence, mindfulness, confidence, and connectedness.

How has being based in UK added to your sourdough journey?

Since moving to the UK in 2019 I have had the good fortune of having a lot of time to reflect on my life. I was a burnt-out school teacher on hiatus trying to find my balance and find out what I was really passionate about. Having a newfound sense of space and time led me to sourdough. Living in the UK also gave me the good fortune of finding the perfect manufacturer to bring my dreams of a sourdough kitchenware line to fruition. The beauty of living in a relatively small country with such a large population is that everyone lives in such close proximity to one another and there are inspiring people all around with a myriad of skillsets and perspectives. The energy is palpable. I found Zach Pygall of The Retuned Wood Company on the first day that I went searching for manufacturers. Zach was the second person to respond to me and straight away I knew he was the right guy for the job. I feel so fortunate to have found someone who can handcraft these utensils with such a high level of skill, creativity, and attention to detail… not to mention a commitment to sustainability. I asked a handful of factories and they all said no to my inquiry, but Zach was all for it and had such a fearless attitude about bringing my visions to life. He is also a sourdough baker himself, so he understood exactly what I wanted as far as the utility of the products. It only took me a day to find him, but I realize now how lucky that is! And we live in the same city…what are the odds?!

How has your approach to sourdough baking evolved since you first started?

In the beginning, my approach was the simplify the process as much as possible in order to make it approachable. I had watched countless tutorials on YouTube and read a lot of articles that just seemed to add to my confusion and overwhelm. There were often too many steps introduced too early, in my opinion. Once I found a recipe that was the size of a loaf I wanted, I kept note of my process and then one day had an idea to share it with others. I wanted to make sourdough accessible to as many people as possible because I had found it so unapproachable for so long and I felt that the experts sometimes gave too much detail all at once. Because of this, I created my own straightforward guide and then started selling my starters & guides together, which I started as just as a fun side hobby to spread the love of sourdough.

Lately, I have been really interested in taking my bread to the next level. I had baked hundreds of loaves and had an established baking routine, however, after I gave birth to my second child I noticed that my bread was going downhill as far as its rise, overall appearance, and quality. I was constantly over-proofing bread because I suppose I was just getting a bit too complacent with it. So I knew I needed to switch everything up. I started using much larger feeding ratios and mixing my dough in the mornings rather than the evenings. I’ve found that this way I can control the fermentation time much more clearly. With an overnight proof, it worked well for me for many years, but after a while, I would get a bit lazy with it and just leave my dough in the fridge for countless hours while I took care of life’s other duties. I’ve also started baking batards rather than boules and I have found that batards yield much more consistent results and are just more predictable overall. I’m currently working on really enhancing my crumb by doing coil folds and being very mindful of the bulk fermentation time. I’m also getting really into the 6-minute mid-bake expansion score! It has been so fun to take my bread to the next level and I have learned so much from the awesome bread community on Instagram.

Do you have a signature sourdough recipe or technique you’re particularly proud of? Can you share a bit about it?

One technique that I was really proud of early on was how my scoring looked when I used a dull lame. I really like the aesthetic that the lack of sharpness brought to my bread art! It has a sort of watercolor-like effect. So rather than the designs being super defined, they are more sort of blurry, which I love. I definitely think that is a signature of mine. Technique-wise, I am still very much a student. I have a lot to learn and a lot more hours to put in to consider any of my techniques polished. The thing I am most proud of though, when I think of the word signature, is our beautiful dough whisk. It is our signature piece at FloatyGoat, and I think it is a true work of art. I like to call it the magical dough wand.

Who are some of the people, brands, or companies in the sourdough industry that have inspired you?

I have been immensely inspired by Kathryn of Amore Fermentum (@amore_fermentum on Instagram). Everything she shares, from videos to Q&As, has really helped me to better understand the details of preparing dough. I’ve learned that making bread is one thing, but making really good bread is another… and that this process we are all learning is a lifelong one. The exciting thing is that there are always ways to improve, and always new things to experiment and play with. I think it was Kathryn who once shared that sourdough is just adult play-doh! Also, Jenny of Jen plus Gwen (@jenplusgwen on Instagram), has also been such an inspiration to me. Her stickers, illustrations, bread journals, and her beautiful bread and the way that she uses her dough as a canvas is endlessly inspiring. Katie Johnson of Little Mountain Loaves (@littlemountainloaves) has some really wonderful recipes and she does a great job of making them accessible and approachable. The online sourdough community is truly so inspiring and uplifting. I always say that I never thought social media could be so positive until I entered the breadiverse!

What are your must-have tools or favorite equipment for sourdough baking, and why?

Number one would probably be my glass mixing bowl and then my scale of course! But beyond the basic essentials, I honestly have to say that the FloatyGoat Spurtle is my favorite sourdough utensil. It is such a minimalistic and simple tool, but it works so well for starter feeds. The way it mixes and how its flatness allows for easy scraping or residue is just so satisfying. It works so much better than a spoon and even a silicon spatula. Its complete flatness, and the slight bend in our spurtle really makes mixing up a starter feed a breeze. It’s also great for spreading my starter on parchment paper for drying, and for spreading icing on cakes, or spreading anything for that matter! I also love DOAP (@getdoap on Instagram) – Joshua’s awesome invention for getting that pesky sticky dough off of your hands and bowls. This goofy looking object comes in lots of vibrant colors and its very effective at its number one job. It also doubles as a little kids toy… I can’t keep it away from mine!

How do you source your ingredients, and do you have any specific preferences or tips regarding flour, water, or salt?

I source my organic flour for my starter from Stoates Farm in Dorset, UK. I really love their stoneground wholemeal flour and have always fed my starter almost exclusively with this flour. This is the flour I use for the starters in my shop, and I think the success of these starters is really owed to the amazingly high quality of this flour. My dry starters can activate so quickly and I think it is because I’m not using bleached or overly processed flour. For loaves, I do like to use white flour, mostly because it’s more fun to play with from a sensory perspective, and it also allows for more bubbles. I almost always use organic white bread flour paired with my stoneground starter for that little added nutrition boost. Lately, I have been mixing my salt in straight away rather than doing any type of autolyse. I’ve been watching some people in the sourdough community experiment with true autolyse (no starter or salt, just flour and water) and surprisingly, most results have show lately that the true autolyse doesn’t really yield better results, at least as far as the crumb is concerned. Therefore, I’ve been enjoying the convenience of just adding it all in from the jump!

What do you enjoy most about baking sourdough, and how does it impact your daily life?

Because preparing each sourdough loaf is a relatively long and immersive sensory experience, the process really helps me to come into my body and feel present, grounded, and calm. It helps me to work through my thoughts and make better decisions. I appreciate how baking bread makes me feel, and I am so grateful that the bread my family is eating is some of the best bread out there. I also love that sourdough and bread baking are such an ancient practice. Not to get all sappy here, but I do feel connected to humanity on a deep level when baking sourdough. Sourdough is meant to be shared and I love sharing it with as many people as possible through all of its mediums – starters, recipes, techniques, loaves, etc.

How do you balance tradition and innovation in your sourdough baking practices?

I think it is very important to stick to the facts and to use a scale and to be diligent about coil folds. I’m sure each baker holds dread for at least one of the steps, and although you can skip lots of steps, your bread will always be better when you keep up with the details. As far as innovation, as someone who often teaches people how to bake their first loaves, I do not want to overwhelm people, because there is so much to learn. My approach is to start with the bare minimum as far as ingredients, supplies, and technique. I think I’ve done a good job of making sourdough accessible by stripping down some of the traditional yet not entirely necessary details and instead encouraging new bakers to collect more information after have a few loaves under their belt, and to take on techniques one at a time. Too many details can alienate people from using sourdough, and I want everyone to be able to bake with sourdough! I also think that dough is a canvas and that the art of scoring is boundless! I don’t think anyone should be held back by any idea of a “traditional score” !

What are some common misconceptions about sourdough baking that you’ve encountered, and how do you address them?

I would say the idea that “sourdough is hard” – I wouldn’t say that baking with sourdough is hard, it’s just that we all learn in different ways. Sourdough requires practice, but it is a very human practice and is something we can all succeed at. Some of us will be able to receive a great deal of knowledge from a video, some from a long form recipe, and others will need a more hands-on experience or someone to coach us through it. Once you get the gist of baking with sourdough, it truly is no different than riding a bike. The skill won’t leave you.

In your opinion, what is the most underrated aspect of sourdough baking?

I think that keeping a sourdough journal is underrated. I’ve just started keeping a journal so that I can easily reflect on what works and what doesn’t work. I think that its one of the most effective ways to improve your bread and to produce consistently great bread. I’m sure people have been doing this in some form for thousands of years, but it is not something I hear a lot about. Shoutout to Jenny @jenplusgwen for keeping bread journals in style!

Are there any books, videos, or online resources you’d recommend to those wanting to learn more about sourdough baking?

I mentioned Kathryn @amore_fermentum and her beautiful visuals and helpful tips and tricks. I have also found Audrianna of Southworth Sourdough to be very helpful in distilling and communicating the most important aspects of successful sourdough baking – (@southworth_sourdough on Instagram). I like how she delivers pertinent information in straightforward, easy to digest sentences.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out with sourdough baking?

Give yourself grace. You’re lucky if your first 5 loaves don’t look like big dough puddles… but don’t worry and please don’t give up! Dough puddles still taste fantastic! You will get this. Again, if I can do it, trust me, you can too. And you will feel a genuine sense of self-efficacy once you catch the rhythm. Also, it is very important to have fun with sourdough! Don’t take it too seriously. And if you need a break, take a break and then totally switch up your approach. I bake bread on a very different timescale than I did for my first few years of baking, and now I’m constantly playing with different techniques. Making it a playful practice has reinforced my passion for baking.

How do you engage with your followers and the sourdough community on social media? What’s your style?

Part of my business is coaching people who are new to sourdough. Any time someone buys a starter & guide (or any other product) from my shop, I open the door for them to message me any time via social media or email with any sourdough questions they may have or issues they may come across. If anyone out there is reading this please feel free to message me at any time with any questions you have, you don’t need to have been a customer of mine! I love helping people to become successful bakers. I’m still very much a learner myself, but I can certainly try to help you build your foundational home baking practice.

What’s your favorite sourdough recipe to bake for yourself, friends, or your loved ones?

My favorite recipe to bake for myself is a traditional loaf because there is just so much to learn and I always have a goal in mind or a new technique I want to tackle. My favorite recipe to bake for others is sourdough focaccia, and it is probably my partner’s most requested bread too. Everyone loves sourdough focaccia and people who are unfamiliar with sourdough are often pleasantly surprised to find out that focaccia can be made without added yeast. The bubbly bread is always a hit!

Do you have any upcoming projects or plans related to sourdough baking that you’re excited about?

I’ve just released the first small batch of my new locally handmade wooden kitchenware line – FloatyGoat Sourdough Kitchenware. Our signature walnut wood pieces are now available, and I’m very excited to be coming out with different cherry wood and maple wood variations in the very near future! I am so proud of the pieces that myself and my manufacturer Zach of The Retuned Wood Company (@theretunedwoodco) were able to produce and I hope that my fellow sourdough bakers cherish them as much as we do!

What do you hope to contribute or be remembered for most in the sourdough community?

One of my personal missions with FloatyGoat is to help to spread this skill and the joy of sourdough baking as far as I possibly can! I believe that this practice is a profoundly powerful one and that it can help many people to become more mentally, emotionally, and physically regulated. It has added a great deal of peace to my life and really helped me to better cope with life’s struggles.

Can you describe a moment when you felt particularly proud or fulfilled in your sourdough baking journey?

Every time someone sends me a photo of their first ever sourdough loaf I am filled to the brim with joy and satisfaction! It makes me so happy to see people find success with sourdough because I know how good it feels and how much the acquisition of this skill can positively impact a person’s life.

If you could give one piece of advice to your past self when you started sourdough baking, what would it be?

Don’t give up! Find a recipe and a rhythm that works for you. And reach out to a fellow baker if you feel you’ve hit a dead end.

Is there anything else Iggy that you would like the community to know about you or things you would like the readers to potentially purchase or subscribe to?

For more information on my sourdough kitchenware line and other offerings, visit my website. I will soon be adding new sourdough accessories crafted by various UK artisans to my shop. With extensive experience in worldwide shipping, I’ve successfully delivered products to over 30 countries at low costs, so international orders are welcome! For additional recipes, content, and the latest news from FloatyGoat, follow me on Instagram @floatygoatsourdough. I’m always open to answering any sourdough questions or addressing issues, so feel free to message me anytime. Happy baking! – Iggy

Closing Thoughts

We hope you found our chat with Iggy as enlightening and entertaining as a perfectly proofed loaf of sourdough! Her journey is a reminder that with a pinch of patience and a dash of dedication, anyone can achieve sourdough success. For more wholesome stories and to keep up with the latest trends in the world of sourdough, be sure to follow The Sourdough People on Instagram at And remember, if you’ve got a yeast for sharing your own sourdough tales, we’re all ears (or should we say, all crusts)! Fill out our intake form, and you might just be the next baker to grace our feed. Don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for a slice of the action and more crumb-tastic updates. Until next time, keep your starter bubbly, your crusts crispy, and your love for sourdough as endless as a sourdough starter’s potential!

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