A spurtle is a Scottish wooden kitchen tool used to mix soup, stews, porridge and broth. They date as far back as the 15th century.
Our Sourdough School wooden spurtle came about as a result of mixing sourdough starter in a jar with a spoon. Sometimes when you are really mixing up the flour and the water you have to be quite forceful, not least because you need to get plenty of oxygen in to increase the levels of the yeasts. And unfortunately I was over vigorous and I put the spoon right through the bottom of the pot. It’s funny now but at the time it wasn’t, I had ruined a pot, and ruined my sourdough starter, and it was in that moment that I realised I needed to address the way in which I was mixing, or rather the tool that I was using.
I love this tactile piece of wood. I only ever wash it with a little warm water. I would suggest that once every few weeks you very gently wipe it over with a seed oil. Do make sure it is food grade, and it needs the tiniest amount just to keep it seasoned. Other than that it can indeed be used to make porridge.
Otherwise I think there is something really beautiful about using the same equipment over and over again as part of a rhythm and routine. This is a handmade ethically sourced wooden spurtle that was originally made for us by EJ of Hatchet + Bear who put as much love into his craftsmanship as I do into my sourdough. I think they go together very beautifully. Very sadly EJ is no longer with us. Recently a friend of EJ’s who is also a wood turner and carver offered to make these again for us as in remembrance of our dear friend.
Brand: The Sourdough School by Burr Studio at Frome Hardware
Carved from: a walnut tree, with a metal rivet at the top
Size: approximately 30cm long