IMG_20170304_172707_726Sourdough is great tasting, but rather expensive to buy. Its relatively easy to make and doesn’t take up much time, but does need extra time to prove.

It requires the starter recipe, which you can find here, this takes about a week to establish, but once going is ready to use any time.

You could try adding extras to the recipe, like garlic or rosemary works really well.

This fills a 2 lb loaf tin, or 500g proving basket.

500g white bread flour (sifted)
10g salt
160g sourdough starter
300ml warm water (give or take)
A small amount of rye flour for coating

Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and mix together.

Add the starter and slowly add the water and mix together to form a slightly sticky dough.

It needs to be workable, so as not to stick to your hands too much, but too dry and it will fall apart. You can add more or less water depending on how your dough feels. I find it varies slightly every time.

Tip out onto your worktop and knead for around 5-10 minutes. I don’t bother to flour or oil the worktop, I never really found it necessary. With practice you will know when your loaf is ready. After a few minutes the structure changes, as the proteins line up.

It is possible to make bread without any kneading, but this would require a much longer proving time.

There are various ways to knead your dough I like to stretch it out, then roll it back in and give it a 90 degree turn, before stretching it out again.

Coat your loaf in a little Rye flour and place in a lightly greased loaf tin for a square sandwich loaf, or into a floured proving basket, if you have one, for a more traditional loaf. 

Cover loosely with a plastic bag and place somewhere warm, I usually put it near our wood-burner or in the conservatory on a warm day.

Leave to prove for at least several hours, but overnight is ideal. Sourdough takes longer to develop than bread made with shop bought yeast, but benefits from the extra time, as it develops a better flavour. The loaf should have increased in size.


Heat your oven to its highest temperature and boil the kettle. If using the proving basket option also place an oven tray in too heat.

If using the proving basket, tip your bread out onto the hot oven tray and get it in the oven and shut the door, as quick as possible, to avoid heat loss. If using a loaf tin, put your loaf tin in the centre of the oven.IMG_20170501_190458_720

Cook for 10 minutes before dropping the temperature to 200 degrees if the crust is looking pale, 180 degrees if the crust is noticeably browning, and 170 if it seems to be browning quickly. Cook for a further 40 mins.

Remove from the oven, the loaf should sound hollow when you tap it on the bottom.

Leave to cool fully before cutting.


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