Basic sourdough bread

29 June 2013

Sourdough bread Once you have a sourdough starter, you’ll want to make some sourdough bread! This recipe is for a simple, crusty sourdough loaf. It’s by no means the be all and end all of sourdough, so feel free to experiment, and to use your starter in other recipes.

I made the bread in the picture above with a brand new starter. The bread took a full four hours to proof, and even then its crumb was somewhat dense (though still delicious). I also have a more mature starter, which proofs dough much more quickly, and gives a more open crumb. You can save some time by putting the dough in a warm place while it rests and proofs. Also, be sure to use active, bubbling starter.

  • For one medium loaf:
    300 g high grade flour
    50 g wholemeal flour
    10 g salt
    300 g sourdough starter
    200 g water
  • Combine the dry ingredients, then add the sourdough starter and water. Mix thoroughly, until there are no more lumps, and leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Wet your hands (this stops the dough sticking to them) and loosen the dough from the sides of the bowl. Gently stretch the dough and fold it in three, like a letter. Rest the dough for 30 minutes.
  • Repeat the previous step three more times.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured work surface, and shape it into a ball by folding the edges of the dough into the middle. Try to avoid deflating the dough – it’s fine if the ball looks a little bit rough.
  • In a bowl lined with a well-floured tea towel (or in a proofing basket if you have one), leave the dough to proof until it has nearly doubled in size. Depending on your starter, this might take several hours. While the dough is proofing, heat a heavy pot in the bottom of your oven at 225°C
  • When the dough is proofed, you can optionally slash the top. Bake the loaf in the pot, with the lid on, for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for a further 25 minutes.
  • Cool the loaf on a rack for at least two hours before cutting into it.