My Sourdough

If you want to spend time making a loaf of sourdough then you will love this recipe.  Once you have thought about making it then you will need 24 hours for it to materialise !  ….but its worth the effort I promise.


As an example – lets say you want your loaf for Saturday evening.

Friday afternoon about 2pm refresh your starter or natural leaven.  You will do this second nature now you have your own starter.  As a reminder – give your starter a stir, discard 3-4 tbsp then add in 2 tbsp white bread flour and sufficient tepid water to bring it all to a paste (about the consistency of thick cream).  Put the lid on and leave at room temperature.   It should get bubbling after 3-4 hours.

At around 8pm Friday night or before going to bed – make the sponge.

In the bowl of your mixer place 150g white flour, 50g rye flour, 100g of your natural leaven and 200ml warm water.  Give a really good mix making sure there are no lumps then cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave in the kitchen overnight.

The next morning – just look at the bubbles !!!

10 am Fit the dough hook to your mixer then add 150g white bread flour and 7g salt to your bubbling sponge.  Mix well for 3-4 minutes until everything is well combined then turn up the speed of your mixer and continue until the dough comes together, is stretchy and silky.

Turn out onto a floured surface and start to knead your dough.  It is quite sticky to begin with so you may find it easier to oil your hands.  Transfer to a greased bowl and leave to rise until doubled in size – about an hour.

11.30am Turn the dough out again onto a floured surface, knead again then shape into a ball and place back into the greased bowl.

12.30 2nd kneading – repeat as above

2.00pm 3rd kneading – repeat as above

3.30pm  4th kneading, shaping and placing in the basket

5.00pm Baking

6pm Eating !!!

When you get to your fourth and final kneading your dough will be placed in its final shape for baking.  Either shape into a bloomer or prepare a bread basket by flouring it well.  Shape the dough then place either on a baking sheet or into your proving basket.  Leave to prove for 1 hour.

If your sourdough has been proved in a basket you will need to then transfer your risen dough to a baking sheet, give a quick slash with a sharp knife and bake for 30 minutes.  Start with your oven at its highest setting then turn down to 200 degrees C (Gas Mark 6, 400 degrees F) after 20 minutes.  You will achieve an even better rise if your oven has steam.  Either pour boiling water into a preheated baking tin in the base of the oven or drop a couple of ice cubes into a tin – again preheated in the bottom of your oven.

NB: If you don’t have a proving oven you can place your dough into your electric oven with just the light on.  This creates sufficient heat for a good rise.

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