Basic sourdough

Basic sourdough

By
From
The Tivoli Road Baker
Makes
one loaf
Photographer
Bonnie Savage and Alan Benson

This is our ‘house sourdough’ recipe, and the best starting point if you’re new to making bread. Many of our other recipes extend from this one, so once you’ve got the hang of the basic sourdough, you can start to experiment with different grains, flavour additions, hydration levels, and percentages of whole grain flours. We like to use some wholemeal in our starters and bread, for flavour and texture, as well as nutrition.

Starter build

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
50g Starter
25g bakers flour
25g wholemeal flour
50g water

Method

  1. Around 4–6 hours before you plan to mix your dough, combine the starter, flour and water for the starter build, mixing well to combine. You will use 90 g (3 oz) of this for the dough; retain the rest for maintaining your starter.

Dough

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
90g Starter
330g bakers flour
90g wholemeal flour
290g water
8g salt
semolina, for dusting

Method

  1. At least 30 minutes before you plan to mix the dough, combine the flours and water in a large mixing bowl. Mix them with your hands until thoroughly combined, then cover with a damp cloth and set aside for the autolyse.
  2. When the starter is ripe and bubbly, mix it with the flour and water mixture, sprinkle over the salt and finish mixing the dough. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for at least 30 minutes, before your first set of folds.
  3. Complete four sets of folds, resting the dough in between each one for 30–45 minutes.
  4. After your last set of folds, cover your dough with a damp cloth and leave to prove at room temperature for 2–3 hours.
  5. If you have multiplied the recipe, divide the dough into individual loaves before you pre-shape. Pre-shape the dough, then cover with a damp cloth and leave it to rest on the bench for 15–20 minutes.
  6. When the dough has relaxed, shape as desired, then place it seam side up in a lightly floured proving basket. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for a few hours, or in the fridge overnight, until ready to bake.
  7. Preheat the oven to the maximum temperature and bake according to your preferred method. Once baked, tip the bread out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool.

Bakery note

  • This recipe makes one loaf. I like to double it when baking at home. Once I’ve shaped two loaves, I bake the first, leaving the other in the fridge for a day or two until I need another fresh loaf. Or you could use your second loaf to experiment with some of the flavour variations and techniques that are highlighted later in the book.
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