Sourdough Bread

Baking artisan-quality sourdough bread at home couldn’t be easier with this wonderfully simple recipe.

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sourdough bread
Recipe AuthorAlice Cameron
Date30 September 2019
MachineManual Mode
Preparation time 28 Minutes
Rest time 6 Hours 20 Minutes
Cooking time 35 Minutes
Total time 7 Hours 23 Minutes

Making sourdough bread is a journey, it begins with the simple combination of flour and water and ends with a magnificent loaf with that wonderful sourdough flavour. Not to mention a great sense of satisfaction and a house filled with that freshly baked smell!

A lot of people feel intimidated by bread making, especially sourdough, but they needn’t be! Humans have been baking bread themselves for thousands of years, all it takes is a little time and patience to master the art of sourdough baking.

Before you can make a sourdough loaf you first need to make a starter. The starter is the rising agent, a good starter is the key to a good sourdough loaf.

You can either knead it by hand or you can let your kitchen machine do the hard work for you. This will speed up the process but this is not a quick recipe, so its best to begin when time is on your side. Sourdough needs to be proved twice for about 3 hours at a time.

Learning how to make sourdough at home is a rewarding experience. You can’t compare a sourdough loaf to anything you can buy in a supermarket. Bread has gone from the simple combination of flour, water, a rising agent and a bit of salt to something that contains upwards of 30 ingredients! Making it yourself means you have more control over what you are eating and you aren’t consuming needless additives.

Healthwise sourdough is low on the glycemic index which can help keep your blood sugar down which is important if you want to prevent diabetes.

Perfect for sandwiches, toasting or simply enjoying it dipped in some extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Recipe suggestion: Sourdough starter

Ingredient list

Water 260ml
Salt 5g

Step nr: 1 - Combine the ingredients

Ingredient list for step nr: 1

Water 260milliliter
Salt 5gram
Preparation time 3 Minutes
Total time 3 Minutes

Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and bring it together with your hands.

Step nr: 2 - Knead the dough

Preparation time 10 Minutes
Total time 10 Minutes

When the dough has roughly come together tip it out onto a clean surface and begin to knead. Kneading increases the elasticity and strength of the dough. use the heel of your hand to push the dough away and then pull it back towards you.

As you begin kneading you will find the dough to be slightly wet and sticky. Do not add extra flour as it will only make your bread denser.

Step nr: 3 - Test the dough

Preparation time 2 Minutes
Total time 2 Minutes

As you knead it the dough will change in texture, it will become smooth and silky. This is an indication that it is ready. To see if your dough is ready rub a little oil on your hands to prevent it from sticking, take the dough and hold it up to the light stretching it slightly. If it doesn't tear and you can see the light through it, it's ready. If it rips it needs to be kneaded for a little longer.

Step nr: 4 - Proof

Rest time 3 Hours
Total time 3 Hours

Add the dough back into the bowl, dust it with a little flour and cover it with a clean dishcloth. Leave it to proof for 3 hours.

Step nr: 5 - Knock back

Preparation time 2 Minutes
Total time 2 Minutes

Once it has risen it needs to be knocked back. To do this tip it out onto a clean surface and try to flatten it with your hands then fold the dough in on itself to remove and large pockets of air.

Step nr: 6 - Shape the dough

Preparation time 5 Minutes
Total time 5 Minutes

Once the dough has been knocked back it needs to be shaped. Try to make the dough as round as possible. Take all the edges and pull them into the centre turning the dough as you go.

Step nr: 7 - Shape the dough agian

Preparation time 2 Minutes
Total time 2 Minutes

After you have turned in the edges, flip the dough over. Cup your hands around the dough and pull it towards yourself. You will find that it lifts up slightly, turn it 45 degrees and repeat until the dough surface is tight.

Step nr: 8 - Prep the proofing basket

Preparation time 1 Minute
Total time 1 Minute

Dust your proofing basket with flour and set it aside.  

If you don't have a proving basket you can use any kind of curved bowl or dish. Line your bowl with a tea towel and dust with flour.

Step nr: 9 - Second proofing

Rest time 3 Hours
Total time 3 Hours

When the dough has been shaped add it upsidedown to the proofing basket (or bowl) and cove with a tea towel. Leave it to proof again.

At this stage, you can leave your dough to prove in the fridge and leave it overnight. This slows the proving process so you can have freshly baked bread the next morning.

Step nr: 10 - Preheat

Preparation time 30 Seconds
Total time 30 Seconds
Temperature230 Degrees Celsius

Preheat your oven to 230˚C and add a small baking tray to the bottom shelf, allowing it to heat up.

Step nr: 11 - Turn out the dough

Preparation time 30 Seconds
Total time 30 Seconds

Once the dough has finished its second proofing turn it out onto a large baking tray.

Step nr: 12 - Score the dough

Preparation time 2 Minutes
Total time 2 Minutes

Take a sharp knife or a razor and score your dough. Scoring isn't just for ascetics it allows your dough to rise better.

You can use this opportunity to make some beautiful designs in the bread, or keep it super simple and rustic looking.

Step nr: 13 - Bake

Cooking time 35 Minutes
Total time 35 Minutes
Temperature230 Degrees Celsius

Add the dough to the middle of the oven. Before closing the oven door poor some hot water into the ovenproof dish that was preheating. This will create steam helping your dough to rise. Bake for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature is about 90˚c.

If you want to check the temperature stick a cooking thermometer in the bottom to avoid leaving holes in your bread.

Step nr: 14 - Cool

Rest time 20 Minutes
Total time 20 Minutes

Leave to cool before cutting into it.

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