Simple Sourdough

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Baking, Lunch Recipes

Simple Sourdough

By Tom Flavin

60 Mins

Difficulty: Easy

Serves 4


  • 500g strong white flour
  • 5g salt
  • 325g water
  • 150g sourdough starter


Add the flour to a clean mixing bowl. Mix the salt through the flour. Add the water and sourdough starter. Combine all the ingredients to form a rough dough.
Turn the dough out on to a clean work surface. Knead the dough for 10 seconds. Return the dough to the mixing bowl and leave to one side for approximately 10 minutes. When kneading, do not worry if the dough is slightly wet or sticky. Resist the temptation to add any extra flour.

After 10 minutes, turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead for another 10 seconds, then return the dough to the mixing bowl and allow the dough to rest for a further 10 minutes. The dough will need to be kneaded one more time. After the third time of kneading for 10 seconds, the dough should be smooth, smooth and elastic.

Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover with cling film and allow it to prove for four hours at room temperature. After four hours, turn the dough onto a work surface and knock it back. Knocking back simply involves knocking the air from the dough and equalising the temperature within the dough. Form the dough into a tight round ball.
Line a 2.5l round Pyrex dish with a clean tea towel and dust with flour. Place the dough, seam side facing up, into the dish. Cover the dish with the lid, put it in the fridge and leave it overnight.

Using a fridge reduces the temperature of the dough, allowing it to prove slower and longer, which allows for greater development of flavour within the dough and increases its digestibility. As dough ferments or proves, the gluten within the dough breaks down. The longer a dough is allowed to prove, the more flavour it will have and the easier it is to digest.

The next morning, preheat your oven to 230 degrees Celsius/gas 8. Remove the Pyrex dish containing the dough from the fridge. Flip the Pyrex dish over, so the bowl of the Pyrex dish now becomes the lid. Remove the tea towel.
Using a sharp knife, cut the surface of the dough; this is what is known as the baker’s signature. The dough can be cut up to half a centimetre deep. Put the lid back on and place the dish in the preheated oven. Baking the dough with the lid on creates steam, which will allow the dough to rise and open up while baking. The dough will need to be baked for 50 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove the lid from the dish and continue to bake for a further 25 minutes.

Once baked, remove the bread from the dish and allow it to cool.