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Sourdough Loaf

Perfect Sourdough Loaf from Shipton Mill's Head Baker, Chris Holister

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Bread flour 450g
Wholemeal 50g
Starter 100g
Water 350g (around 40C)
Salt 10g


Place all ingredients except the salt into the bowl.

Mix well until all the ingredients are well incorporated, cover and leave for 30mins to autolyse.

Next add the salt and a tablespoon of water, work this well into the dough and then cover and leave for 3-4hrs folding every hour. Once ready the dough should feel nice and pillow and increased in volume by a third.

Tip out on to a lightly floured work surface and shape into a round.

Place into a floured basket and leave out for 1 hour before placing in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven and casserole pan to 250C.

Flip the loaf out of the basket on to some parchment and slash.

Lift the loaf on the parchment paper into your hot casserole pot and place in the oven with the lid on for 30 mins.

Remove the lid and continue to bake for 15-20mins until you get the desired colour.

Place on a wire rack to cool for at least an hour.

Added by: ShiptonLou

Tags: Bread Sourdough

Add comment

i followed this recipe step by step and the result is such a perfect loaf that i actually can't believe i made it myself, it's proper bakery quality! i have been trying a few different recipes before and the result was always a bit meh, but this is the loveliest bread i ever had! and while it does take time, the actual work with it is very little. i could not be happier, and can't wait to make it again, trying different flours as well like malted and seeded versions.

Zsuzsanna Marton 29 July 2021

RE: Perfection

That's great to hear, The video with the girls was great to watch, so easy.

Mr Tom Castree 29 July 2021

RE: Perfection

great to hear that!

Dr Riccardo Sapienza 29 August 2021

protein content

Hello, I am often interested in the protein content (or W value) of the flour to choose the right one for my baking. I cannot find it on the website, is it available somewhere? Cheers!

Riccardo 03 June 2021

Chris Hollister's recipe

So pleased with the results. It seems that the spring has returned to my loaves!. I leave it for 1 hour before the first stretch and fold and I use a cast iron skillet with a steel cloche. Thanks so much and the video is really good! Regards....Paul ffoulkes

Mr. Paul ffoulkes 14 December 2020


the bottom of my loaf was burnt after the first 30 mins. How do I prevent this? Lower temp?

Linzi de Fay 01 October 2020

Reply to Linzi

You could after preheating the pot place an unheated heatsink eg. baking stone or anything similar underneath the pot with your dough in it or, adopt my method of using a trivet which is somewhere on this page, what I did miss out at the end was to flip the loaf over and bake the bottom of the loaf for about 5 mins. Yes, you could turn the heat down but the steam, in my opinion, is essential. Bake by trial.

Mr Tom Castree 01 October 2020


Try with placing your baking cloche/cast iron on the oven rack rather than the tray. It should prevent the bottom of your bread from burning

Kat 15 January 2021

Sourdough recipe

I made this exactly to the instructions given by Alix and Nina in the video except I proved the loaf once it was in the banetton for three hours before transferring to the fridge. The result is perfect, great oven spring! This is such a clear and easy way with a minimum of working the dough. The key seems to be having a really active starter that has at least doubled in size and floats in water. I used an Emile Henry cloche. Thank you for describing such an easy way into sourdough! Paul

Dr Paul Kilsby 19 August 2020

RE: Sourdough recipe

If you create the starter from scratch with equal amounts of flour and water, how long does it take before you can use it in the sourdough recipe i.e. how long to get a really active starter? Thanks?

Mr Adrian Armitage 14 December 2020

Chris Holister's sourdough recipe

Hi I followed Chris's sourdough recipe a couple of days ago and was absolutely delighted with the result. I have one concern and that is heating my lecreuset casserole empty, on such a high temperature in case it damages the casserole. I pre-heated it for 30 minutes prior to adding the sourdough. And advice would be really helpful please.

Bellsbakes 08 August 2020

RE: Chris Holister's sourdough recipe

I have the same worry, but so far so good and in fact I now use the "Dutch Oven" method for all my bread baking yeasted as well as sourdough. My precious Le Creuset seems to survive, although I only put mine in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to try to minimise the risk.

Missbabs 20 August 2020

RE: Chris Holister's sourdough recipe

I preheat the oven to temperature, then on the hot plate I place the casserole with a trivet inside and put water into the pot to the level of the trivet and place the lid on, I then boil the water to make steam and when ready lower the bread into it replace lid and place into the oven and bake as required

Mr Tom Castree 13 September 2020


I have followed Chris Holister's sourdough recipe twice, very carefully, following the processes shown in the film. On each occasion so far, after overnight rising the dough looks good, filling the banneton, but it is much softer than shown in the film. Too soft to slash, and when turned out it is more like a pancake than a loaf. Any ideas?! The starter looked good on each occasion.

Mr Robert Caldicott 20 July 2020

RE: Sourdough

I had this problem the first time, but now I kneed to the window pane stage, rest it and then fold over with wet hands, twice, resting it about 2 hours the first time and an hour the second. In fact I now use the recipe in the Shipton Mill book "A Handful of Flour". It's a very fickle friend this sourdough and nowhere near as easy a the girls in demo make it look!

Missbabs 09 August 2020

No kneading?

Hello, you don't really knead the dough? I thought that was crucial to develop the gluten and prevent it from collapsing? Does the folding substitute for kneading? thanks,

Colin 17 July 2020

RE: No kneading?

I generally knead yeasted bread but merely fold sourdough.

Mr Tom Castree 13 September 2020


Hello, do you cover the dough when I goes in the fridge?

Grumpybaker 08 July 2020

RE: Sourdough

I don't, but then it depends on whats in the fridge that may taint the dough.

Mr Tom Castree 13 September 2020

After the fridge

Do you bake straight from the fridge or leave on the side for a period of time before putting in the casserole/oven please?

SLT 02 July 2020

RE: After the fridge
Hi, we put it straight into the hot casserole from the fridge as it keeps its shape and doesn't overprove. Let us know if you try it! Alix

webmaster 06 July 2020

sour dough starter

please can you tell me how to make the starter for sour dough bread? Thank you Anne

anne hawkings 01 July 2020

RE: sour dough starter

Hi Anne,

Here's a recipe for our head baker's starter recipe (click the link). It takes a bit of time to get going but is quite robust once you do. Happy baking! Alix

webmaster 06 July 2020

Sourdough Loaf, Chris Holister's recipe

I have tried to make sourdough several times in the past with varying degrees of failure. Now, however, having just seen your video using a cast iron casserole dish I am tempted to have another go. Just one question, what size is the pot used for making this size loaf (500g flour)?

Missbabs 29 June 2020

RE: Sourdough Loaf, Chris Holister's recipe

Hi, we used a 24cm round casserole dish for this loaf. Hope you give it a go! Alix

webmaster 06 July 2020

Shipton Mill Sourdough

Superb recipe & method, very simple to make. The recipe didn't state how much water to use but luckily it was mentioned in the video. Wonderful taste & texture. I used filtered water as it is better for the starter & I used fine polenta to dust & line my banneton basket which worked superbly well. The whole family loved it.. I make a lot of sourdoughs & this is one of the best I've tried..

Martin Pomfret 10 June 2020


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