We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. Carry on browsing if you’re happy with this, or see our Cookie Policy for more information.

Classic Sourdough

A classic sourdough recipe using 30% wholemeal flour for maximum flavour and open crumb

Like this? Share it with your friends.

Report abuse


40g Wholemeal Rye Flour

40g Whole Spelt Flour

320g Strong White Bread Flour (No. 4)

304g Warm Water

80g 100% Hydration Whole Wheat Starter

8g Salt


1. Mix all the flour and water together in a bowl until it forms a rough and ragged ball

2. Leave for 1 - 2 hours. (This is your autolyse)

3. Now we'll add the starter and salt and mix using the Rubaud method. Spread the starter in a layer on top of the dough and add the salt in a layer on top of that. Dimple your fingers right down into the dough (like you're making a focaccia). Grab the edge of the dough on one side, pull it up and fold it over the rest of the dough, then turn the 45 degrees. Repeat. Once you've gone round the bowl once, mix the dough using the Rubaud method (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgz0oAhgwyg)

4. Transfer your dough into a clean bowl or casserole dish. This is the start of the Bulk Fermentation which will probably last from 3 - 6 hours depending on the power of your starter and the temperature of your kitchen.

5. Every 30 mins for the first 2 hours, give your dough a coil fold. See https://youtu.be/FcEzgWwQQjc. After each fold you should see the dough will spread slightly less - we're building strength in the dough.

6. The Bulk Fermentation is done when the dough volume has increased by 30 - 50%. You should see air bubbles on the surface of dough, it should be less sticky and have a good jiggle to it when you shake the tray. If you're not sure if it's and you're a beginner, leave it for a bit longer - the most common beginners mistake is to under proof the dough.

7. Tip the dough out onto a surface and, using a bench knife, shape into a tight ball. The rough idea is to push the dough with the bench knife to create tension as the bottom sticks to the work surface. https://youtu.be/Koab3fxN4t4. This is your preshape. TIP: Don't use flour on your worksurface, just use water on your hands and bench knife to stop sticking. (but not on the worksurface otherwise your dough will slip around)

8. Leave the dough to rest on the workbench for 30 - 60 mins. The dough should have flattened out but still have nice round edges. If the edges are thin and tapered, your bulk fermentation was too short, repeat step 7 and wait another 30 - 60 mins and keep doing so until the edges are round.

9. Lightly dust the top of your dough and the worksurface with flour. Very liberally dust a banneton (or glass bowl lined with a tea towel) with flour, preferably rice flour if you have it available.

10. Slide you bench knife under the dough and flip it upside down onto a floured section of worksurface so the top you just floured is on the bottom. Gently stretch the dough out a little bit into a rough rectangle. Now we're going to fold it up like an envelope. So fold the bottom third up over the rest of the dough. Then grab the right hand side of the dough, gently stretch it out and fold the right third over to the left. Repeat the same for the left and you have an open envelope shape in front of you. Stretch the top out, fold it down to the bottom of the loaf and then gently roll the dough over so the seam is on the bottom. Then scoop it up with your bench knife and place it in the seam-side up in your banneton.

11. Leave the dough to proof for another 2-4 hours until it has risen another 30% or so until it's feels inflated like a balloon.

12. While proofing, preheat a dutch oven at your ovens hottest setting for 30 - 60 mins.

13. When ready, tip the dough out either straight into the pan or onto some baking parchment first. Score the loaf with a single slash down the centre with a double edged razor, very sharp knife or scissors.

14. Put in the oven and bake for 20 mins. Remove the lid of the dutch oven, and turn the oven down to 230 degrees and bake for another 10 - 15 mins until you've reached your desired darkness of crust.

15. If you can, leave the bread to cool before cutting into it.

Added by: David Neary

Tags: Bread Sourdough

Add comment

Add a recipe & get 15% off

If you add a recipe with a photo to the Shipton Mill website, we will send you a voucher for 15% off your next order from the Flour Direct shop.

15% off Flour Direct

It's very easy, just click here to visit your "My Shipton Mill" page to get started.

Flour Direct Shop update

Dear Customers,

Due to a temporary suspension of some services by couriers, we are currently unable to offer delivery to the Republic of Ireland, or overseas. This is being looked into urgently, and as soon as services resume we’ll update you here. Deliveries to Northern Ireland can now begin again.

If you live in the Republic of Ireland, please don’t order for the moment, as we are unable to get the order to you.


Keep safe and well

The Shipton Millers