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White Sourdough

36 Hour, cold fermented, White Sourdough, 70% Hydration. This is a delicious soft crumbed loaf that is designed to fit around your normal life.

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This bread is cold fermented in the fridge so that is can be broken down into 12 hour sections designed to fit around your working life. You can adapt this to prove at room temperature for around 4-6 hours for each proof but I like formulas that alow me to fit baking around my working day. I also use the "stretch and fold" technique as I find that works best for me, you can of course knead the dough any way you like, English knead, slap and fold etc. It is a fairly easy dough to work with and is suitable for anyone to make from a beginner to a seasoned baker. I have put my personal timings in to show you how this fits around my life. Enojy!

It will produce a loaf with a delicious soft crumb, you can increase the water content to 76% to get a more open and uneaven crumb by changing the water quantity to 565g (283g). The dough will be a little harder to work with at that hyrdation level.

Ingredients for two loaves (one loaf in brackets)

900g (450g) Untreated Organic White Flour - No.4 (105)

500g (250g) Cold Water

90g (45g) Milk

260g (130g) Active starter that had been fed within the last 8-12 hours @ 100% hydration

21g Salt



You can use any starter with this, personally I keep a rye starter as I find that works best for me. For this recipe I took 50g of my rye starter and fed it with 105g Untreated Organic White Flour - No.4 and 105g water.

In the morning feed your starter.

In the evening at around 6pm add all your ingredients and mix together in a rectangular container (or whatever container / bowl you have), from my experience it makes no difference which order you mix in the ingredients so whatever works best for you. Get your fingers in or use a dough whisk and make sure all the flour is soaked up. If you can, leave the dough for 20-30 minutes to autolyse as it will be easier to work with. As this is a short autolyse I add all the ingredients including the salt.

Every 20-30 minutes stretch and fold the dough, wet your hands so the dough does not stick, take one end of the dough with both hands, stretch out and fold over in half. Then take the opposite end and stretch and stretch and fold over again. Turn 90 degrees and stretch and fold again and finally take the opposite side and stretch and fold again. So each stretch and fold consists of 4 stretch and folds. Repeat this 3-4 times, if you are making the higher hydration loaf then you may need to do this 5 or 6 times.

You can knead the dough in anyway you like but try not to use any flour at all, rub olive oil onto your hands and work surface to stop the dough sticking.

Take care not to tear the dough but stretch it as much as you feel it will go without tearing. You will be able to stretch it a little further each time as the gluten structures form.

Once you have completed your stretch and folds cover the box / bowl and put in the fridge.

In the morning use a scraper to loosen the edges of the dough from the container and then tip out onto a clean work surface. Personally I do not use any flour on the surface at all. Now use a dough scraper to cut the dough roughly in half. Then fold the dough in on itself from 4 "corners" so that the original bottom of the dough is now on the outside. Use the dough scraper to gently push the dough along slightly to create tension in outer skin. There are plenty of Youtube videos on shaping :)

If you have time leave to rest for 20-30 minutes and re-tension the dough and then put into floured bannetons or lined bowls and put back in the fridge.

Now you can either take the loaves out of the fridge at around 6pm that evening and leave to prove at room temp for 2-3 hours and then bake or you can bake straight from the fridge the next morning. You can of course bake one in the evening and one in the morning!

Preheat oven to 230 deg C Fan for 30-45 minutes and bake for 30 minutes with steam. You can create steam by spraying some water on the sides of the oven or have a tray on the shelf below with some water in.

The best way is to bake in a Casserole pot with the lid on for 20 minutes and then take the lid off for 10 minutes. Or you can bake on a pizza stone covered with a large turkey tray.

If you don't have a stone or suitable casserole pot then you will most likely have to increase the baking time by 5-10 minutes, you can stop the top of the loaf from going too dark by covering with tin foil after 20-25 minuites. You can also make a cloche by covering the underside of a large bowl with a couple of layers of tin foil.

If you bake with a pot or stone then preheat those when you preheat the oven.

If you have a digital thermometer probe then the internal temp should be at least 93 deg C.

Take out and leave to cool for at least an hour (if you can resist cutting into it!!). You can slice sooner but the loaf will still be a little moist inside.



This is a link to a calculator I wrote so you can easily scale or convert the formula : Bread Calculator


Added by: breadcalc.com

Tags: Bread White Sourdough

Add comment

Have just got round to my 16 k sack of #4 (a gift from USA of 48 k red wheat has delayed things) and am now going try this. What is the fridge temp?

Mr Stephen GOVIER 28 September 2015


Hi, sorry I didn't see this query so a bit late replying! My fridge is about 4-5 Deg C

bobonacus 08 January 2016

sourdough starter

Can you please give me the ingredients and amounts to make the sourdough starter. I am having trouble with making the starter i used to use, igual amount of flour and water, after two days my starter goes bad, with a very nasty smell, I have made sourdough bread before and I really like it but as I said Having problems with the starter

auracollins 13 August 2015

RE: sourdough starter

I added this to a facebook group a while ago, it's a pdf for a rye starter with no discarding https://www.facebook.com/download/1037605412916496/Rye%20Starter%20at%20100%20pct.pdf I've made a few white starters and I have found this rye starter much easier to keep going with irregular feeding

bobonacus 14 August 2015


The milk will add lactose, a polysaccharide (complex sugar) which is not eaten by yeast, and will flavour the bread since yeast can't digest lactose and there is generally nothing in bread dough to break the lactose down into its components, glucose and galactose. Milk contains a protein-disulfide reductase Glutathione (GSH) which will encourage a slack bread with a minimum oven spring and so a lower loaf volume. It is possible to destroy the Glutathione by heating the milk to 88 Celsius. Whole milk is about 87.8% water, 3.2% proteins (inc. Glutathione), 3.9% fat, 4.8% carbohydrates (mostly lactose) and 0.3% minerals. The 18 proteins and protein complexes found in milk, as mentioned, can inhibit the yeast. Fat binds with flour, softening it by inhibiting or modifying the gluten structure and holding moisture, so breads with fat in them dry out slower. Both fat and sugar are ingredients that tend to hold in moisture, thus making for softer bread. The minerals include sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium. 250 grams of milk will have about 107 mg of sodium in it, or the equivalent of about 1/20 of a teaspoon of salt.

Mr Stephen GOVIER 02 August 2015

RE: Milk

That's interesting, I will try heating the milk and cooling next time, I get pretty good oven spring already so maybe doing this will give even more!

bobonacus 14 August 2015


Why add the milk?

Mr Stephen GOVIER 31 July 2015

RE: Milk

The milk add some softness to the crumb, it makes it a little less chewy. If you want a more chewy bread then you can swap the milk for more water

bobonacus 31 July 2015

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