banner image

Deelishus sourdough


250g Shipton Mill Organic White Flour No.4

200g Shipton Mill Organic 100% Wholemeal Flour

50g Shipton Mill Organic Einkorn Flour

400g lukewarm filtered water (34 degrees centigrade)

100g Organic Wholemeal Rye starter

12g sea salt (I use Maldon Salt)

A little brown rice flour & semolina

Note about my starter: Like a lot of people I began my sourdough journey during lockdown. Having tried lots of methods, I now keep my starter in the fridge and feed it every so often when a liquid starts to appear on the top, which I take as a sign that it's hungry! I feed it equal parts wholemeal rye and lukewarm filtered water. It's now 5 months old, very robust and smells fantastic.


Night before you want to bake - take 20g starter from mother starter and put in separate clean jam jar. Add 40g organic wholemeal flour and 40g lukewarm water (34 degrees centrigrade). Stir well. Place the top on the jam jar (but don't screw it in place, it's just loosely placed on top). Leave overnight.

Next morning - starter will (hopefully) have grown, it needs to have at least doubled in size

Weigh out 400g filtered water and heat to 34 degrees (you'll need a probe or thermometer unless you want to guess!)

Weigh out 200g of the wholemeal flour and 50g of the einkorn flour. Sift well so that the bran remains in the sieve, put the bran in a separate bowl and add a little of the warm water - just enough so that all the bran becomes wet. Cover with a tea-towel or plate. Put the sieved wholemeal flour in another bowl and add 250g white flour. Add the rest of the water to the flour mix and using your fingers, mix into a "shaggy mass". Cover the bowl with a clean tea-towel (or plastic shower cap is a good tip) and leave for at least one hour. Ideally leave it until your starter is reaching it's peak - ie that the top is still slightly domed and it's not "retreating" back down the jam-jar (I "got this" just by learning as I went along over several bakes). When you think your starter is at its peak, add it to your flour mix, spread it over the top and, using your fingers start to work it into the flour (again this is a trial and error thing, you'll get a sense of when its incorporated but generally I mix it in for about 3 or 4 minutes). Cover and leave for 15 minutes. If using salt crystals (which I do) put in pestle & mortar and grind until fine. Spread over the flour mix and "dimple in" with your fingers, work into the dough until well combined and the dough is feeling that it's come together, again another 3-4 minutes. (Another good tip - wet your hands each time you handle your dough so that less sticks to your hands). Cover and leave for 25 minutes.

Perform 3 "stretch & folds "with 25 minutes inbetween each. (Look up on You Tube!) I start with 10-12, then 10-8 and then 8-4 depending on how my dough feels. Covering the dough and leaving to rest inbetween.

Then transfer dough to a square dish and perform 2 "coil folds" again with 25 minutes inbetween. Again covering and leaving to rest inbetween.

After second coil fold leave for 20 mins. Then transfer dough onto counter (I don't use any flour on the worktop). Shape and tighten surface by "rounding and dragging" dough a few times (again You Tube has some great videos of this). Cover and leave on the worktop for 20 minutes. Final shape (You Tube again!) and a couple more "rounding and dragging" movements. Sprinkle brown rice flour in your banneton to stop the dough sticking. I also add sesame seeds (in the photo they're black ones). Flip your dough over (so the top of the loaf is on the bottom of the banneton). Sprinkle over a little more brown rice flour, cover and rest on the counter for another 20 minutes. I then leave my dough in the fridge for about 6 hours (or sometimes longer if I leave it overnight).

I use a large metal casserole pot to cook my bread. I heat this up in the oven for 1 hour - the hottest my oven will go is 260 degrees (this is conventional oven the highest fan setting isn't as hot). Take the dough out of the fridge, sprinkle a little semolina over the top of your loaf and then turn out of the banneton onto a large piece of baking parchment. Score with a razorblade (You Tube again!) As quickly as I can I get the dough on the parchment into the hot casserole pot, cover with the lid and put back into the oven. Cook for 20 minutes.

Take the lid off (the best bit! I love the surprise every time!) turn the temperature down to 230 and bake for another 20 minutes. Take the loaf out of the casserole pot (this is also called a Dutch Oven in bread making circles, I didn't know that before) and put back into the oven. Turn the oven off but crank the door open slightly. Leave your loaf in the oven until cold. Enjoy the smell in your kitchen and the anticipation of your lovely sourdough bread.