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Mediterranean sourdough loaf


110 g proofed sourdough starter

350 g warm water

475 g Canadian strong white bread flour

big handful of sun-dried tomatoes

2 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

2 tsp salt

dried sweet peppers


Mix the water with about half the flour. Add the salt and the herbs - you can play with the amounts, depending how strong you like your flavours.

Chop the tomatoes into small pieces, about the size of thumbtack head, and add to the mix. Add dried peppers, if you have them. If not, don't worry, the bread is still great without them. When the herbs and tomatoes are distributed throughout, add the rest of the flour and fold and knead until it's elastic and forms something of a ball.

Put it in a warm spot (I like the sunbeam coming in the window) and let rise till doubled in size and looking a bit bubby. Usually this takes about two hours, but will be longer in the cold.

Punch down, and fold the dough over for about five minutes, then let it rise again.

When it's big and bubby again, punch down, fold over into itself just a couple of times and transfer into the pan you will bake it in. I sprinkle the pan with cornmal first so it doesn't stick.

Cover the bread with a teatowel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour.

Bake at 180-200 gas with fan - depending on your oven. Toss a sprinkle of water onto the floor of your oven right after you put the bread in - it will make a nice crusty crust.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven. You'll know it's done if you tap on it and it sounds hollow.