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Pure & Simple Sourdough Recipe!

This recipe makes 2 loaves and involves very little hands-on time; just using a straightforward slow fermentation, and good quality flour to give excellent results.



75g of mature active Levain

75g of Shipton Strong Organic Wholemeal

75g of Shipton Traditional White Flour

150g of water (20c to 25c)


900g of Shipton Traditional White Flour

680g of water (20c to 25c)

22g of Salt

220g of the above Levain

Optionally; to add an extra rustic earthy wholesome flavour, reduce the above amount of Traditional White Flour from 900g to 850g and add say 50g of Shipton Strong Organic Wholemeal. I actually use 820g of Traditional White Flour and add a blend of 40g of Shipton Light Rye and 40g Shipton Strong Organic Wholemeal. See my ‘Alternative Dough Mix’ idea below.

Alternative Dough Mix Idea:

920g of Shipton Traditional White Flour

40g of Shipton Light Rye

40g of Shipton Strong OrganicWholemeal

680g of water (20c to 25c)

22g of Salt

220g of the above Levain


1. Around 24 hours after your Levain was last fed, put 75grams into a separate bowl. Add 75grams of Shipton Strong Organic Wholemeal, 75g of Shipton Traditional White Flour and 150g of water. If in a high chlorine area you’ll get better results with bottled water. Mix by hand then cover and leave for around 7 hours. If room temperature below 20c, you may leave for up to 10 hours. Whatever fits with your schedule!

2. After around 7 to 10 hours, mix 900grams of Shipton Traditional White Flour, 680g of water, 22grams of salt and 220grams of the Levain made in step 1. If you have time, just add the flour and water and let it rest for 30 minutes, then add the salt and Levain. (This makes mixing much easier) Mix by hand, wetting your hands so it does not stick. Leave the dough until it’s tripled in size, in a room of around 20c, it will take around 14 hours. Ideally mix in the evening, before bed. In the summer it can triple in volume in around 9 hours. You may experiment by adding more Levain up to a maximum of around 300grams to speed up the process

3. The dough would benefit from being folded two or three times in the first 90 minutes; but only if convenient.

4. Once tripled in size, divide the dough in two equal pieces. I put a light dusting of flour on the table and flour my hands too. Try not to deflate the bubbles in the dough.

5. Shape the two pieces of dough into reasonably firm balls, and place in proofing baskets or bowels lined with tea towels. Make sure the baskets or bowls have been dusted in flour. Place these into plastic bags for around 3 to 4 hours.

6. Around 30 minutes prior to baking, preheat your oven to 245c or 475f. If you have a Dutch oven put this in the oven to preheat too.

7. Upend your proofed loaf into your floured hands then place in your Dutch Oven. Caution needed as Dutch oven is very hot. Put your second loaf in the fridge while baking your first loaf. Bake for 35 minutes, then remove the lid of the Dutch oven then continue to bake for a further 20 minutes or until the loaf is dark brown. If you don’t have a Dutch oven move your oven shelf as high as it will go, and place each loaf on Parchment paper and give the oven a spray with some water before closing the door. The loaf will take around 50 minutes, after 25 minutes rotate the loaf so its evenly baked.

8. The final and hardest step, allow the loaves to cool completely before devouring them!