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Sourdough style bread


1-2 spoons rye starter

150 g rye flour, plus 5 Tbsp (see tip)

150 g water, cold, plus 5 Tbsp

Weigh in 150 g rye flour and 150 g water (boiled, lukewarm) to a bowl. Add the rye starter. Mix well, cover bowl with a tea towel then leave at room temperature for 8-12 hours (no longer, so best to leave overnight and start baking the following morning). If you want to bake regularly you need to then reserve 1-2 spoons of this starter for later, put it in a jar and in a fridge.


½ tsp dried instant yeast or 5g fresh yeast

400 g strong white bread flour (can be 400g spelt flour too if you want a spelt loaf, or 50/50 spelt and wheat, or 50/50 rye and wheat flour if you want a rye loaf)

300 g water, lukewarm

1 Tbsp fine sea salt (around 10g)

olive oil or butter for greasing

300g rye starter

Once starter is ready, place yeast, bread flour, 300 g rye starter, water and salt in mixing bowl, then knead. Transfer to a baking tray (26x11cm for this amount of dough), lined with parchment paper and greased. Dust with a little flour on the top (just so that it doesn’t stick to the towel), cover with a tea towel, leave to rest until doubled in size (1-2 hours at room temperature, see tip).

Towards the end of this time, preheat oven to 220°C. Place a baking tray on a lower shelf. On the lowest shelf put a tray with tap water (while baking this creates steam that helps to form a good crust). You need to be quick or close the oven in between the trays so that temperature doesn’t drop too much.

Bake for 15 minutes at 220°C, then reduce to 200°C and bake another 45 minutes.

Once baked immediately take out the oven and transfer to a wire rack, remove all parchment paper. Cool completely before serving in slices.·

Hints & Tips

Rye flour often produces the best starters due to the natural bacteria it contains.

Some flours, particularly organic varieties, require more liquid, so if the mixture looks dry, add a little more water (this recipe shouldn’t require it though).

The dough rising time will depend on the temperature of your kitchen - I find 25-30°C is ideal.