The sourdough loaf — the hipster of all breads — is riding high in its everlasting revival. This favourite originally rose from an ancient technique for fermenting wild yeasts and bacteria — which is where it gets its distinctive structure and taste. Click here to see our Head Chef, Ross Anderson’s, recipe on how to make a sourdough levain starter.
Target EGG temperature at 250°c.
- 680g strong bread flour
- 70g wholemeal flour
- 50g Rye flour
- 365g Sourdough starter also known as a levain (fed 8 hours prior to use)
- 1 tbsp malt flour
- 15g table salt
- 580ml chilled water
Place all dry ingredients into large stand mixer with a dough hook. Mix dry ingredients until well combined. Gradually add the chilled water, then the starter, and mix for 15 minutes — resting for 1 minute every 2-3 minutes until a smooth dough is formed. Place into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Allow to prove until doubled in size.
Tip onto a floured surface and gently fold the dough back on itself a few times, to expel any air. Place back in the bowl, cover with clingfilm and return to warm a place for a further hour.
The dough should be quite active by now, so handle carefully. Turn out onto a floured surface and divide into 2 balls (approximately 800g in weight). Shape each into ball shapes and cover with a damp cloth to rest for 15–20 minutes.
While the dough is resting, line a bowl or if using a banneton, dust heavily with flour. Now place the dough into the basket smooth side down and place into a fridge covered with clingfilm for 12–14 hours or overnight.
Remove from the fridge and allow to prove for 2–2.5 hours. Place dough gently onto a non-stick baking mat on the pre-heated baking stone at 250°c. Slash the top with a sharp knife and bake for around 40 minutes, turning after 20 minutes and achieving a dark brown crust.
Once loaf is coloured and sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom it is ready. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool.