Easy sourdough bread

Easy sourdough bread
Don't be daunted by making a sourdough bread starter at home – this easy cheat's version makes a lovely loaf without the stress

  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:30 mins
    • Cook:25 mins – 30 mins
    • plus overnight fermenting and rising
  • More effort
  • Makes 1 loaf (cuts into 10-12 slices)

Nutrition: per slice (12)
low infat1g


For the starter

  • 100g strong white bread flour
  • 100g organic dark rye flour
  • 0.5 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast

For the main dough

  • 400g strong white bread flour
  • 0.5 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast


  • STEP 1

    To make your starter, place all the ingredients in a bowl and add 250ml cold water. Mix together thoroughly with a spoon until you have a spongy mixture, then cover with cling film and leave at room temperature at least overnight, but up to 24 hrs if you have time.

  • STEP 2

    To make the bread dough, tip the ingredients into a clean bowl and add 1 tbsp fine salt, 200ml cold water and your starter. Bring all the ingredients together to a dough, adding a splash more water if too stiff, then tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for at least 10 mins until smooth, elastic and springy (this will take 5-7 mins in a mixer with a dough hook). Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave until doubled in size – about 1 hr at room temperature, 3 hrs in the fridge (see tips, below).

  • STEP 3

    Tip the dough onto a floured surface and gently shape into a round – you don’t want to knock too much air out of the dough. Dust a piece of baking parchment heavily with flour and sit the dough on top. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 1 hr until doubled in size.

  • STEP 4

    Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Place a sturdy flat baking tray on the middle shelf of the oven and a smaller tray with sides underneath. Dust the dough with flour and slash with a utility knife. Slide the bread onto the hot tray on top and throw a few ice cubes (or pour some cold water) onto the tray below – this creates a burst of steam, which helps the bread form a nice crust. Bake for 25-30 mins until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Leave the bread to cool completely.

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