Sourdough Bread

Prep:7 days for the starter dough, 1 hour for the bread plus proving

Cook:45 minutes

Serves:1 loaf

If you don’t have a saucepan big enough, simply add the dish of water next to the bread from the start of cooking and cook for 35-40 mins.


For the starter dough:
700g strong white bread flour

For the loaf:
300g starter dough
2 tsp runny honey
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp LoSalt


For the starter dough:
1. Place 100g of the flour in a large sealable jar, approx. 1kg (or a large bowl).

2. Whisk in 125ml just warm water until smooth, leave the jar open for 1-2 hours in a warm place about 25oC, then seal and leave for 24 hours.

3. For the next 6 days, you need to ‘feed’ the starter dough. Roughly the same time each day, discard half the dough and whisk in another 100g flour and 125ml just warm water. After 3-5 days bubbles should start to appear on the surface and it will start to smell yeasty and slightly acidic. On day 7 it should be quite bubbly and smell sweeter and is now ready to use in baking.

For the loaf:
1. Mix together the starter dough, honey and 250ml warm water in a bowl, add the flour and LoSalt.

2. Mix together with a wooden spoon until combined then allow to rest for 30 minutes.

3. On a lightly floured surface, work the dough to give a smooth elastic texture. Place in a large oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for about 2-3 hours to rise.

4. Line a medium bowl with a clean tea towel and generously dust with flour and then set aside.

5. Stretch the dough up and fold over to the centre, rotate the bowl and ¼ turn and repeat 4-5 times.

6. Shape into a smooth ball on a lightly floured surface and dust with flour. Drop into the tea towel lined bowl, smooth side down. Cover with the overhanging towel and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes (Alternatively, you can leave in the fridge overnight, and then leave at room temp for 2 hours).

Baking Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 220oC, gas mark 7.

2. Lightly dust a large baking tray with flour then tip the dough slightly to one side of the tray and reshape into a ball.

3. Make a few slits across the dough with a sharp knife and place a large ovenproof saucepan over the top (this will trap the steam to help cook the bread).

4. Bake for 25 minutes then remove the pan.

5. Add a small dish half-filled with boiling water on the tray next to the loaf and continue to bake for a further 20 minutes until deep golden brown in colour.

6. Tap the base and if it sounds hollow, it’s done.