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Sourdough Bread for Beginners

An easy sourdough bread recipe using strong white flour and a mix of rye and spelt flour
Keyword: sourdough bread
Author: Andra Constantinescu


Prepare your sourdough starter for baking:

  • 50 g sourdough starter 100% hydration
  • 40 g strong white flour organic, 13.4% protein
  • 10 g mixed rye + spelt flour organic
  • 50 g water filtered or bottled, room temperature

Ingredients for the final dough:

  • 150 g sourdough starter (see above) 100% hydration
  • 345 g strong white flour organic, 13.4% protein
  • 55 g mixed rye + spelt flour organic
  • 280 g water filtered, room temperature
  • 12 g salt


Day 1 (morning)

  • Prepare your sourdough starter: take 50g of your original starter, put it in a separate jar and mix it with 40g white flour, 10g (rye + spelt) flour and 50g water. Allow it to at least double in size (3-4 hours).
    sourdough starter in a jar
  • NOTE: continue to refresh the reminder of your original sourdough starter as per your usual schedule.

Day 1 (afternoon)

  • Place the flour (345g white and 55g rye+spelt) and water (280g) in a large bowl and mix it using a wooden spoon or a spatula until the water is fully incorporated into the flour. Cover with cling film and leave 1 hour for autolyse.
  • Add the sourdough starter and gently knead it by hand into the four & water mix. Cover with cling film and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Add the salt and knead by hand or using a stand mixer until the gluten is fully developed.(see notes)
    sourdough bread: how to check if the gluten is fully developed
  • Leave the dough in the mixing bowl, cover with clig film.
  • Perform 3 sets of stretch and fold, straight into the bowl, at 45 minutes intervals. This will help strenghten the gluten bonds.
  • After the third set of stretch and fold, leave the dough to proof at room temperature for at least 3 hours or until it has at least doubled in volume.
  • Take the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Degase, preshape and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare the banneton by lining it with flour. If you're using a proofing basket/sieve/bowl you might want to line it with a well floured kitchen towel.
  • Shape the bread and place it into the banneton/proofing basket. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and place it in the fridge to proof overnight.
    Dough placed in the banneton

Day 2 (morning)

  • Preheat the oven at 240C (fan) with the baking stone/baking steel/ baking cloche in, on the lower shelf. Place a small ovenproof dish at the back.
  • Take the bread out of the fridge, turn it over on to a baking peel, score it and transfer it to the oven. Add a few ice cubes into the ovenproof dish to create steam.
    Sourdough bread before baking
  • Bake at 240C for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 220C, open the oven door to release all steam and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes.


To check if the gluten is fully developed, take a small piece of the dough and stretch it between your fingers. If it stretches up the windowpane stage without breaking, the gluten is fully developed.