Easy sourdough bread recipe

 

Last updated on January 11th, 2017 at 12:55 pm

I’ve recently realised that most of my sourdough recipes are not entirely suitable for those starting out in sourdough baking. Many of my recipes involve more than ten ingredients and certain enhancing dough elements (such as seed soakers) which may discourage budding sourdough bakers. This is why I’m posting an easy sourdough bread recipe based on only three ingredients (flour, water and salt), perfect for those setting out on their slow fermentation journey.

Easy basic sourdough loaf
Basic sourdough loaf with a beautiful pattern from the rattan proving basket

The easy sourdough bread recipe below will produce a loaf at 67% hydration which means that the amount of liquid (water in this instance) is 67% when calculated based on the amount of flour.

Dough hydration calculation

  • 15g flour in the sourdough starter + 50g wholemeal flour + 400g strong white flour + 50g dark rye flour = 515g flour in total
  • 15g water in the sourdough starter + 50g water to refresh the starter + 280g water in the final dough = 345g water in total
  • 345g water / 515g flour = 67% dough hydration

For best results in terms of final bread aesthetics, I recommend using a Dutch oven or baking dome.

Sourdough bread
Sourdough bread

Easy sourdough recipe

Ingredients

Sourdough

Main dough

  • 400g strong white bread flour
  • 50g rye flour
  • 280g water
  • 11g salt

Dusting

  • Some extra flour (I use rice flour)

How to make sourdough bread

  1. Combine the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl, cover and set aside at room temperature for 16 – 24 hours.
  2. On the second day, combine all main dough ingredients with 100g of the refreshed sourdough starter (the rest should be set aside for your next bake) in a large bowl.
  3. Knead for at least 10 minutes until you have formed an elastic and smooth dough. The dough will be slightly sticky, so work with your dough scraper to make things easier.
  4. Shape into a ball and place back into the bowl.
  5. Cover and leave to rest for about an hour at room temperature.
  6. Deflate the dough and give it another quick knead on your work surface.
  7. Shape into a boule, cover with flour and place into lightly floured proving basket.
  8. Cover with a polythene bag to protect the moisture and prove at room temperature. For me, in my Edinburgh kitchen, this process takes a good 6 or 7 hours. However, if your kitchen is warmer, the process may be much shorter, perhaps only 2 hours or so.
  9. Preheat the oven to 220°C and preheat your baking dome or Dutch oven at the same time.
  10. Turn out the loaf onto the baking dome or Dutch oven (or otherwise a baking stone or baking tray lined with baking paper).
  11. Score the top with a pattern of your choice. Use a scoring knife for best results.
  12. Bake at 220°C for 10 minutes and at 200°C for a further 40 minutes.
  13. Take off the lid of your baking dome or Dutch oven for the last 5 minutes if using to firm up the crust.
  14. Cool on a wire rack.
  15. Enjoy an amazing loaf of sourdough bread 🙂

Also published on Medium.