Making your own sourdough has become a bit of thing over the past few years. I resisted it for a long time, the idea of making bread seemed completely and utterly ridiculous, especially since I didn’t eat it that often anyway. My dad has been making it for years, constantly talking about it and trying to convince me to make it as well. So eventually, I gave in – went to dads one Saturday morning and he taught me the tricks of the trade and stayed patient whilst trying to explain bakers percentages and hydration rates to me. Now, of course… I’m hooked.
Making that first loaf of bread, that is edible and delicious became so addictive, my starter is now almost 10 months old, and I make sourdough every week. I can’t remember the last time I bought a loaf. Sourdough recipes can be very difficult to understand if you’re not inclined to getting technical around the hydration rates, so I’ve tried to make this recipe easy to follow, for the beginner.
Good luck, and if you’re in Canberra, and want to get your own starter going, feel free to email me and I will happily give you some from my mix to start your own. Sharing is caring after all!
600g wholemeal spelt flour
Rice flour and wholemeal flour for dusting.
Large glass bowl
Dutch oven (or cake tin)
Wooden basket (not essential, and can be done without if you follow instructions under Notes section below)
- Place flour in a large bowl. Add the water and mix until a dense dough ball forms.
- You want the bowl to be cleaned of all flour. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water.
- Cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Add salt to the dough ball.
- Knead the salt in to the dough until well combined.
- Once combined, add the honey and the starter.
- Knead in the same way until it is completely combined with the dough. You will have an elastic-y sticky dough ball (stick to it – it can take a few minutes of intense kneading to fully incorporate the starter and the honey)
- Once incorporated, stretch and fold the mixture one/two times. Let sit in the bowl and then stretch and fold every 10 minutes, for a total of 30 minutes (3 times). Keeping the dough covered with glad wrap in the bowl whilst sitting.
- At the end of the 30 minutes, set the dough aside in a warm area, cover with glad wrap and let prove for 8-10 hours. This time will vary based on the environment you let it prove in, if it’s a nice warm area it will prove faster. As a rule of thumb, its ready when you poke it with a finger and it makes an indent I n the dough but bounces back nicely.
Above is the starter and honey being added before I begin kneading.
The above picture Step 2, point 4 – stick with it (I use gloves, sticky dough hands annoy me too much!) the starter will eventually fully incorporate into the dough ball.
Step 2, point 5 – the final dough to stretch and fold should be quite elastic and sticky.
- If you have a wooden basket, which I do, here is where you can scoop the dough out of the glass bowl with a dough scraper onto a floured surface and shape the dough before placing it in the wooden basket (which I first dust with wholemeal flour, then I dust with rice flour) to let rise, untouched for an hour.
- After 30 minutes, turn the oven on to 220 degrees Celcius, and place your dutch oven in to heat. After 30 minutes, turn the oven to fan forced, and let heat for a further 10 minutes.
- Take Dutch Oven out of the oven (it’s incredibly hot so use oven mits) take off the lid and carefully take the dough out of the wooden basket and drop in Dutch oven.
- Quickly score the top with a blade or sharp knife.
- Put lid back on (remember it’s hot so use the oven mits) and place in oven for 30 minutes. Then take lid off for a final 10 minutes to crisp up the crust.
- Once cooked, take out off Dutch oven and let cool on a wire rack for 1.5 hours to let the sourdough set properly and cool.
- Then slice with a sharp bread knife and enjoy!!!!
- If you don’t have a Dutch oven or wooden basket, you can do the bread in a round or oval cake tin! Just oil the tin really well then coat it in polenta, this stops the dough from sticking. You then heat the oven as directed above for 40 minutes in total and then put the cake tin in the oven and cook for the same time. Keep an eye on it however around the 30 minute mark, it isn’t covered like the bread in the Dutch oven so it can brown easier.
*Do you have any sourdough secrets or a different technique you swear by? I would love to hear them. Please share!