Sourdough Bread
Sourdough bread has a very distinctive flavour and has no added sugar, fat or baker's yeast! This sourdough bread recipe uses a "dry" sourdough starter.
Makes: 1 loaf
Ingredients
The starter
  • 150 g (5 oz) wholemeal flour
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • 1 tbsp milk
For the 1st Refreshment
  • 150 g (5 oz) wholemeal flour
  • 2 tbsp warm water
For the 2nd Refreshment
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz) warm water
  • 150 g (5 oz) plain or wholemeal flour
For the Loaf
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) warm water
  • 350 g (12 oz) strong flour
  • ½-1 tsp salt
Instructions
The starter
  1. Mix together the starter ingredients until you get a firm but moist dough, adding more water if necessary. Knead it for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Place the dough in a small bowl, sprinkle on a little water, cover and put in a warm place for 2-3 days.
The 1st Refreshment
  1. Remove the dark, hardened crust from the starter to reveal the soft mousse-like dough underneath. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl.
  2. Add the water to the dough and mix well to form a slurry.
  3. Add in the flour and mix well to a soft dough, adding a little more water if necessary.
  4. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes and place in a clean bowl. Cover and put in a warm place for 1-2 days.
The 2nd Refreshment
  1. Remove the darkened crust from the dough. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and add in the warm water. Mix well to form a slurry.
  2. Add the flour a little at a time to form a smooth dough, adjusting the amount of flour and water as necessary.
  3. Knead for 1-2 minutes, place in a clean bowl, cover and put in a warm place overnight.
For the loaf
  1. Place the risen dough in a clean bowl, add the water and mix well to form a slurry.
  2. Add the flour and the salt and mix well to form a firm dough, adding more water as required.
  3. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes to obtain an elastic dough.
  4. Place the dough in a bowl, cover and put in a warm place until the dough doubles in size (around 3 hours).
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl and cut off just under ¼ of the dough. Place this small piece of dough in a bowl, cover and place in the 'fridge. This piece of dough will be the starter for your next loaf!
  6. Knead the remainder of the dough for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Place a clean cloth in a bowl and dust well with flour.
  8. Place the dough seam-side up in the cloth, cover with oiled cling-film and put in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (around 5 hours).
  9. Turn the dough out onto a floured baking sheet. Make a few cuts in the dough and then dust the loaf with flour.
  10. Bake in a fan oven at 190°C (375°F) or conventional oven at 220°C (430°F) for 20-25 minutes. If the bread makes a dull sound when tapped then it is cooked.
  11. Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Notes
To use the small piece of dough from Step 5 above for your next starter simply go to Step 1 of the 2nd Refreshement (but you won't need to remove any crust).

The piece of starter dough can easily be kept in the 'fridge for a week, but if you need to keep it for longer it's best to add the dough to some water then add some more flour. That way you keep the yeast fed and happy!

Alternatively you can freeze the starter. I've kept my starter in the freezer for 3 weeks with no ill-effects.