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This recipe is classed as intermediate

Rating 2.69 / 5 (48 votes)

Prep time:
40 min, plus 4 hours proving and cooling
Cook time:
40 min
Makes loaf x 2

The sour tang and crisp crust of a decent sourdough bread can’t be beaten and this recipe from Andrew Auld is a fine example


1. 12-14 hours before making the dough, mix the ingredients for the sourdough starter to make a tight but smooth dough.

2. On baking day, mix together all of the dough ingredients and knead until you have a smooth and stretchy dough. Depending on how much energy you put in, this could take ten or fifteen minutes. Though this might seem a pain, it is very important to develop the gluten sufficiently to avoid a heavy loaf.

3. Leave to ferment covered (e.g. in a bowl with a damp tea towel or used but clean plastic bag over it, leaving space for the dough to rise) for three hours. Ideally, during this time you will do two turns: after the first hour, take the dough out, flatten gently, fold the top third down, then the bottom third up over the folded top third. Turn through 90 degrees, flatten out again, repeat and put back in the bowl. Repeat this process one hour later.

4. Divide the dough in two equal-sized pieces (ideally using scales) to ensure even baking and shape into round or baton loaves.

5. Leave to prove (rise) for one hour. If using bannetons/proving baskets, dust well with flour and place the dough seam-side (i.e. the less tidy side produced when shaping) up. Once proved, you will need to turn the loaves out carefully onto a dusted peel (a flat ‘shovel’ used by professional bakers and pizzaioli) and then slide quickly but smoothly onto a baking stone or greased tray that’s been heating in the oven. If you don’t have a peel, then simply turn the dough out onto the stone or tray.

6. If baking on a tray (or in tins) grease lightly and place the dough seam-side down to rise.

7. Heat the oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9 and bake for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 200C/ fan 180C/gas 5 and leave for a further 30 minutes.

8. Remove and leave on a wire rack to cool before serving.

Recipe and image supplied by Andrew Auld at www.theloaf.co.uk

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Latest Comment


Thanks Joanna,I have amended the recipe over the last few weeks and the taste is better however, the bread is realy dense, after one day its only good for toast. I've put in more starter instead of the 15 ml to help the bread rise and that seems to have worked. But stil very dense, as in no airbubbles inside the loaf. I also put a bowl of water in the oven and when I turn the oven down, I sprinkle the loaf with some water.

LyaH3238 LyaH3238  Posted 14 Sep 2011 1:20 AM

I don't know if this would work, as I haven't made sourdough bread using spelt flour, but with my white sourdough bread, I place a shallow pan of boiling water in the bottom of the oven. Also, I mix a teaspoon of cornstarch with water, and brush over the loaves after 10 minutes, which gives the loaves a shiny appearance, and maybe improves the crust.

JoannaM11069 JoannaM11069  Posted 26 Aug 2011 6:02 PM

I have made the bread using the starter from this page, the starter is great, the bread not so. The crust is very, very hard to cut through and the bread is dry after a few hours. What have I done wrong? Any tips?

LyaH3238 LyaH3238  Posted 18 Jul 2011 6:05 AM