Sourdough bread Make a sourdough starter from scratch, then use it to bake a flavoursome loaf of bread with our simple step-by-step recipe. Ingredients 500 grams strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting (once you have mastered a white loaf, start experimenting with introducing other flours into the mix, rye works very well) 300 grams sourdough starter (you will have had to make this some time before you start thinking about making a loaf) 250 millilitres of lukewarm water 2 teaspoons golden caster sugar 2 teaspoons sea salt flavourless oil, for greasing Method Mix together the flour, sourdough starter and luke warm water in a bowl. Add the water gradually to see how much the mix will take, wetter doughs make for lighter loaves, but you still need to be able to handle it and knead it without it just sticking to everything, this takes practice and as you become more competent your bread will improve. Add the sugar and salt. Turn out on to a surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is homogenous and also has a good stretch to it. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea-towel and leave to prove for 2½–3 hours. You won't notice as much of a rise in the dough as you would with a normal, yeasted bread and it will take a lot longer. Turn out the dough onto a surface and knock back. Portion the dough into two and shape into two ball-shaped loaves. Flour generously, and place each loaf seam-side up in a proving basket or bowl, lined with a heavily-floured tea-towel, so it doesn't stick. Leave to prove for a further 2½ hours. Preheat the oven to 220 celsius. Turn the loaves out onto a baking tray or hot baking stone. Using a thin sharp knife score two or three times on the top of the loaf and place in the oven. Chuck a ramekin of water into the bottom of the oven to create steam (not on top of the loaf). Bake for 35–40 minutes or until a good crust has formed and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Hardcore want more? Try a delicious homemade herb butter to go with your bread!