Basic Sourdough Recipes

Now you have started sourdough making you have plenty of leaven, predough, sourdough starter, or mother to discard or use every feeding. So let's get baking.

Basic Bread Recipe.

Sourdough mothers improve with age as over time they will get contaminated, in a nice way, with wild yeasts endemic to your area. If your sourdough mother is young you may wish to add some optional baker's yeast.


  • 750 grams of wholemeal flour
  • 1 tablespoon of dried baker's yeast (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 500 grams of sourdough pre-dough
  • 1 1/4 cups of water (as every flour is different, you may need to add more water to get the correct consistency).


  • Place the flour and salt into a bowl and mix. Make a well in the centre and add in your sourdough mother (leaven) and mix in. Add one cup of your water and mix in. Add additional water as necessary until a smooth dough forms. If using yeast, mix this with the water prior to adding to your sourdough starter/flour mix.
  • Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for several minutes. Knead until it is smooth and elastic. Under kneaded bread can collapse so don’t skimp on this step.  
  • Once your dough is the right texture, place it in a clean, oiled bowl to rise. This is not a quick bread where you add commercial yeast. You are using sourdough mother, so expect this to take some time.
  • Once your bread has risen for the first time, punch it down and then turn it out again and cut the dough in half and form it into loaves and place them into two oiled bread tins. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel and allow to rise for at least six hours. The longer you leave the bread the better. The best results come when you make the dough on one day and bake it the next leaving it to rise for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Bake your bread in an oven that has been preheated to 200° to 220° C. This should take about one hour. Your bread is done when you can remove it from the tin and tap it on the bottom and get a hollow sound, like a drum. You can also use a temperature test to see if your bread is cooked through. Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature which should be 90° C. Once done remove your bread from the tin and allow it to cool on a rack so that air can flow around the bread.

The use of bakers yeast will result in a lighter, fluffier bread, a shorter rising time and a milder flavour.

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