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Sourdough bread

Published on July 7, 2016
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When we sank our teeth into the sourdough bread crafted by head chef Guy Owen of The Idle Rocks in St Mawes recently, we were so seduced by the rich dark crust and yielding chew that we locked him in the larder until he agreed to share his recipe


Makes 3 loaves

You will need

For the ferment:
Rye flour 800g
Strong bread flour 800g
Water 1.6l
Natural yoghurt 100g

For the bread:
Campagne bread flour 1.5kg, plus extra for dusting
Honey 30g
Sea salt 30g
Ferment 800g
Water 700ml
Fresh yeast 5g


For the ferment:

  1. Whisk together 200g rye flour, 200g strong bread flour, 400ml water and 100g natural yoghurt until well combined.
  2. Pour into a large Kilner jar and leave in the fridge overnight.
  3. The following day remove half the mixture and discard.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together a further 100g rye flour, 100g strong bread flour and 200ml water. Add this to the Kilner jar, combine and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Repeat the above steps every day for a further 5 days.

For the bread:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a mixer and mix for  10 minutes.
  2. Dust down a work surface with the extra flour and pour the mix on to it.
  3. Fold the mix into a neat round, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Dust 3 bread bannetons with flour, divide the dough into 3 equal piles, fold neatly and place into each of  the bannetons.
  5. Cover with clingfilm and leave at room temperature  to prove for 4 hours, or until it’s trebled in size.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 250°c / gas 9 with 2 metal trays. When the oven is hot, turn the bread out on to each metal tray and slit the top with a sharp knife.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, turn the temperature down to 210°c / gas 6 and bake for a further 10 minutes, then turn the temperature down again to 190°c / gas 5 and bake for a final 15 minutes.
  8. Remove loaves from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Serve warm with good butter and a pinch of salt.

Chef’s tip: ‘When proving, make sure not to leave the dough anywhere too warm, as a longer prove will increase the flavour of the bread,’ says Guy.

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