Sunday, 3 April 2011

Mothers day Sourdough loaf


It’s mother’s day today and Thank goodness I am feeling in somewhat better health. So I for one shall be making my mothers day gift. It’s not a cake, nor is it chocolates or flowers. It’s much more down to earth. I’m making her a loaf of bread, but it’s not just any loaf. I’ve been inspired by a visit to Hambleton bakery ( more on this later in the week ) to make my own sourdough made with wild yeast and to find out more Jeremy Medley of Oundle Mill offered to share his recipe below and demonstrate his techniques with me.


About 1kg of flour ( or so )

2 tps Sea salt

2 tsps Sugar

Tepid water.

To start with you need a cure.

The starter cure “pet”

Use a glass jar or a suitable vessel with a lid if possible.

Blend I cup of warm water and I cup of unbleached strong flour

Place in jar and keep at between 28 and 32 degrees. Do not exceed 38 degrees.

This is the pet! So every 24 hours or so for up to seven days half the mix, throw away one half and add half a cup of flour and half a cup of water again, repeat for at least three days, it will start to cake and bubble. This is normal.

The longer you feed it for the better, but look after the pet! You can store it after the first there days in the fridge, keep feeding though and make sure there is a whole for air to vent, if a brown liquid appears either pour off or stir in, stirring in will increase the sourness. This is the fermented beer smelling liquid. (Don’t drink it!)

Then that’s it - you have the sponge.

To make the bread add one cup of starter and 3 cups of unbleached flour that has 2 teaspoons of salt and two teaspoons of sugar mixed in well. Mix this and knead to a smooth dough, adding a drop of tepid water as needed. This will make two medium sized ball loafs. It’s that simple.

The retained half of the sponge becomes your cure and you must re feed it again for your next batch and keep dividing. Remember you must feed with half water and flour as before. Clean and sterilise your container often. You only want the Pet growing - and nothing else. Leave your bread on the baking tray to prove in a warm environment covered in lightly oiled Clingfilm for about 8 hours. Remove the Clingfilm and pop your two loves into a preheated oven 190 gas mark 5 for about 30 minutes. Check the bread is cooked by tapping the base. It should sound hollow.

(Any cup is fine as long as you use the same cup each time. However I use an American cup, which hold 336 ml.)

You can listen to Making this sourdough recipe on or listen to BBC radio Northampton 104.2 FM 103.6 FM at 10am this Sunday Morning


  1. great sourdough recipe, your starter is very similar to mine, which iv'e had for about 6 months and get's better and better... made a great french loaf with it this weekend in fact!... still trying to perfect that ultimate sourdough loaf though... hope you're feeling better x

  2. I'm glad you are feeling better, the bread sounds fantastic, I've been saying for ages I'd like to try sourdough, you have explained so clearly that I'm going to have a go, and cosset my 'pet'. Thanks Jude x


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