Baking Your First Sourdough Bread, Guide

So, you have made your starter and it is nice and active. Now you are ready to bake your first sourdough bread. It is simpler than most people think.

Follow my easy instructions for success. This recipe is as easy as it gets. Just keep an eye on it as it ferments. The times given in any bread recipe are to be taken with a grain of salt because the conditions in every kitchen are different. Your bread might take longer to rise, or it may rise more quickly. You must react accordingly.


For the levain:

20g (0.7oz) sourdough starter

40g (1.4oz) strong white bread flour

40g (1.4oz) room temperature water


For the main dough:

400g (14.1oz) strong white bread flour

50g (1.75oz) wholemeal flour

10g (0.35oz) salt

100g (3.5oz) of levain

265g (9.3oz) water at around 20 – 22C (68-71F) if your kitchen is 20 – 22C (68-71F), if it is warmer then lower water temperature by 1 – 2C (2-3F) and vice versa.

To learn more about dough temperature when using a preferment click here.


  1. Make the levain by mixing all ingredients and leaving out for 12 – 16h.
  2. In a bowl add the water, levain and salt and mix well.
  3. Add the flour and mix until no more dry flour left.
  4. Knead the dough for around 5 – 7minutes until decent gluten development.
  5. Place in bowl and ferment for 1 hour.
  6. Fold.
  7. Ferment for 1 more hour.
  8. Fold.
  9. Place in the fridge for 12-16 hours to cold ferment.
  10. Shape the loaf and place it in the basket.
  11. Final proof for around 3 hours until nicely puffed up. During the final hour of proofing pre-heat your oven and baking vessel to 240C (460F) no fan or 220C (430F) fan on.
  12. Score the dough and bake for 20 minutes with the lid on.
  13. Remove lid and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Let cool down on a rack or lean it against a wall.

Watch the video here

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