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Basic Sourdough

by Saara

The countdown of 10 bread recipes has come to its end & what do have here – a basic sourdough loaf. It’s easy and delicious. During this personal bread bake-off, I’ve shared different kinds of recipes from barley flatbread to traditional 100% rye sourdough and everything in between. Some of these bread recipes are staples in my home, others were developed on repeat following the wind of inspiration.

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Home baked Sourdough

Since I’ve been sharing a couple of recipes from the Swedish bakers whose books initially introduced me to sourdough baking, I wanted to end the bread series with a basic sourdough recipe from the other side of Europe. I’m currently waiting to get my hands on Vanessa Kimbell’s book The Sourdough School: The Ground-Breaking Guide to Making Gut-Friendly Bread* but in the meanwhile, I’ve had fun with this basic sourdough recipe already. You can check Vanessa’s book and recipes from the links above.

On this post you see the latest modified version of the basic sourdough recipe combining wheat and oat flour. I baked it for my husband & asked him to hand model for exchange. Haha, the challenges of a food blogger! Truth is that we’ve been together for ages and his bread preferences have not changed. He loves the hearty and fatty flavor of oat simple as that. With this in mind, I decided to wait one day more with my starter to build an extra mild taste profile for the bread. The loaf came out amazing but not perfect. Taste and bite wise we both gave 10/10 but the crumb tells me I should have been more patient with proofing. Oh well, next time!

A Basic Sourdough Loaf | Recipe

  • 300g water
  • 100g bubbly sourdough levain
  • 100g of organic oat flour
  • 400g organic strong white flour (>13g protein)
  • 10g  sea salt mixed with 15g of cold water


Prepare the levain two days in advance before building the dough. I used a raisin juice-based wheat 100% hydration starter which I fed twice at room temperature the day before baking. The first day I fed 40g of starter with 40g of flour and 40g water. The next day I split the levain for two jars and fed the final levain for this loaf with 35g/35g/35g. If your starter has been in the fridge a long time before building the leaven, you will need more time to build a milder profile.

Mix salt with 15g water and set aside. In a large bowl, mix levain with the rest of the water until incorporated. Then add all the flour. Mix with your hand until the dough comes together. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. After the rest, add salt-water mixture and carefully distribute it in and out the dough ball. Let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes.

Give the dough 3-4 sets of folds every 30 minutes. The first folds are bigger and stretchy, last folds are more gentle when the dough gets firmer. Finally, let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Dust your proofing basket and get ready to shape.

Shape the bread to your liking and fitted to your basket. Let the dough rest in room temperature (covered) until you notice it 50% rise in the form before transferring the dough into the fridge. My final rise in the cold was 10 hours which could have been longer. Trust your poke test!

Preheat the oven 45 minutes in advance. I’m still learning the ways of my new oven, and I’ve come to set it 240°C/464°F which I then re-adjust to 220°C/430°F when the bread goes in and 190°C / 375°F after the steam is not needed anymore. I keep the stone in the middle rack and an empty baking tray just below it for steaming purposes. Your steaming preferences and stone instructions may differ from this.

Take the dough out from the fridge, carefully place it on your peel, and score to your liking. I create steam by pouring 1 dl of cold water on the metal tray right after the dough is placed on the stone. Quickly shut the oven door and wait for 5 minutes. I give a little less steam again and adjust the temperature. I baked the bread until 98C inside.

Let the loaf cool off on a rack before cutting. Our loaf lasted 2 day folded in a tea towel until it was all gone. Too good!

Why eat the same bread every day, every week, every month? Only a few loaves hold this status in my daily life (such as rye bread) but other than that I bake different loaves every week. My strategy has been to buy small bags of flour and visit the mills whenever I can. This way I have fresh flour on the table and different grains on rotation.

How does your weekly or monthly bread routine look like?

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