The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Taking this recipe further

thegreatbelow's picture

Taking this recipe further

Hi everyone, new member to the forum here.

I got hold of a nice rye sourdough starter from a local Facebook group and have baked a couple of times with the following recipe: 

Classic sourdough recipe

It's worked quite well and now I'm looking for the 'next step' to take my bread a little further, perhaps to get a slightly more sour taste from my loaves and generally just to branch out now I have this recipe under my belt. 

I understand this recipe is quite basic and seems to skip a lot of steps and time compared to other sourdough recipes I've come across. Although this was one of the factors that drew me to the recipe in the first place I'm now ready to try some more advanced steps! I should add that the few times I made this bread I upped the water content a little, 175-200ml which the dough seemed to take quite well. 

Please let me know how I can expand on this recipe or if you have some other simple recipes for me to try that worked out great in the past when you were starting on your sourdough journeys. 


Here is the original recipe copied below:


Ingredients Method
  1. Combine the flour, starter and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the water, a little at a time, and mix with your hands to make a soft dough (you may not need all of the water).

  2. Coat a chopping board or work surface with olive oil, then tip the dough onto it and knead the dough for 10-15 minutes, or until the dough forms is smooth and elastic. 

  3. Tip the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for five hours, or until at least doubled in size. 

  4. Knead the dough until it’s smooth, knocking the air out. Roll into a ball and dust with flour. 

  5. Tip the dough into a well-floured round banneton or proving basket and leave to rise for 4-8 hours.

  6. Put a tray half filled with water on the bottom oven shelf and preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. 

  7. Gently tip the risen dough onto a lined baking tray. Bake the loaf for 30 minutes at this heat, then reduce the heat to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and bake for a further 15-20 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack.



Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

But by the time you've finished you'll have a completely new recipe. Why not find another recipe and try it out?

Question is what do you want from a recipe?

  • Wholegrain?
  • Different variety of flour?
  • Seeds?
  • More or less tang?
thegreatbelow's picture

I think what I'm looking for is a different recipe but with a relative level of difficulty as I'm still very much a beginner.

Also, more tang!!

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Is just to drop the amount of starter and increase the ferment time and perhaps adding in a little wholegrain. For example:

Your recipe:

Reduce the starter by 100g and add the 50g water and 50g flour back into the main recipe. Like so...


  • 425g flour (375g bread flour, 50g whole wheat flour)
  • 150g sourdough starter (75g water + 37g bread flour + 38g whole wheat flour)
  • 9g salt
  • 250ml/g tepid water
  • olive oil, for kneading

So what I've done is reduced the starter and added the water and flour back into the recipe. Made the starter 50:50 (ish) bread flour and wholegrain for more tang in your starter. 10% of the added flour is now wholegrain for extra flavour. Increased the hydration to 65% to make up for the wholegrain. Increased the salt to 1.8% which is now in the normal range of 1.8 - 2% of total flour.

Now for the method:

1: Autolyse just the water and flour for 30 minutes. Mix until there is no dry flour left and bench rest. Do not knead at this stage.

2: Add the salt and starter and with a wet hand squeeze and fold the dough till incorporated.

3: now carry on as normal but expect a longer bulk ferment.


thegreatbelow's picture

Wonderful, thanks for tweaking this one. I'm excited to try it out for my next bake!

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

And it seems we have stumbled upon a "tartine-esque" country style loaf albeit with lower hydration and slightly higher percentage starter.This, I'd say, has stepped up the notch a tad. Best of luck with it and looking forward to results.

thegreatbelow's picture

Thanks Abe it came out great!I don't have a suitable knife for making cuts yet, but the top actually split like I had slashed it! I'm very happy with this result so thanks for helping me put this recipe together! 



Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Look at the crust colour and crumb. Lovely!

Two things you can now try.

1: Proof the dough seam side down so the seam acts like a natural scoring when flipping the dough over as it ends up on top.

2: Add some seeds and/or nuts. Give the dough a knead for a few minutes, rest for 20 minutes, add the seeds and knead again till fully incorporated and the gluten is fully formed.

Also, have you tried the stretch and fold method? Do you wish to try other recipes too? Where do you want to go from here?

thegreatbelow's picture

Thanks very much, these are on the list!

Gilles Ted's picture
Gilles Ted

Hi,I developed an App that helps amateur bakers to calculate bread Recipes with Bakers percentage.I wanted to let you know that such a very ergonomics App exist on Android given this can be useful for any bakers.  Please go to Android App store I created as well a mini Website:

Please contact me for any further information. 


thegreatbelow's picture

Looks very useful, but is there an iPhone version?