Simple Sourdough Loaf

This is the bread that we make every week. We eat it fresh out of the oven or stored for a week or more – it’s always deeply satisfying.

Makes one tin loaf

Takes around 24 hours from start to finish

Around 20-30 minutes all up of actual making, the rest is waiting patiently!

Disclaimer:
We’re farmers, not professional bakers. We bake bread in a way that fits in with our days and doesn’t take a chemistry degree or 2am mornings. This recipe is intentionally simple and straightforward. And we reckon it tastes incredible!

Ingredients

To multiply and feed the starter:

  • Your jar of sourdough starter

  • 80g wholegrain rye flour

  • 120g water (if you’re on town water, it’s always best to filter it to remove the chlorine)

To make the bread:

  • 600g wholegrain wheat, spelt, khorasan or rye flour – or a mix of them all!

  • 480g water

  • 12g salt (around 2 to 3 teaspoons)

  • Extra flour, rolled oats or seeds for the base and crust

  • Olive oil for the tin

Spelt, wheat, khorasan or rye?
We follow the same basic recipe for all our flours – sometimes it’s pure dark rye, other times golden khorasan or wheat, or sweet brown spelt. Most of the time it’s a combination of the three, depending on what we have on hand. While each flour feels different while we’re making it, amazingly this method works for all three.

sourdough bread tin loaf
bread rising

Method

bread starter in bowl

STEP 1 | Multiply and feed the starter

Use a spatula to empty your jar of starter into a large mixing bowl and mix with 80g rye flour and 120g water.

Put enough of the mixture back in your starter jar (no need to wash it) to bring the amount of mix in the bowl to around 200g.

Put your jar of starter on the bench for a few hours or overnight before popping it back in the fridge with the lid sitting loosely on it.

Bread dough mix

STEP 2 | Mix the dough

Add the flour, water and salt to the bowl of starter and mix using a large spoon until it’s all well combined. It’s not necessary to knead the dough, just make sure it’s well mixed.

fluffy sourdough mix

STEP 3 | Allow the dough to rise

Cover the mix with a tea towel and allow it to rise. This can take anywhere from a couple of hours to overnight – basically you want it to be bubbly and alive, and about doubled in size.

bread dough in tin

STEP 4 | Prepare and fill bread tin

Lightly oil your bread tin and sprinkle with flour, rolled oats or seeds.

Give your bread dough another good mix with a large spoon and drop it into your prepared tin and sprinkle with rolled oats or seeds if desired.

risen bread in tin

STEP 5 | Allow the bread to rise

Cover your bread-in-the-making and leave in a warm spot to rise.

The loaf should rise to around one-and-a-half or double the size.

NOTE: How long this will take depends hugely on the temperature – the more you bake throughout the year, the better an idea you’ll get of how long to leave it. As a guide, on a warm summer’s day it will only take an hour or so, whereas in winter we often leave it for half a day.

bread being put in oven

STEP 6 | Bake the bread

Preheat your oven to around 210°C, once hot, place your bread in the oven and bake for 30 minutes before reducing the heat to 180°C and baking for another 20-30 minutes.

When your bread is ready, it should tip easily out of the tin and be beautifully browned.

TIP: If you have a spare bread tin that you can place upside down over your bread as a lid for the first half of baking, this will create a beautiful crust as it allows the bread to steam a little.

slicing fresh bread

STEP 7 | Enjoy!

Professional bakers will tell you to leave it to cool for an hour or two before cutting it…

…we’ve been known to slice it as soon as it’s cool enough to touch and slather it in butter and devour it then and there. But it will hold its shape and slice better once it’s cooled!

Other loaves:
This is our basic bread recipe. Its flavour is complex and delicious just with those three ingredients, or of course you can experiment. Some of our favourite things to add include caraway or fennel seeds, rosemary, dried fruit, nuts, rolled oats, sprouted grains, sunflower seeds, linseed and so on…

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We live and farm on unceded tommeginne country in beautiful lutruwita / Tasmania. This always was and always will be Aboriginal land. We pay our deepest respects to the first people of this land and their elders past and present. The palawa/pakana are the first farmers and caretakers of lutruwita and their connection to this land remains strong.