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How to make White Sourdough – Baking Class Notes & Recipe

Sourdough bread has been around for hundreds of years. Widely favoured amongst many due to its ability to digest easier within the body and for its tangy flavour and wholesome appearance.

Whilst the supermarkets have brought sourdough to our shelves, the amount of care and attention needed is sometimes lost in the mass production of sourdough which takes great care and most of all time.

How to make White Sourdough bread

Ingredients for 800g loaf

  • 550g marriages very strong white flour.
  • 345g tepid water.
  • 50g fed starter.
  • 10g salt
  • Plus wet hand water

Plus add ins if using i.e. nuts, mixed fruit, etc, or cheese, garlic, etc. Up to 20% of flour weight



Unleash the power of the pause – by gently mixing the flour, and water then resting for an hour will allow something tuly magical to  happen to your bread dough – making it easier to work with and creates a better texture, rise and flavour.

  1. 1. Roughly mix flour, water, salt and incorporate starter.
  2. 2. Cover with shower cap
  3. 3. Leave for 1 hour

Method  After 1 hour autolyse

  1. 1. 25 lifts and folds (within bowl) leave covered for half an hour out of the fridge.
  2. 2. 4 sets of 10, stretch and folds in mixing bowl every half hour.
  3. 3. Cover with shower cap and into fridge overnight….
  4. 4. In morning 1 or 2 folds and stretches then form up into a boule shape by using hands and scraper to make rounded and start to create the skin and shape up. This is the part at which we started the cookery school when you first arrived and were handed the bowl of dough. Do no use heavy action to avoid de gassing the dough.
  5. 5. Place in floured banneton (upside down) and shake a small amount of flour around the dough once in banneton, and then back into fridge for ideally 2 hours. At the cookery school we placed in for one hour, but as we discovered this made the scoring slightly more difficult so ideally 2 hours will make the next step easier.
  6. 6. With shower cap (oiled). Leave for minimum of 2 hours
  7. 7. Score and into cooking vessel. We used a 26cm round falcon roasting tin with lid, however you can also use a cast iron dutch over (if using cast iron would need to be pre heated) In both cases use a round of baking paper on the bottom to prevent burning the bottom of the loaf and for ease of removal.
  8. 8. Cook at 230c for 50min (Last 10 min without lid)


Flour needs to be at least 11.5% protein content, the higher the protein the stronger the gluten (better risen loaf, better crumb structure)

If you use wholemeal, rye, mixed grain flours etc you will probably have to increase the liquid because they will soak up more than white flour


Generally, use around 60% white flour as a base ingredient…. Using rye for instance I would use around 25% max, as there is very little gluten within rye flour.

(wholemeal and wholegrain do contain gluten therefore you can increase the %)


Temperature of water needs to be ideally 72f to 78f

Please also use the calculator below to work out water to flour ratios and how much salt is needed (salt content is personal preference but helps with the strength of the gluten in the dough)

Starter note: Always make sure your starter is well fed and active before making a loaf.

Sourdough takes practice and trial and error, don’t give up if your loaf doesn’t work out the same one day.

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image of sprinkling rice on sourdough ready to bake at the cookery school Manchester
image of sourdough cooling on a rack at the cookery school Didsbury

How to Build Your Own Starter

Day 1

50g Flour, this could be Rye, White, Wholemeal or Spelt

50g Water, Ideally sparkling or filtered water. Preferably not tap water as this can be high in chlorine

Mix well in a sterilised jar, leave at around 75f to 80f for 24 hours with a loose lid.

Day 2

24 Hours later add 50g Water, 50g flour stir well

Day 3

Add 25g Flour and 25g Water

Day 4

Throw half of the contents away (probably around 125g worth at this point)

Days 5-10

Repeat 25g of water and 25g Flour in and take the same amount out.

How to feed the starter thereafter

Baking 1 loaf a week, always have around 75g of active starter, use around 50g for the actual loaf, so you’re only ever leaving yourself 25g of active starter. Large amounts of starter can always be kept in the fridge , but they won’t be active to make bread with, but will become your mother starter.

Cookery Classes at the Cookery School Manchester

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From novice to expert, healthy to gourmet, we’ve got classes to suit all and can adapt to dietary or allergy requirements on request.

Food Sorcery Cookery and Barista School, Didsbury, with views over the river, easy transport links and a Hotel, pool & gym onsite, it’s the perfect place to have fun with food, learn tips and tricks from experts and to gain cooking confidence.

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