Recipe One

Prep time:

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Total time:


100g Active starter (you can make your own or buy online

g Water (filtered or mineral water), lukewarm

400g Organic unbleached strong white flour

100g Stoneground organic wholemeal flour (or 50g wholemeal, 50g spelt)

9g Fine sea salt, dissolved in 9g water

Rice flour, for dusting the banneton

Recipe Two

350g Water

100g Active starter

250g Unbleached strong white flour

100g Einkorn (an ancient grain)

50g Khorasan (also known as kamut – an ancient grain)

100g Organic Light Malthouse Flour from Shipton Mill

9g Fine sea salt, dissolved in 9g water

Recipe Three

g Water

180g Active white starter

300g Unbleached strong white flour

100g Wholemeal spelt flour

50g Wholemeal flour

50g Khorasan (also known as kamut – an ancient grain)

9g Fine sea salt, dissolved in 9g water

Tangy, flavourful and satisfyingly chewy, sourdough’s addictive appeal as an easier-to-digest alternative to regular bread means that it has amassed quite the fanbase.

Here, Sevenoaks-based sourdough expert Ilgin Beaton – who, as her company name Just Sourdough by Ilgin suggests, solely focuses on crafting unadulterated sourdough loaves – shares three recipes for you to try at home.   

You’ll need: Sourdough Starter

There are a wide range of sourdough starter recipes online if you wish to make your own from scratch. This usually takes around 10-12 days. On Ilgin’s website, you can buy ready-made Organic White Sourdough Starter and Organic Wholemeal Rye Starter. Alternatively, book onto one of Just Sourdough by Ilgin’s ‘Introduction to Sourdough Baking’ workshops and you’ll go home with a jar of Ilgin’s own starter to jumpstart the process and get baking straight away.

Recipe One

You will need: A Dutch Oven or baking stone, a bread scoring knife/blade, a round banneton or colander

  1. In a large bowl mix the starter and water and stir until the starter is dissolved.
  2. Add all the flour and mix until the ingredients come together into a large ball. (At this stage we are only mixing the water, starter and flour.)
  3. Cover and let the dough rest on the side in the kitchen for between 30 mins and 2 hours ‒ this is what bakers call ‘autolyse’.
  4. Add the dissolved salt mixture to the dough. Make sure the salt is distributed evenly throughout the dough using a ‘Slap & Fold’ technique (you repeatedly slap the dough down onto the work surface and fold it over on itself). This traps some air whilst developing the gluten. Continue for around 6-8 minutes, then set aside in a bowl for 10-15 mins. 
  5. The next stage is to ‘Stretch & Fold’. Lift and fold your dough in half over on itself, do a quarter turn of your dough and repeat three more times. Place back in the bowl ‘seam’ side down. Repeat this process three times at 30-60 minute intervals with a final 15-30 minute rest at the end. 
  6. Shape the dough lightly into a ball then place into a round banneton dusted with rice flour (with a handful of mixed seeds at the bottom, if desired). If you don’t have a banneton, use a clean tea-towel dusted with rice flour inside a colander. Dust the top with rice flour, then cover. 
  7. Prove. Leave your dough to one side until it is 50% bigger, then transfer to the fridge and leave to prove there for 8-12 hours. 
  8. The next morning, preheat your oven to 250°C, pop in your Dutch Oven or baking stone with a large pan of ice or boiling water underneath, and heat for at least 30 mins before you are ready to bake. The hydration helps form a beautiful crust.
  9. Once the oven is up to full heat, carefully remove the Dutch Oven, then tip your dough inside carefully and score the top with your scoring knife/blade. This determines where the bread will tear as it rises. Spray with water and bake for 30-35 mins with the lid on. Towards the end turn the heat down to 180-200°C, remove the lid and bake for another 15 mins, or until you achieve the colour of crust that you prefer. Take it out of the Dutch Oven and leave to cool down for up to 2 hours. Enjoy!

Recipes Two and Three are more complex with a mixture of flours, but the taste is divine and the loaves are even more wholesome as they contain ancient, unmodified grains. They use the same method as previously.

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