Sourdough School Tin Loaf Recipe
If you’re new to sourdough and don’t have a starter, you can ask a friend who already bakes for some of theirs, or you can make your own from scratch. The Sourdough School have fantastic video tutorials here on their website.
The joining fee for the Sourdough Club is normally £99 with a monthly £9.99 subscription, however if you are a Planet Organic customer, The Sourdough School has very kindly issued 100 discount codes for a 75% discount code off the joining fee for our customers to learn to make sourdough making the joining fee £24.75 and a £9.99 monthly subscription. This includes a sourdough starter to get you going.
The club is run by Vanessa and her team and there are over 70 video tutorials and core lessons in sourdough, with recipes and tips, and as a member you get regular recipes and you can also chat with her directly for advice about your bakes in the club forum, and she uses equipment and flour many of you will recognise as items that we sell.
Please use code planetorganic-club-april-75 here for 75% off the joining fee.
Please note that the discount codes are valid until the end of April and are available on a first come first serve basis
Large mixing bowl
2 x Large 900g (2lb) loaf tin, or 2 small ones
2 x Clean tea towels
Sheet of greaseproof paper
Time and temperature guidelines:
Day 1 – Thursday
9pm – Refresh your sourdough starter. Use tap water at about 22°C
Day 2 – Friday
8am – Refresh your sourdough starter. Use tap water at about 22°C
Day 2 – Friday
8pm – Prepare and weigh out the ingredients
Day 2 – Friday
8.30pm – Mix the dough. Use your bubbly, lively starter. Try to mix your dough at a temperature of 23°C. Leave the dough in the tin on the kitchen side overnight. When you’re done making the dough, put your starter back in the fridge at a temperature of about 5°C.
Day 3 – Saturday
8am Onwards – you can bake at any time from 8am, or you can store the dough in the fridge and bake any time until 4pm.
Makes: 1 large 900g (2lb) loaf or 2 smaller loaves (reduce baking time accordingly)
750g water at 27°C
500g stoneground organic wholegrain flour
500g organic strong white flour
200g bubbly lively sourdough starter (second build – starter that has been refreshed twice)
20g fine sea salt
butter, ghee or coconut oil, to grease the tin
about 2 tablespoons oil to drizzle over the top and around the sides of the loaf (we used olive oil)
It is important to build the microbes in the starter if you only bake once a week. A double refreshment as outlined in the timetable above will make a beautiful loaf.
In a large bowl, mix 700g of your water with the starter, remembering to pay attention to the temperature of the water. Mix well – getting plenty of oxygen in at this point helps the yeast to reproduce. Add the flour and salt and mix until all the ingredients come together.
You don’t need to knead: just mix well, then wait 10 minutes. You can then add the last 50g water, incrementally (2 x 25g), over the course of 5–10 minutes, allowing each addition to absorb well. This technique helps create a beautiful open crumb because the gluten forms stronger bonds when the dough is less hydrated.
Prepare the tin by greasing a sheet of baking parchment lightly with butter, ghee, coconut oil or lard (not olive oil.) Then line the tins with the baking parchment. Transfer the dough to the tins.
Leave the dough overnight on the kitchen table, covered with a clean tea towel. As a general guide, the ambient temperature at the School is generally about 23°C.
In the morning, the dough will be 50 percent bigger. If you prefer, at this stage you can make your loaf sourer and therefore more digestible, by transferring it to the fridge for another 3–4 hours before baking.
Preheat your oven to 220°C/428F/Gas mark 7 for at least 30 minutes before you are ready to bake. Place a small pan of boiling water at the bottom of the oven (or use a Dutch oven if you can fit your tin inside one). The extra steam from the water will help to form a beautiful crust.
Drizzle the olive oil over the top and around the sides of the loaf. Reduce the heat to 180°C/355F/Gas Mark 4 and bake for about 45–50 minutes. I don’t give precise timings, as everyone’s oven is different. Bake to the point that you like the look of the loaf – it should be a beautiful golden colour. As soon as it comes out of the oven, carefully place it in the box provided by the person you are baking for. Be sure to maintain correct social distancing. See protocol here on the Sourdough Exchange page.
I usually advise that sourdough needs to cool in the tin for a few minutes before cooling completely out of the tin, preferably on a wire rack.
How to refresh your starter
You can see my video here on how to refresh your sourdough starter.
I realise it feels wasteful to discard when refreshing, but please remember that this gives the yeast a boost and is a necessary step because the acidity retards yeast. You will get flat, sour bread if you keep it all. You can use the leftover starter in many other recipes such as pancakes or muffins, or if you are a Sourdough Club member my recipe for chocolate rye. You can also compost it.