Rob’s (Not So) Secret Sourdough Recipe

Almost every week, Rob, our Head of Customer Insight and Planning here at Joules, bakes a loaf of his famous sourdough bread. Perfect served with a generous smear of proper butter and a dabble of olive oil, Rob’s sourdough has gained quite a following in our office.

Proceed with caution: this recipe is addictive!

The Recipe


200g Sourdough Starter*

200g Rye flour

200g Strong White Bread Flour

250g of water

10g of salt

A sprinkling of semolina


1. Combine ingredients and allow to rest at room temperature for 30mins

2. Knead for 15-20mins

3. Let it prove in a covered, greased bowl for a good few hours, typically at least 6

4. On a floured surface, shape into a square, stretch and fold each corner into the centre to make another square, then repeat with your new corners to make a nice tight shape. Then flip over, and pull your flat hands underneath the dough a few times at different angles, you should now have a nice tight ball shape

5. Cover (ideally in a floured proving basket/ or floured tea towel in a bowl) Prove for at least another 6 hours

6. Heat your oven to 210C with your baking tray on the middle shelf, and place a water bath at the bottom of the oven. Leave until water begins to steam well

7. Drop the temperature to 200C and remove the heated baking tray (careful when opening the oven as the steam will be hot). Sprinkle semolina onto the tray and place the bread dough upon it. Return the the oven with the water bath still steaming and bake for 25mins, or until the surface is a deep golden brown

8. Remove and rest on a wire rack

9. Enjoy with olive oil or loads of lovely butter!

*A sourdough starter is a combination of plain yoghurt, milk and flour that can either be made at home or bought – you might even find a generous baker that will give some to you. If you’re making it yourself, you’ll need to “feed” it daily. Combine warmed milk and yoghurt on the first day, add flour on the second day, add more flour and milk on the third day and a little more flour on the fourth day. It should be bubbling and smell nice and sour.

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