Lockdown Sourdough

The surge in home baking.

About 5 years ago I blogged about the cult status of sourdough and included a recipe which works very well but, looking back now, feels overly complicated. Like many I returned to home baking during the Covid 19 lockdown and started baking sourdough again at home. I made the recipe I blogged in an earlier life but also tried several others and there was one that stood out. It came from a friend Paddy Williams, an excellent chef who runs a lovely restaurant, Kudu, in Peckham with his wife Amy. He posted his recipe on his Instagram account, so I gave it a go. For me it is head and shoulders above all the others I tried. Whether you are a Sourdough master or an absolute beginner it gives you a reliable dough with great fermentation and flavour producing a wonderful crust and crumb, and not much to go wrong. I hope he won’t mind me sharing it with you here.

It assumes you already have an active starter but if you need to make one please click on this link to my original Sourdough blog http://thecheffoundation.com/foodforthesoul/myth-busters-sourdough/

Paddy’s Sourdough


20g Starter + 40g Flour + 40g water


100g levain

400g flour Paddy uses 340g Strong white + 60g Wholemeal. I used 350g Strong white + 50g Rye but you can mix your own blend

10g salt

260g warm water

Before going to bed weigh out 20g of starter and add 40g flour + 40g warm water. This is the levain. Leave out overnight in a bowl covered with cling film

In the morning weigh out the 400g of flour and 10g of salt. Mix with 260g of warm water, cover and leave for about half an hour. This is the autolyse

Add the levain to the autolyse and knead for 10 minutes either by hand or in an electric mixer with a dough hook on a slow speed. If you prefer not to knead then the gluten will develop perfectly well on its own, just give the dough more folds, personally I like the process and finish from kneading by hand.

Place in a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place to prove

Once the dough has started to rise (2 to 3 hours) give a wet fold and return to the bowl. Cover and leave to rest (1 to 2 hours)

Give another 2 wet folds making sure the dough has plenty of time to rest in between

Dry fold and shape and leave on the workbench for 10 minutes to rest

Final shape and place in a banneton or bowl lined with muslin dusted with flour. Fold over the muslin to cover the dough and leave to prove (1 to 2 hours). Once it has started to come up nicely place in the fridge overnight

In the morning preheat the oven to 230.C. Turn out dough, score the top and bake. When you put the dough in the oven pour some water into a tray on a lower shelf to create some steam

15 minutes at 230.C

25-30 minutes at 180.C

To check if the bread is cooked knock the bottom of the loaf. It should sound hollow

When you start to get low on starter feed overnight with equal amounts of flour and warm water

Eg: 100g starter +100g flour+100g water

This dough will cook very well in a Dutch oven if you have one

Here is a table with amounts for some different sized loaves. I use the smaller one as it fits my banneton better.

LevainSmaller LoafMedium LoafLarger Loaf

Links & Further Reading:

The Ultimate Guide to Sourdough Bread by Alice Webster

Myth busters-Sourdough

Kudu Collective