Bread Ahead’s sourdough starter

by Matt Jones

How to recreate Bread Ahead Bakery’s delicious crusty sourdough at home

This recipe from Matt Jones, co-founder of Bread Ahead Bakery, is enough to equip even fledgling bakers with ability to make beautiful, crusty, tasty bread at home. It’s been provided as part of Sourdough September, an annual initiative orchestrated by food and farming charity Sustain, to help encourage people to buy and make ‘real’ bread. Click here for more information and events.


To make the starter (day 1):
50g good quality wholegrain rye flour
50g water

Additions to the starter (days 2-5): 
50g flour
50g water

Final addition to the starter when you are ready to bake:
100g flour
100g water 

To make the sourdough:
1kg strong white flour
700ml water
300ml of your starter
20g salt


To make the starter, add the wholegrain flour and water to a bowl and mix together until smooth. Cover and leave on top of your fridge. Repeat the steps for day 1 on day 2, 3, 4 and 5. Your starter should be nice and lively with some bubbling and a slight alcoholic aroma. You can store your starter in the fridge now for up to 2 weeks, untouched.

When you want to make your bread, simply take the starter out of the fridge and feed it with 100g flour and 100g water. Leave out at room temperature for 8 hours, then you are ready to get baking!

To make a simple loaf of bread, gently mix all of the ingredients together, cover and place in the fridge for 8-24 hours. Bring out of the fridge and fold the dough. Leave for two hours.

Shape the dough into a banneton (a proving bowl). For best results place in the fridge again for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Bring out of the fridge and leave to prove for 4 hours.

Bake in a hot oven at 220C for 30 mins. Take out and enjoy your first creation!

Recipe: Matt Jones