Sourdough Loaf - Stage 2

Stage 2 - Make the Dough

Fermented sponge 8 hour later.

To the fermented sponge add 300 grams of bread flour (250 grams of white and 50 grams of rye used for this loaf) plus 11.5 grams of salt.

Combine ingredients and pile onto un-floured worktop - try to resist adding more flour, it may seem sticky at first but it will come together when worked.

Work the dough for about 10 min, stretching and folding it to incorporate air and develop the gluten. This video shows baker Richard Bertinet 'working' dough using his very effective stretch and fold technique.

Dough coming together with stretch and fold technique.  

Now lightly flour the work surface and shape the dough into a ball:

Place ball of dough back into bowl, cover and leave to ferment at room temp for about 4 hours, with folds at about 1.5 and 3 hours. 

Folding drives out some or all of the gasses that have been generated by the fermentation process and rearranges the dough so that the yeast has access to fresh nutrients. The build up of gas in the dough can act as an inhibitor on the yeast, a chemical brake on its activity, so getting rid of the gas ensures that the yeast can continue to develop and flourish.

To fold, simply flatten the dough, fold like a letter and reshape the dough into a ball. Place back in the bowl and cover.

When the dough has fermented and about doubled in size, flour a 1kg cane brotform (proving basket) with flour - rice flour is particularly good for this purpose, preventing the dough from sticking to the basket.

Shape the dough into a batard - this video demonstrates shaping a loaf.  Place loaf in the brotform, seam-side facing up so it is still visible.

Shaped loaf left in the fridge to prove slowly overnight.

Next, go to Stage 3 - Bake the Loaf


  1. Is it OK to use a Breadmaker to do the initial mixing and kneading. Sorr if I used a bad word!!

  2. Hi Owendo, yes it's fine to use a breadmaker to do the initial mixing... There are ways and means of doing the whole process in a breadmaker, using the delay to prove the dough but I've no first hand experience of doing this. As it's a slow-food it needs a machine that will prove the dough long enough...