Sourdough in a Day – an Experiment in Bread Making Recipes

Is it possible to make a loaf with the taste, texture and complexity of sourdough bread without spending weeks or months developing a starter? Yes, if you can scrounge one, but I thought it would be fun to try to recreate one from scratch in a day.

I started with the idea that sourdough is slow to develop because the yeast is not as concentrated as in loaves developed with commercial yeast. So I cut down on the yeast element. I let it ferment in the kitchen which was at thirteen degrees, thanks to being January in the East of Scotland. And to cap it all I added two big tablespoons of home made whole fat milk yoghurt. I also wanted an element of wholemeal flour to give it extra depth.


  • 350 grams of strong white flour
  • 150 grams of strong wholemeal flour
  • 2 grams of yeast
  • 20 grams of olive oil
  • 10 grams of salt, dissolved in 275 mls of water
  • 40 or 50 grams of natural yoghurt


  1. Mix the flours and yeast together
  2. Add the yoghurt and olive oil and the bulk of the water – keep some back in case the dough is too wet
  3. Mix the ingredients to a rough dough, (why is that not ruff duff or roe doe?)
  4. Continue mixing until smooth and elastic
  5. Leave for eight to ten hours
  6. Knock it back gently
  7. Let it proveĀ again for an hour or so
  8. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes at 220.


Did it work? Maybe. But I made a few errors of judgement: –

  • I added too much water at first,
  • Didn’t take account of how wet the yoghurt was
  • I assumed that the wholemeal flour would absorb more moisture than it did
  • I didn’t correct my mistakes – and I should have – too busy making a bird box and fixing a leak in the shower

But the loaf tasted good! It didn’t have a chewy crust, and the cheesey flavour I have had with some of my other sourdoughs was missing; so back to the drawing board, and I will keep trying until I get it as far as I can.

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