Sourdough Leaven

Side dish

If baking your own bread has become something of the norm for you then this simple sour dough leaven recipe from the team at the Side Oven Bakery is definitely worth a try. Once established the starter leaven is very resilient and if fed and nurtured will last for years and can be used as a base for traditional sourdough bread. This recipe uses no yeast but can be used to create a delicious loaf a wonderful crust and a dense chewy dough. For more recipe inspiration visit Ingredients and method  


Day 1

40g white flour (strong stoneground flour works best but different flours can be substituted in this recipe eg. wholemeal, spelt or rye if you wish)

25ml tepid water

Mix well into a soft dough, cover and leave in a warm place for 2 days.

On Days 3, 4 and 5

To starter dough add:

40g white flour

25ml tepid water

Mix well and cover as before.

Day 6

By now your leaven should be ‘coming to life’ and you should see small bubbles on the surface.

Refresh the Starter Dough again by adding

250g white flour

150g tepid water

Mix well and leave to stand for about 4 hours.  Your production leaven is now ready to use to create a sour dough loaf.  For the sourdogh loaf recipe visit