Sourdough 1: Rupert

Around Christmas 2018, we started up a sourdough starter. His name was Rupert (don’t worry, Rupert lives on, just… differently…) I’ve been making many different sourdough breads ever since. My go-to is a whole wheat sourdough with a mix of white and wheat bread flours, and I’ve also made a few different rye breads, spelt, seeded breads, vegan spelt scones (not sourdough but amazingly good and highly recommended), vegan sourdough pancakes, etc.

Here is the first sourdough recipe I used and refined, From winter 2018/19 to spring 2020.

Go-to whole wheat sourdough:

It takes the basic ingredient list from ilovecooking recipe (recipe page and YouTube link) but doubles the salt (a la vitalivesfree). The technique is from vitalivesfree recipe, which makes for less kneading, wetter dough, and so far better overall results.

Ingredients for 1 loaf: (x3 loves in parentheses)

  • 250ml (750ml) lukewarm water
  • 160g (480g) sourdough starter (see section below)
  • 400g (1200g) bread flour (2:1 ratio white/whole wheat)
  • 25ml (50-75ml) water
  • 10g (30g) salt

Mixing instructions (do this the day before):

  • whisk together water and starter
  • add flour and mix quickly by hand
  • let sit for 30 min
  • add remaining water and salt
  • knead for 5 - 10 min
  • proofing (a): turn dough every 30 minutes (for 2 hours, so 4x turns total)
  • proofing (b): then 1 x per hr for an additional 1 - 3 hours
  • shape and put loves in proofing baskets
  • refrigerate overnight

(the next day)

  • turn oven on high (550º F) and make sure stone is fully heated
  • take loaf out of fridge, add seeds if desired (see below)
  • score top with a knife
  • put loaf on hot stone
  • add water to steam tray, add a few ice cubes to make lots of steam
  • once ice melts, reduce oven temp to 445º
  • cook for 30 min +/-, until crust is nice and dark.
  • remove and place on rack to cool



  • Added 50mL of water at first step bc dough was too dry. That seemed to work. (now incorporated into recipe)
  • Sesame seeds on top work well. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds tended to burn and/or fall off.
    • To get seeds to stick, when bread comes out of proofing basket place top down in shallow bowl covered with a wet towel (so the top of the dough gets a little moist) then place in another shallow bowl with seeds so they stick. Or brush with egg wash.



  • To make sourdough starter:
    • Combine 200g unbleached all purpose flour with 200g water.
    • Combine thoroughly and let sit lightly covered in room temperature for 24 hours.
    • After 24 hours, discard half and add another 200g flour and 200g water; combine and leave for 24 hours.
    • Repeat this process until the starter gets bubbly. (see THE INTERNET for a million sites with in depth info on this)
  • To maintain your sourdough starter:
    • Once all bubbly it’s ready to use. So you don’t have to continue feeding it every day, cover and put in the refrigerator, where it will be happy for a week.
    • 1x per week, take it out and let it warm up to room temperature. Feed it with the following ratio: 1x existing starter : 1x flour : 1x water.
    • Combine well and let sit for 12 - 24 hours. It will get all bubbly and increase in size. It is now ready to use.
    • Use as much as you need and put the rest back in the fridge for another week or until you need it again.
    • If you don’t use it in a week, just discard 1/2, feed it, and put it back in the fridge.

John Sullivan
John Sullivan
Postdoctoral researcher

Postdoctoral researcher exploring research through design in the areas of music, movement, dance, and human-computer interaction.

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