Sourdough: The beginner’s guide

If baking sourdough feels daunting, don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as you might think. Just ask Salli Partanen, our local sourdough master. She started out as an amateur with a simple curiosity, and we got her to spill a few of her secrets to help you become a star baker.
A shot from above of a table with prepared loaves of bread, butter, jam and orange juice.
Salli’s recipe
BENUNGE measurement jug
KORKEN jar with lid
TEKLA kitchen towel
RÖRT wooden spoon
BULLAR loaf tin
A woman measures flour into a glass jar on a kitchen scale.
A sourdough starter mixture comes together in a glass jar.
STEP 1 It all starts with the starter (it’s what make sourdough so unique). It begins as a simple mixture of flour and water that is allowed to sit for a few weeks in a glass jar. Over the weeks, remove a bit of the mixture and add more flour and water.
A small amount of sourdough starter is in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon.
Sourdough pre-ferment rises in a glass bowl covered by a towel.
STEP 2 Time to make the dough. Take about 10 g of your starter and mix it together with more flour and cool water. This is what’s called the pre-ferment, and you’ll need to let it sit at room temperature, covered with a towel, for 8-12 hours.
A woman pours roasted sunflower seeds into a glass bowl with dough.
STEP 3 Add the rest of the ingredients and bring the dough together. “Sourdough is pretty much just flour, water, and salt. But from this simple combination you can make really unique breads,” says Salli. We stirred in sunflower seeds, but you can add your personal favourites.
A woman removes a loaf tin of baked sourdough from the oven.
STEP 4 “With a loaf pan you won’t have to worry about the shape of the bread and it will come out neat every time.” Give the sides a thin coating of olive oil and dust them with flour to keep the dough from sticking to the pan.
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Recipe by: Salli Partanen
Interior designer: Marianne Eriksson
Photographer: Martin Cederblad
Writer: Vanessa Algotsson