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Sourdough Bread Recipe: Paul Hollywood

Written by Dale Richardson - Updated: June 23, 2023

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Now we all know the man. I mean, Paul Hollywood is an English legend. Perhaps you've watched too much Bake Off , or you're stuck in the home with quarantine. Regardless of why you're here, we've got a great sourdough bread recipe straight from Paul Hollywood. And the best part? I'll show you how to make a sourdough starter of your own! That's what will really set this recipe apart from your everyday sourdough loaf from the market.

Let's get right into it! We don't do the faff and filler that others do here - just solid recipes and their ingredients. So no, you won't be hearing my life story nor that of my mother and her mother.

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Sourdough Bread Recipe, Paul Hollywood (And Ingredients)



First things first, as always, is the mise en place. A simple term with massive meaning, mise en place (litreally "everything in its place" in French) will ensure you're baking like a pro in no time. Now, what will you need?

  1. 100 grams sourdough starter
  2. 375 tepid (room temp) water
  3. 500 mL strong white bread flour (not AP or self-rising)
  4. 12 grams salt
  5. Tea towel
  6. Cling wrap
  7. Bread tin
  8. Bread knife/bench scraper

You'll be able to get 1 loaf out of this recipe, with roughly 1 hour of work (minus resting and proving).

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The Recipe



Part 1

  1. Combine 350 mL water and your sourdough starter in a bowl, whisking thoroughly.
  2. Add flour all at once, mixing quickly. It should be soft, slightly chunky dough - add a little bit of water if it's too dry. Ensure there are no lumps of dry flour, then leave to rest for 30 minutes to absorb all excess liquid into the flour.
  3. Mix salt with 25 mL tepid water, adding to the dough. Mix it in by folding it from the sides of the dough to the middle. Keep turning the bowl as you go, continuously folding for roughly 30 seconds. Now, rest your dough again for roughly 10 minutes. This is where Paul and I differ - but we'll get to that. For now, we're looking at his recipe
  4. Repeat the folding process, dampening your hand with water if the dough sticks too much. Rest again for 10 minutes.
  5. Repeat 8 more times, 30 seconds folding each time. Your dough should be noticeably more elastic and smooth after this.
  6. Cover your dough overnight with an oiled piece of cling wrap. The minimum time for this is 2 hours, or until doubled in size. (In case, like me, you're impatient.)

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Part 2

If you've not done this before, check out this video . It'll help with picturing what I'm saying.



  1. Flour your work surface. I like to lay down cling wrap or parchment paper (ideal) and flour that, as it's easier to clean up.
  2. Turn your dough out onto the work surface.
  3. Flip your dough out, shaping it into a rectangle.
  4. Fold the top down to the middle, and the bottom over that (like a letter). Repeat with the left and right sides. Flip the loaf over so it's on the folds.
  5. Cover with oiled cling film and rest for 20 minutes. Repeat steps 8-10 once more.
  6. Line a bowl with a clean tea towel and flour generously. You can also use a proving basket.
  7. Put the dough smooth side down, cover with oiled cling film, and prove at room temperature until doubled in size. A finger pushed in should leave an indent when ready. This takes up to 4 hours, or overnight in the fridge.
  8. Preheat your oven to 225° C/205° C (convection/fan or gas oven, respectively).
  9. Pour 500 mL boiled water onto the roasting tin in the oven (for steam to give a crunch and crust). Remove the cling film and invert the dough onto your baking sheet. Score your bread with your desired pattern.
  10. Bake on upper-middle shelf for 25-30 minutes, rotating the bread halfway through.
  11. Knock on your loaf - if it's hollow sounding, it's ready! If not, put it back in at 180° C/160° C fan/gas until cooked.
  12. Cool and enjoy.

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The Starter



First things first, this will take at least 8 days, so you'll have to be patient.

As a note, I recommend doubling up on this recipe, if not more if you plan to make a lot of bread. This is enough for the occasional baker.

To make a sourdough starter, you'll need:

  1. 40 grams tepid water, plus 9 tsp tepid water (all filtered)
  2. Clean mason jar(s)
  3. 40 grams rye flour, plus 6 tsp rye flour
  4. 40 grams strong white flour, plus 3 tsp strong white flour

Now, here's what to do, by day:

Day 1: Combine 1 tsp rye flour and 1 tsp tepid filtered water in a clean jar. Stir to make a batter, cover with lid, and leave for the day.

Day 2 and 3: Each day, stir in 1 tsp rye flour, 1 tsp tepid water, and lid the jar. Leave it somewhere warm, not hot. (So not on or near an oven - I made and paid for that mistake already. Don't be like me.)

Day 4, 5, and 6: Each day, stir in 1 tsp rye flour, 1 tsp strong white flour, and 2 tsp tepid water. Replace the lid and leave somewhere that's warm, not hot. By the sixth day, you should have a bubbling, living sourdough starter.

Day 7 and 8: Discard half of the starter. Stir in 20 grams of both rye and white flour, and 40 grams tepid water. Replace the lid and leave it in a warm place.

After this, just remember to feed your starter! When you remove the starter you need, replace it with equal parts flour and water. For the above recipe, for example, you would need to add 50 g each of flour and water.

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Final Thoughts

And there you have it! A sourdough bread recipe from Paul Hollywood himself! While his method doesn't include a starter, I feel that our starter makes a drastic difference in the quality of the final product.

And if you're looking for a new recipe to try, check out Paul Hollywood's English muffins , with my own personal sweet or savoury butter recipes. Now the only thing left is to get baking! I believe in you - you'll do Paul proud.

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