Country Bread

Every time I am amazed at the simple raw ingredients you can use to bake bread. Once you get a taste for it, it never lets you go, because if you are looking for a natural bread, sourdough bread is spot on!

I am not against the use of baker’s yeast in bread making, but it does make me think about the amount of lost knowledge in traditional bread making since the introduction of baker’s yeast. 

“Sourdough is and remains the soul of the art of baking”

Sourdough is the only raising agent in my next recipe for “Country Bread”. In order to get an active and well-rounded sourdough, I decided to use a 2-stage process. The exciting part about the sourdough method is the use of toasted leftover bread in the second sourdough stage!

The toasted and finely ground leftover bread is added in the second sourdough stage in an amount of 20% (calculated as a percentage of the flour content in the sourdough). The ground leftover bread is mixed in a ratio of 1:3 with water and stirred into the second sourdough stage. 

There was no noticeable loss of activity in the sourdough and the aroma of the finished sourdough already indicated the taste of the finished bread!

To increase the shelf life the main dough gets an addition of wholegrain rye flour and semolina, which also brought a unique coloration in the resulting crumb. In order to fully hydrate the flour, I recommend a soaker for the wholegrain flour and semolina. This should be prepared with hot water 2-3 hours before making the main dough. 


Sourdough step I:

  • 44g Rye flour Type 960
  • 25g Water
  •   5g Starter

DT: 25-26°C Maturity time: 12 hours    Hydration(TA): 157

Step II:

  •   74g mature sourdough step I
  •   89g Rye flour Type 960
  • 108g Water


  •   27g ground and dried leftover bread
  •   80g Water

Mix 27g leftover bread and 80g of water together and mix into the second sourdough step! I wrote this variation as separate pieces so that those that don’t have any leftover bread on hand can simply leave it out. 

Maturity time: 4-5 hours DT: 28-30°C  Hydration(TA): 200


  • 100g Semolina or durum wheat flour
  • 200g Wholegrain rye flour
  • 250g Water 45°C

Soaking time: 4 hours


  • 378g Wheat sourdough
  • 550g soaker
  • 700g Wheat flour Type 700
  • 380g Water
  •   22g Sea salt

Mix all ingredients slowly for 5 minutes and knead on fast for 7 minutes. After kneading, the dough is placed in an oiled tub. 

Cover and keep the dough warm for the next 2 hours. After 60 minutes the dough is folded once.

After the dough has risen it is shaped into a round loaf and placed in a proofing basket dusted with flour and semolina. The loaf should now proof in a warm spot. 

Once fully proofed, the loaf is placed in the oven at 250°C with steam (the steam is released after half of the baking time). Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C after 15 minutes and bake until well browned. The baking time should take at least 70 minutes so that the bread can develop its full flavor.