Charcoal Sourdough Bread

Tangy, crisp and crackly -  the classic sourdough with a dark twist!

Difficulty level: Hard
Time required: 1 hour+



  • 20 g rye starter
  • 100 g water
  • 100 g white bread flour


  • 275 g water
  • 220 g sourdough levain (made with your starter) 
  • 100 g of wholemeal flour
  • 340 g strong white flour
  • 10 g sea salt
  • 25 g rice flour mixed (for dusting your banneton)
  • 2 tsp Rawnice Activated Charcoal Powder
  • 20 g milled yellow flax seed (optional)


  1. For the levain, mix all ingredients and leave at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Start making the bread in the afternoon: In a large bowl whisk your water, salt and levain (active starter) and mix well. In another bowl mix charcoal, white and wholemeal flours, then add into the levain mixture and mix until all the ingredients come together into a large ball.
  3. Cover with a clean damp cloth or cling film and let the dough rest on the side for an hour - this is called Autolyse.
  4. Next, lift (stretch) and fold your dough over, do a quarter turn of your bowl and repeat three more times. Repeat 4 times at 30 minute intervals.
  5. Shape the dough lightly into a ball then place into a round banneton dusted with the rice flour. Dust the top with flour too, and place the banneton with the dough into a loose fitting plastic bag and prove for 2 to 4 hours, so your dough will start to rise.
  6. Move to the fridge before bedtime or late evening, and leave to prove there for 8 to 12 hours.
  7. The next morning preheat your oven to 240°C for at least 30 minutes before you are ready to bake. If you're using a dutch oven, make sure it's preheated, too.
  8. Turn the dough onto a piece of baking paper, slash the top with your blade, carefully lower into the hot dutch oven, cover and bake covered for the first 20 minutes. After 20 min uncover, and bake for a further 10 min at 220°C and after that another 15 minutes on 180°C. Bake longer for a darker crust.
  9. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy the beautiful crust crackling whilst cooling down.

    Recipe creator:  


    Claire is a food writer, stylist and photographer from a beautiful island in the Mediterranean. She shares her craft and expertise for baking through a bread making course, and you can find her incredible bakes on her Instagram!

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