Sourdough Inclusions

how to adapt a classic sourdough to include other ingredients (e.g. olives, porridge, seeds etc), by Chris Holister

This isn’t strictly a recipe, it’s more of a general method that Chris uses to adapt his classic white sourdough recipe to include other flavours, such as seeds, herbs, cheese, porridge, olives, sun dried tomatoes etc.

To accompany the original Instagram video (which you can find over @shiptonmill), we’ve written his instructions up here too. It’s a rough guide to incorporating inclusions to your dough, to allow you to create all sorts of sourdoughs using the flavours you feel like (obviously treat it with an element of common sense and adapt quantities to suit your personal preferences!).

Makes one sourdough loaf


  • 450g strong white flour
  • 50g strong wholemeal flour
  • 350g water (around 40°C)
  • 100g sourdough starter
  • 10g salt
  • Plus your choice of additional ingredients, as per the quantities in the Method below depending on what you are working with


Place the flours, water and sourdough starter in a mixing bowl.

Combine until the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, cover and leave for 30 minutes to autolyse.

Next add the salt and a tablespoon of water. Work this well into the dough and then cover and leave for 3-4 hours in total, folding every hour.

After the first hour, add in your inclusion (some of Chris’s current favourite options below) and work it through the dough. Leaving the dough for an hour before adding the inclusion in allows the gluten to start developing first.

* Porridges 25% to dough weight– oat, quinoa, maize, teff, rice etc. To prepare, cook normally as you would to eat it then leave it to cool before adding.

* Roasted veg 20-25% to dough weight- potato, pumpkin, beetroot etc. Roast in the oven until soft and then leave to cool, you can mush it up or blitz it.

* Seeds 20-25% to dough weight – soak the seeds in the same weight of water the day before, or sprout them.

* Additional options, as a general guide, 20-25% to dough weight – olives, sun dried tomatoes, cheese, raisins etc.

* Herbs – dried 2-3% to dough weight, fresh 3-6% to dough weight.

As an example, if you were using olives, you could add 125g of pitted olives at 25% dough weight.

Once ready the dough should feel nice and pillowy and have increased in volume by a third.

Tip out on to a lightly floured work surface and shape into a round.

Place into a floured basket and leave out for one hour before placing in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven and casserole pan to 250°C.

Flip the loaf out of the basket on to some parchment and slash. Lift the loaf on the parchment paper into your hot casserole pot and place in the oven with the lid on for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and continue to bake for 15-20 minutes until you get the desired colour.

Place on a wire rack to cool for at least an hour.