A new bakery set to open this month in Essex has teamed up with Maldon-based miller Carr’s Flour to create a festive sourdough.

The cranberry and orange sourdough loaf from Flour & Spoon is made using Carr’s wholemeal flour, and will be available to purchase when the bakery opens in Leigh-on-Sea on 15 December.

Flour & Spoon will use Carr’s flour to make all of its baked goods at the new site, where the core range will include triple chocolate brownies, bacon sourdough and sourdough cruffins.

The recipe for the Christmas loaf is:


To refresh your leaven 

  • 1 tbsp of starter
  • 50g of water
  • 50g Carr’s Artisan Baker’s Flour

For the dough

  • 100g refreshed leaven
  • 280g water
  • 450g Carr’s Artisan Baker’s Flour
  • 50g Carr’s Wholemeal Flour 
  • 10g sea salt
  • 30-40g of dried cranberry
  • The juice and fruit (without the pith) of three oranges


The night before you plan to mix the dough, mix one tablespoon of leaven with 50g of warm water and 50g of Carr’s Artisan Flour (or any organic white strong bread flour). Cover with a kitchen towel and let the starter rise overnight at room temperature. This will be your leaven.

By the morning, your leaven will rise and increase by about 20%. To test if your leaven is ready, drop a teaspoon of it into a cup with warm water. Mix all dough ingredients together except the salt (this will help to work the gluten) by hand until you do not see any dry flour. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Do not skip the resting time.

After the 30 minutes, add the 10g of sea salt and using the stretch & fold technique, mix the salt in. Cover the dough with a light wet kitchen towel and leave it to fully develop for about three to four hours – during that time, do about four gentle stretch & folds every 30 minutes (we are trying to keep the air in).

After that time your dough will be ready to shape. Shape your loaf and transfer it in the floured basket (banneton) and leave it again to rise for about two hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.

Preheat your oven to maximum temperature (230˚C) and place empty tray on the bottom of your oven. When your oven is heated up – gently transfer your loaf onto the tray (don’t forget to put baking paper and sprinkle with rice flour so it doesn’t stick), make a shallow cut at a very low angle to the dough.

Transfer the loaf into the oven, pour a cup of water into the bottom tray and quickly close the oven door. Bake for 20 mins on the highest temperature, then open the door a little bit to release the steam, close and bake for another 15-20 minutes on 220˚C.

Leave your loaf to cool, then cover with a dry kitchen towel to keep it fresh and crusty for up to four days.