ROLY Allen baked his first sourdough loaf in his mid-forties because he needed a healthy pursuit while he got back on his feet after being made redundant.

Although the bread is generally thought of as difficult to make, the father from Hove discovered the process was easy to pick up and has now set out to prove it.

Roly believes the existing books are overcomplicated and long, so has written one himself called How To Raise A Loaf.

The book aims to breaks down the process from start to finish in an “accessible and fun” way.

He said: “When I was made redundant it came as a shock and it was a difficult time where I was looking for something constructive to do.

“I had a look at one book which had a kneading method of 54 steps, but nothing is so complicated that it needs 54 steps.

“I stuck with it and found through other sources that the process was actually quite simple.

“There was a lot of mystery created around making sourdough but, in essence, a good edible sourdough loaf is not that difficult to make.”

The book is aimed at beginners who are taking the first steps into the world of baking.

Recipes include Sourdough starter, basic white loaf, round rye loaf and Provençal fougasse with green and black olives, which Roly says is a crowd-pleaser at dinner parties.

The book teaches people how to make such delights as walnut rye bread, oat and apple bread, sun-dried tomato and black olive sourdough, speckled beetroot sourdough.

It even includes chocolate sweet and sourdough, sourdough pizza and tomato sauce and cheesy poppy seed grissini.

Speaking about the benefits of making bread yourself, Roly, who used to work at Lewes publisher Ilex, said: “Making something is always good as is doing things with your hands.

“You’re making things that you can share with your family friends and also, I know this is said everywhere, but it’s genuinely mindful.

“When you’re working with dough, you’re thinking about this living thing.

“You’re in the zone and it’s relaxing for half an hour so you’re working on it.”

His new book is out later this month and he said: “I don’t think there’s any other book that presents the process in such a simple way.

“Lots of books will show you how to make an amazing loaf of bread, but they’re written for professional bakers which explain the process in a very long, quite complicated way in great detail.

“That’s great for what they are looking for.

“But for most bakers with home ovens, you’re not going to make those anyway – people’s ovens will not go hot enough.

“I’m not inventing anything, I’m just presenting the process in an approachable way.”