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Making your own sourdough bread at home is a fun kitchen project that’s totally worth the effort! You’ll be rewarded with a crusty loaf of tangy, chewy homemade sourdough bread.

sourdough bread and slices served on a wooden cutting board

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Sourdough bread is made with a sourdough starter, which is a combination of flour and water that’s been allowed to ferment. The fermentation process gives the bread its distinctive sour flavor. This is different from other types of bread, like French bread or Yeast Dinner Rolls, because sourdough bread is not made with yeast to make the dough rise.

If you’re interested in making this sourdough recipe, the first thing you’ll need to do is make a sourdough starter. This process can take a few days, but it’s really easy to do. (Another option is to order a starter online or see if there’s a local bakery that sells them. Sometimes you can find a home baker willing to give some away in neighborhood groups, too!)

top down image of sourdough bread served on a wooden cutting board

Easy Sourdough Bread Recipe

While making your own sourdough bread takes some effort, it’s really not that difficult. And the results are so worth it! Not only will you have a delicious loaf of crusty bread when it’s all said and done, you’ll also have a sense of accomplishment. (And if you serve this sourdough bread at a party? Be prepared for everyone to be really impressed!)

Pair your homemade sourdough with Tomato Bisque Soup, or use it to make Cheese and Veggie Sandwiches. When it starts to get stale, it’s amazing for making croutons or crostini for Tomato Bruschetta!

ingredients to make sourdough levain

Ingredients

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

For the Levain:

  • Active sourdough starter
  • Unbleached bread flour – You can find this at most grocery stores, or you can order it online.
  • Water
ingredients to make sourdough dough

For the Dough:

  • Water
  • Sea salt
  • Unbleached bread flour
steps 1-4 to make sourdough bread
steps 5-8 to make sourdough bread

Quick Tip

If you have a kitchen scale, use it for this recipe! It’s important to be precise when baking sourdough bread, and a scale is far superior to measuring with cups and tablespoons.

How to Make Sourdough Bread

  1. Start the Levain: Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir well, until a thick batter forms. Cover and let this rest on the counter at room temperature overnight. 
  2. Make Salt Water: In a small bowl, dissolve the salt in 50g of water.
  3. Start the Sourdough Bread: Add the remaining water to the levain; stir to dissolve the levain into the water. Stir in the flour to form a dough. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest at room temperature for 45 minutes. 
  4. Knead: Add the salt water to the dough and mix it in by hand; the dough will be loose and wet. Starting on one side of the dough and moving clockwise, grab the dough and fold it over onto itself. Repeat 4 times. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes, then repeat the folding and resting process 6 more times. 
  5. Rest: Cover the bowl of dough with a kitchen towel and let it rest at room temperature for an hour. 
  6. Form the Loaves: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and use a bench scraper to cut the dough in half, working gently to keep the dough from deflating. Shape each half into balls.
  7. Rest Again: Cover the sourdough bread dough balls loosely with a kitchen towel and let them rest for 30 minutes.
  8. Prepare: Place two clean kitchen towels in the bottom of two medium mixing bowls. Dust the towels heavily with flour, rubbing it in well. 
  9. Knead Again: Dust the tops of the dough balls with flour and, using your bench scraper, turn the dough over so the floured surface is on the bottom and the un-floured surface is facing up. Working clockwise, repeat the folding method, folding 4 times. On the last fold, flip the dough so the floured surface is on top. 
  10. Refrigerate: Dust the sourdough bread dough balls with flour and place them into the prepared mixing bowls. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and let them chill in the fridge overnight. 
  11. Prepare for Baking: Place two covered Dutch ovens into your oven and preheat it to 500ºF. When heated, carefully remove the Dutch ovens and slide the dough into the pots, seam side down. Use a bread lame (or very sharp knife or razor blade) to score the top of the dough. 
  12. Bake: Replace the lids and bake the sourdough bread loaves covered for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 425ºF and bake for another 10 minutes, covered. After this, remove the lids and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, checking the progress to make sure the crust is beginning to form. Continue to bake the bread for 15 to 25 more minutes, or until the bread is a deep golden brown and crispy on the outside. 
  13. Cool: Remove the bread from the Dutch ovens and let the loaves cool completely on a wire rack. 
sourdough load and two slices served on a wooden board

How to Store Homemade Sourdough Bread

This bread is best eaten the day it’s made, but will keep for 2-3 days stored in a cool, dry place. If you need to store a loaf of bread for longer, wrap it tightly in plastic and freeze for up to 1 month. Let it thaw completely before slicing. 

sourdough loaf cut in half to show the cross section

FAQs

What ingredients should be in sourdough bread?

Sourdough bread typically only contains flour, water, salt, and a sourdough starter, but they can also have mix-ins for added flavor like roasted cloves of garlic, cheese, or fresh herbs like rosemary.

What is the difference between sourdough bread and regular bread?

The difference between sourdough bread and regular bread is that sourdough bread is made with a sourdough starter which contains wild yeast. This bread also takes longer to rise and has a more complex flavor. 

Is sourdough bread a healthy bread?

Sourdough bread is a healthier bread because it doesn’t contain any added sugar and it contains probiotics, which are good for gut health. 

Can you use plain flour for sourdough?

Yes, you can use all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour for sourdough, but bread flour will help give it a chewier texture because it has a higher gluten content.

Is sourdough bread difficult to make?

No, sourdough bread is not difficult to make. However, it does take some time and patience. 

More Homemade Bread Recipes

Sourdough Bread

Making your own sourdough bread at home is a fun kitchen project that's totally worth the effort! You'll be rewarded with a crusty loaf of tangy, chewy homemade sourdough bread.
No ratings yet
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Author: Kasey Schwartz

Ingredients  

Levain

  • 15 grams active sourdough starter (2 tablespoons)
  • 75 grams unbleached bread flour (¼ cup + 3 tablespoons)
  • 75 grams water (⅓ cup)

Dough

  • 525 grams water (2¼ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 725 grams unbleached bread flour (5¾ cups)

Instructions 

  • For the levain, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well until fully mixed and it forms a thick batter. Cover lightly and let rest at room temperature overnight.
  • In a small bowl, dissolve the salt in 50g (4 tbsp) of water, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the remaining water to the levain and stir with a spatula to dissolve the levain into the water. Add the flour and stir with the spatula to form the dough. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  • Add the salt water to the dough and mix it in by hand. The dough will still be very loose and wet.
  • Fold the dough. Starting on one side of the dough and moving clockwise, grab the dough and fold it over onto itself. Repeat 4 times. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes and then repeat the folding and resting process 6 more times.
  • With the folds complete, cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let rest at room temperature for one hour.
  • On a lightly floured work surface, turn the dough out and, using a bench scraper, cut the dough in half. Be sure to work gently so as to not deflate the dough too much.
  • Gently shape the dough halves into balls using the bench scraper and your hands. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes before the final shaping.
  • Place two clean kitchen towels in the bottom of two medium sized mixing bowls and dust heavily with flour, rubbing it in to make sure they are fully covered.
  • Dust the tops of the dough balls with flour and, using your bench scraper, turn the dough over so the floured surface is on the bottom and the un-floured surface is facing up. Working clockwise, repeat the folding method from Step 5, folding 4 times. On the last fold, flip the ball over so the floured surface is facing up.
  • Dust the dough generously with flour and place them into the towel-lined mixing bowls. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and let them rest in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Place two Dutch ovens (with the lids on) into your oven and heat it to 500F. When heated, carefully remove the Dutch ovens and slide the dough into the pots, seam side down.
  • Using a lame (or very sharp knife or razor blade,) score the dough. Replace the lids and bake covered for 30 minutes.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 425F and bake for another 10 minutes, covered.
  • Remove the lids and bake for 25-30 minutes, checking the progress to make sure the crust is beginning to form.
  • Continue to bake the bread for 15-25 more minutes or until the bread is deep golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Nutrition

Calories: 2902kcal | Carbohydrates: 583g | Protein: 96g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7023mg | Potassium: 801mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 7mg
Keyword: sourdough bread
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

Hi, I’m Kasey, Founder of All Things Mamma – where I am dishing up family favorite recipes that are easy to make with simple, everyday ingredients. Plus – tips and tricks for living your best life!

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