This rustic Sourdough Bread is soft and chewy, and has a very mild tang. It’s delicious warm from the oven, and makes tasty sandwiches.
Are you intimidated by making homemade bread recipes? If so – don’t be! Sourdough bread is one of the easiest yeast breads to make (next to french bread and dinner rolls) and tastes AMAZING paired with any soup recipe.
Easier than it seems!
I always assumed that making sourdough bread was time consuming and extremely challenging, so I never attempted it at home. I was wrong. Mostly. While making sourdough bread does take a fair amount of time, most of that time is hands off. And it definitely isn’t challenging!
The key to that tangy flavor is the sourdough start. You can make your own, or even buy it. If you’re lucky, you can get it from a friend, which is what I did.
Before you begin, you want to make sure that your sourdough start is nice and bubbly. Mine is usually about the consistency of muffin batter before it rises (photo on the left), but yours may be more runny, or even thicker. What matters is that it is active and bubbly when you’re ready to bake (like the photo on the right).
How to make Sourdough Bread
Once you have a batch of live, active starter, making sourdough bread is actually very easy.
DOUGH. Combine the starter, a bit of honey, warm water, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add a couple cups of all purpose flour. Let the mixture sit for 15-30 minutes, then add enough flour to make a soft dough.
RISE. Dump your dough onto a floured counter and knead a few times. Wash the bowl and spray it with non stick cooking spray. Return the dough to the bowl. Cover it with a lid, and let the dough rise and ferment for at least 6-8 hours, or up to 24 hours.
The longer it sits, the more sour your bread will be. We like a mild sourdough, so I let mine sit for 8 hours.
BAKE. Form the dough into a round loaf and place it on a greased cookie sheet. Let it rise until doubled, usually one to two hours. Cut slits across the top. (If you prefer, you can cut the slits before letting the loaf rise.)
In a dutch oven
Alternately, you can place the dough in a heavy Dutch oven pan that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Baking in a Dutch oven will result in a taller, more round loaf because the sides of the pan prevent the dough from spreading.
While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 425°. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. If you like a darker crust, you can cook it longer. If desired, brush melted butter over the top of the bread.
(If you are baking in a Dutch oven, leave the lid on the pan for the first 15 minutes, then remove the lid and bake till bread is browned.)
Once the bread is done baking (and regardless of which method you used), remove the loaf to a cooling rack. It cuts best if it cools for at least 30 minutes.
There you have it. Making sourdough bread isn’t an exact science, so it may take you a few tries to come up with a loaf that your family likes the best.
You can make it more or less sour, with a softer crust or a crisper crust, just by tweaking a few steps. Have fun with it!
For STORING and FREEZING, be sure to wrap tightly with cling wrap or foil. You can also add it to a Ziploc bag after being wrapped to help stay fresh longer or freeze longer.
we love serving it with:
Pretty much any soup goes great with this soup, but here are some of our favs to serve it with.
for More tasty bread recipes, try:
Sourdough Bread Recipe
- 3/4 cup sourdough start (ripe and active)
- 1 1/4 cups warm water (non-chlorinated)
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
- Whisk together starter and water in a large mixing bowl. Add honey, salt, and about 2 cups of the flour. Stir together till smooth; let rest for 15-30 minutes.
- Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured counter and knead a few times.
- Place dough in a large bowl that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover and let rise and ferment for at least 6-8 hours, or up to 24 hours.
- On a floured countertop, form the dough into a round loaf and place it on a greased cookie sheet. Let it rise till doubled, usually one to two hours. Cut slits across the top.
- While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 425°. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. If you like a darker crust, you can cook it longer. If desired, brush melted butter over the top of the bread.
- Let bread cool on a cooling rack. It slices best if allowed to cool for at least 30 minutes.