Sourdough Bread

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.

Easy Sourdough loaf on pan

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).

sourdough bread starter in a glass jar

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.)

Bread dough on a metal baking sheet

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.)

Cut loaf of sourdough bread

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.

Sourdough bread recipe on pan

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.

You can also use this recipe to make Spinach Artichoke bread or even Cheesy garlic bread.

slice of homemade sourdough bread with butter

for More tasty bread recipes, try:

Sourdough Bread Recipe

4.95 from 19 votes
Easy rustic sourdough bread with a mild tang, crisp crust, and soft interior.
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rising Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 152 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

  • ¾ 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

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About the Author

Kara Cook

Hi! I'm Kara from Creations by Kara, and I'm addicted to creating pretty and yummy things. I love sharing home decor ideas, DIY projects, tasty recipes, and simple tips! I hope that I am inspiring women everywhere to use their creativity to build a better life.

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    sourdough is my absolute favorite but i’ve never made it before! this recipe was so easy and the loaf turned out perfectly!

  2. 5 stars
    I can’t believe how incredibly easy this was to make. My family loved it. It was so soft & we even used it for sandwiches. They were delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks for the tip about making it more or less sour by how long it sits. I always appreciate those tid bits when cooking great Recipe!

  4. 4 stars
    I Used a starter i got from a friend. Allowed my bread to sit out overnight for 10-11 hours. Bread Turned out great but not as sour as i wouldve liked. This was my first time making bread so im not sure if i should have let it sit for longer or if it depends oN the flavor of the starTer (it was a sourdough starteR). Great crusty bread and soft inside. Thank you!

    1. 5 stars
      Great recipe. Turned out perfectly. It is flavorful and soft with a nice chew. My first loaf I let rise almost 20 hrs but the next few I used a 1/4 cup more starter and let rise 12 to 15 hrs. All turned out great. This recipe is a keeper.

  5. 5 stars
    I love to bake and just got a sourdough starter a few weeks ago. I found your recipe and oh my…it’s easy and delicious.
    I’ve shared the recipe as well as the bread with lots of people. I have some rising even as i write this. Thank you! Have a blessed day!

  6. 5 stars
    This is my favorite tasting sour dough bread yet!! i have tried a few others and always come back to this one, so thank you! however, my bread does not rise enough. do you have any suggestions? i tried a little baking soda, to no avail .. maybe i didn’t add enough? anyways … any suggestions you have for me would be great!!

    i have added jalapenos and cheese to this recipe … amazing tASTE!!!

    1. Adding jalapenos & cheese is a great idea! Glad you like this bread. I am not sure why it doesn’t rise much. I wouldn’t add baking soda, since it’s not originally in the recipe. Are all the other ingredients fresh? Did you let it double in size?

      1. Oh thanks for responding!! yes, ingredients are fresh. starter is fresh and healthy. it does double in size, however, it’s pretty sticky/wet after 24 hours, and i like to let it rest 24 hours cause the flavor is amazing! i usually wind up adding at least another cup of flour … maybe i’m adding too much flour?? your thoughts on that are very appreciated … i’m fairly new to this sour dough bread making. thanks so much!!!

        1. Gosh, I am stumped. It could be too much flour. That would be my last guess. This recipe is from one of my contributors. I do know that practice makes perfect. I never perfected bread the first couple times.

  7. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! So much easier than others I have tried. The tip about letting set up to 24 hrs was great as i like it sour and it was! I wanted to ask though if you are using a dutch oven do you let rise in the dutch oven or on the cookie sheet and then move to the dutch oven?

  8. 5 stars
    Best and easiest recipe that I have tried. This will now be my go too!
    I used my mixer with a dough hook instead of doing it by hand. Mixed it for about 4 minutes.
    I used a dry starter that I fed with Rye flour for the first 3 days then switch to all purpose.
    Gave it a nice tang but not too strong.
    Family loved it!

  9. 5 stars
    I bake in a Dutch oven covered for 20 minutes, uncovered 10 minutes, then take out of the pot and bake directly on oven rack for the last 10 minutes for nice, thick crust! Love this recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    I make this bread ALL the TIME!! It’s delicious and so easy to make.
    I actually bake it in my Dutch oven. I preheat to 450 degrees with my Dutch oven in the oven, for about 30 min.
    Then I turn it down to 425 degrees and bake with lid on for 20 min, then lid off for another 10-12 min (til internal temp of bread is about 208 degrees).
    I also use a banneton for my loaf. Sometimes I will proof it overnight in the fridge in the banneton.
    LOVE this recipe!

    1. I’m so glad you love it so much! Thanks so much for sharing what you do to make this bread in your Dutch Oven. It’s so helpful!

  11. 5 stars
    ABSOLUTELY THE BEST! SO GOOD I CHANGED THE NAME OF MY STARTER I’VE HAD FOR YEARS . From Andy to Big Andy Luna .I’ve tried many recipes trying to find a simple but good one and I’ve never found a good one yet ,I Found Awesome! This AMAZINGLY TASTEFUL,WE LOVE IT!! LOVE IT! YES!

    1. Thank you so much!! That is so sweet you even changed the name. So happy to hear that you enjoy the bread recipe!

  12. I have struggled with getting the starter going. I even took it on vacation last spring. We were camping by the beach and the whole time we were there then starter looked great. When we were ready to leave, I fed it before we left, secured the jar so it would not go through a lot of motion, and by the time we got home (4 hour drive), the starter looked deflated and there were no bubbles.

    I never have seen so many recipes for starter. Some called for refrigeration as soon as you got it mixed, let it sit out for a day and refrig until you need it, or use it right then and now.

    Now that it is winter and I have granite countertops, I lost another batch of starter for the countertop stays to cold. A recipe for starter said it needs to be somewhere where the temperature was at least 70 degrees. I looked around the kitchen and it was either drafty from doors being opened and shut, in the way, my cupboards were out of the question, but my husband suggested the top of the refrigerator.

    I put a baking sheet down, for I have had the starter run over the container and that is a mess to clean, but my husband suggestion that I put the starter on top of the refrig. It would be out of drafts from the doors, and heat rises (I checked the temp and it read 69 … close enough.) His suggestion worked! I fed the starter everyday, and it was bubbly everyday and today I am going to bake my first loaf of sourdough bread. Yippee!

    Your recipe and method looks the easiest. I got my fingers crossed.

    1. Hooray!! So glad the starter worked for you. Hope you enjoy the bread recipe! You’ll have to let us know. 🙂