May 6, 2013

Recipe: Sourdough Bread

I guest-blogged this recipe a while ago, but I just realized that I haven't shared it here with you guys yet!

Here's my favorite (and my family's favorite) recipe for sourdough bread. It takes a little time, but it's so worth it. Enjoy!

Sourdough Bread
created by Living Learning, Eating

Step 1:     Stir together ½ cup of all-purpose flour, ½ cup
 of warm water, and 1/8 tsp instant dry yeast in a large bowl

Step 2:    Let sit, covered, in a warm place for 4 to 6 hours…or until you
remember that you were baking bread. ;) This is the sourdough starter

     Step 3: Mix in 2 cups of all-purpose flour and ¾ cup 
warm water. Mix until smooth. This is the sourdough sponge

    Step 4: Let rise, covered, for 4 to 8 hours in a warm place
 (or for up to 20 hours in a cooler place – like your garage)

Step 5:    Add 1.5 cups of all-purpose flour and 2 tsp of salt. You don’t add
the salt until this step, because it reduces the activity of the yeast! Knead for 8 to
10 minutes on a clean counter top, until the dough is elastic with small bubbles

 Step 6:   Roll the dough ball around in an oil-coated bowl until all surfaces are covered.
Let rise, covered with a kitchen towel, for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size

 Step 7: Punch down. Drape the kitchen towel in the bowl and sprinkle a 
light layer of flour over it. Turn the dough ball over itself until you have a nice 
loaf and put the loaf, seam side up, in the bowl. Flip the ends of the towel over 
the loaf and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes, or until doubled

  Step 8: Upend the loaf, carefully, out of the bowl and onto a greased 
baking sheet. Slice three diagonal slashes, about ½ inch deep, into the 
surface of the loaf. This helps the loaf bake evenly and makes it prettier! :P

Step 9: Slide a tray of boiling water into the bottom rack of your oven (preheated 
to 425F). Splash the walls of the oven with water and quickly close the oven door. 
With the tray (with the bread) in one hand, quickly open the oven again and slide 
the bread in. Enjoy your free facial, but don’t get too close – steam is HOT!

Step 10: Splash the walls of the oven ever four minutes, or so, for the first 15 minutes
 as the bread bakes. This makes that nice, chewy crust that artisan breads are famous for!

Step 11: Turn the oven temperature down to 375F and bake for another 25 
min, or until the loaf is golden and sounds hollow when you tap it on the bottom

   Step 12: Cool, then enjoy warm with butter (not nut butter, not margarine 
– butter. It’s delicious! You can eat it with jam/PB later, but the first warm 
slice has to be eaten like in the Good Olde Days – it’s a rustic loaf, after all)

Love good bread? Tweet it!


  1. Your bread looks lovely. This is one of my favorite ways to make bread because it is so easy yet so delicious.

  2. I've always wanted to make my own sour dough- thanks for sharing your recipe!

  3. holy moly that break looks amazing! I had homemade sourdough bread at a cafe this past weekend with breakfast it was so tasty

  4. So good to know how to create the steam that makes the crust crusty! Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday!

  5. I love your blog!!!
    Have you ever used any starters from a company called Sourdough's International?
    I keep hearing about them but I want some reviews from some fellow bakers.. If anyone knows, let me know!
    Thanks : )

  6. Thank-you Danai, for this lovely recipe! It sounds like a fun process. I don't bake bread very often, so this would be an awesome experience and achievement!! ;) I was wondering, can you make this with whole wheat four instead?

  7. Chris with a T - Thanks! I would not recommend it, because the bran in whole wheat flour will puncture the tender yeast bubbles and the bread won't rise beautifully. Sourdough bread, as a fermented food, is already much healthier than a standard white bread though! And considerably lower GI. If you definitely want to add some whole wheat flour and are okay with losing a little taste/texture quality, you can replace up to a 3/4c. of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour (but really not more).


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