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Beginner's Sourdough Bread Recipe

A simple sourdough bread recipe that can be made with minimal effort. The perfect recipe for home bakers that want a healthy loaf of bread to serve with dinner or for beginner sourdough bakers looking to get their hands into bread baking.
Prep Time10 mins
Fermentation Time11 hrs
Total Time11 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 1 loaf
Calories: 154kcal
Author: Amy Duska

Equipment Needed

  • Kitchen Scale
  • Spatula
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Kitchen Towels/Plastic wrap to cover bowl
  • Bench-Scraper
  • Sharp Razor for scoring
  • Parchment Paper
  • 5 quart Dutch Oven

Ingredients

Ingredients to make ¼ cup (50 g) of Active Sourdough Starter

  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) sourdough starter
  • 3 tablespoons (25 g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 teaspoons (25 g) water

Dough Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (50 g) active sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 1 ⅓ cups + 2 tablespoons (350 g) water
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) fine sea salt
  • 4 cups + 2 tablespoons (500 g) bread flour

Instructions

Feed your Sourdough Starter

  • 12 hours before you plan to mix the dough, add the ingredients to make ¼ cup (50 g) of active sourdough starter to a clean jar. Stir until combined, loosely cover the jar and let the starter rise at room temperature. (The ingredients will create a total of 60 g active starter but some of it will stick to the sides of the jar during the transfer, so we are making a little more than needed.) The sourdough starter is ready to use when it has doubled in size and there are plenty of bubbles on the surface and sides of the jar.

Make the Dough

  • Mix the dough: Transfer 50 g of the active starter and 350 g water into a large mixing bowl. Stir to distribute the starter evenly. Add 500 g bread flour and 10 g sea salt to the bowl and use a stiff spatula or your hands to work the ingredients together until it forms a shaggy mass and there are no dry bits of flour left in the bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for one hour at room temperature.
  • Stretch and Fold: Wet your hand with a little water to prevent sticking. Pick up the dough on one side and stretch it up and over itself. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat this step until you have turned the bowl a full circle. The dough should form into a tight ball. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Repeat the stretch and fold process one more time to help build volume in the final loaf.
  • Bulk Fermentation: Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 7-10 hours on your kitchen counter. The dough will have risen by about 50%, not doubled, when it is ready to shape. (If the dough has doubled in size and/or is hard to shape, it may be over-proofed. Reduce the rising time on your next bake.)
  • Shape and Second Rise: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a ball by pulling 4 sides of the dough into the middle of itself. Turn the dough over so that it is seam-side down. Use your hands to gently cup the dough, pulling and twisting towards yourself until it forms a tight skin on the outside. Center the dough onto a piece of parchment paper, seam-side down. Use the parchment paper like a sling to lift the dough up and transfer it into a medium-sized bowl. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let the dough rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
  • Score and Bake: 30 minutes before you're ready to bake, preheat the oven, with the dutch oven inside, to 450°F (232°C). Using long silicone gloves, carefully remove the hot dutch oven and take the lid off. Score the top of the dough with a razor or a sharp knife. Once again, use the parchment paper as a sling to lift the dough up and transfer it into the dutch oven. Place the lid on the dutch oven, return it to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. The internal temperature of the bread should be around 205-210°F (96-99°C) using a digital food thermometer.
  • Cool: Transfer the baked bread to a cooling rack for 1-2 hours before slicing. The bread will continue to cook inside during this time. If you slice into it too soon, it will result in a gummy loaf.
  • Store: Keep the bread at room temperature, in a bread bag, wrapped in a kitchen towel or beeswax wrap. You can also store the bread, sliced-side down, on a cutting board with a cake-stand top covering the bread. Do not refrigerate. Freeze full loaves or individual slices wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and inserted into a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
  • Serve: Nothing beats the taste of warm sourdough bread slathered with homemade butter, unless it's homemade Nutella or strawberry jam!

Notes

  • This recipe was tested in a 68°F (20°C) kitchen. If your kitchen is colder, rising times will take longer and if it's warmer, less time.
  • If you don't have a kitchen scale use the scoop and level technique to measure your flour. To do this, use a spoon to fluff up the flour in the bag. Use a spoon to scoop the flour into a measuring cup until it is heaped on top. Take a butterknife and level off the top. This should give you the most accurate measurement for flour.
  • All-purpose flour can be used for this recipe with modifications. Reduce the amount of water by 25 grams in the initial mix. This is because all-purpose flour absorbs less water than bread flour. If the dough feels too stiff after it's rested for the first hour, work in the reserved 25 grams of water, 5 grams at a time, until it feels right. If you end up adding too much water, work a light dusting of flour it into the dough until it comes together.
  • Don't have a dutch oven? No problem! You can bake this bread in a lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pan. After the first rise, shape the dough, place it seam-side down into the loaf pan and allow it to rise. Bake the loaf in a 375°F (190°C) oven for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature is 190°F (88°C).
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 325mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg