Sourdough Bread: A Beginner’s Guide – The Clever Carrot

Think you can ’ t bake craftsman sourdough bread at home ? Think again ! Sourdough Bread : a Beginner ’ s guide is your go-to recipe resource for bare, easy sourdough bread without kneading. Make the dough in the morning or at night- it will come in concert in under 10 minutes.
Loaf of sourdough bread on a cutting board
In 2013, my resolution was to bake more bread .
I researched, tested and baked countless loaves with both thoroughly and assorted results. My travel began with this no-knead craftsman boodle recipe and finally, I worked my room up to the holy place grail : Sourdough. My love for creating slowly sourdough bread recipes and preserving traditional culinary arts inspired my bestselling book Artisan Sourdough Made Simple. It has connected me to like-minded bakers all over the world ! If you ’ ra curious about sourdough bread, and don ’ t know where to begin, you ’ re in the right point. Welcome to the journey .

What You’ll Learn

In this tutorial, you ’ ll learn how to make simple sourdough bread with bit-by-bit instructions and videos for guidance. There ’ mho no kneading involved, and a boodle machine or a stand sociable is not required. My sourdough boodle recipe is perfect for beginners. I ’ ll explain a complex subject in childlike terms without the try !

But before you dive in, here ’ s a secret : sourdough bread is more than precisely a recipe… it’s an understanding.
There are exchangeable sourdough bread recipes out there and yet no two loaves look alike. The summons is all about method, time and personal allude. Use this tutorial as a scout and make your own adjustments as you go. once you have a few loaves under your belt, the process will become an at hand rhythm, and in the conclusion, you will have created your identical own masterpiece that is the ultimate wages. Just don ’ thymine forget to eat your mistakes ( might I suggest homemade sourdough breadcrumb ) ?

Jump To

Loaf of sourdough bread

So, What is Sourdough?

In a nutshell, sourdough is slow-fermented bread .
It ’ second singular because it does not require commercial yeast in orderliness to rise. rather, sourdough bread is made with a live ferment culture a sourdough newcomer, which acts as a natural leaven agent .
Sourdough is known for its characteristic lemony flavor, chewy texture and crisp, crackly crust. From a health point of view, it dominates when compared to supermarket loaves. The naturally happen acids and long agitation help to break down the gluten, making it more digestible and easily for the soundbox to absorb. And it tastes darn good !
Jar of bubbly sourdough starter

Sourdough Starter 101

Before you begin, you ’ ll need a sourdough starter .
Simply put : a sourdough starter is a know culture made from flour and water system .
once combined the mix will begin to ferment, cultivating the naturally occurring hazardous yeasts and bacteria present within the mix. A modest helping of this culture is used make your bread dough arise .
But it doesn ’ thymine discontinue there .
Your appetizer must be kept alive with even feedings of flour and water to maintain its force for maximal rising ability .

How to Feed your Sourdough Starter

Every baker has their own method acting, and with practice you ’ ll finally develop your own act .
here ’ randomness my method : I pour off some of the culture ( about one-half ) and then feed what ’ second left in the clash with peer weights of flour and water. I whisk well with a fork until it ’ s lump-free. then, I let it rest at room temperature or in a warmly spot ( 75-80º F/ 24-26º C is ideal ) until it becomes bubbly and active .
postscript : I use this the jar for my sourdough starter and I LOVE it .

When is my Starter Ready To use?

Your stater is cook to use when it becomes bubbling and doubles in size .
This can take anywhere from 2-12 hours or more depending on temperature ( the strong the better ) and the condition of your newcomer. Be patient !
Float Test: If you ’ re calm diffident whether it ’ s ready to use drop a small amount, approximately 1 tsp, into a looking glass of water system. Do this when the appetizer is a top out stature before it collapses. If it floats to the crown it ’ south ready to use. If it sinks, your starter should be fed again .

Where to Obtain a Sourdough Starter

All sourdough starters are different .
They can be made from scratch, purchased online, or if you ’ rhenium lucky, person will plowshare a part of their starter with you .
Starters range from thick to thin in texture and can be made with a kind of flours. I use two different starters ; one is homemade and the other was a gift from my ally Celia. She dried a share of her starter and mailed it all the room from Sydney, Australia .

How To Use A Starter

After you ’ ve fed your crank and it ’ s champagne and active voice, pour the come you need out of the jar to weigh or measure for your recipe. That ’ s it .
then, don ’ t forget to feed what ’ sulfur left in the jar with more flour and urine to keep the process going .

Storage Options

If you lone bake a few times a calendar month, keep your starter in the electric refrigerator and feed it once a week. If you ’ re an avid baker, store your starter at room temperature and feed it at least once a day .
Looking for more info on sourdough starters? Check out Feeding Sourdough Starter : My Best Tips & Tricks & Sourdough Discard 101 : Recipes & Faqs Answered .
Bread dough in a bowl |

How to Make Sourdough Bread: Step-By-Step Guide

Step #1: Mix The Dough

Whisk the play along ingredients in a large bowl ( I use a fork ) :

  • 250 g water
  • 150 g bubbly, sourdough starter
  • 25 g olive oil

add :

  • 500 g bread flour
  • 10 g fine sea salt

Squish the mix together with your hands until the flour is amply absorbed. The dough will feel dry, crude and shagged .
Cover the bowling ball with plastic wind, reclaimable wax envelop, or a identical damp kitchen towel and let pillow or ‘ autolyse ’ for about 30 minutes. After the dough has rested, work it into a ball directly in the roll ( it doesn ’ t have look perfect ) .
TIP : For best results, weigh all of your ingredients with a digital kitchen scale. Measuring cups are not as accurate. Please visit Sourdough FAQ for more details .

What is Autolyse?

This is the first   resting period right after you mix the boodle .
It jumpstarts gluten development without kneading. Strong gluten = good bread .
For timing, autolyse can range anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour or more depending on the type of bread you ’ re making and your own personal baking schedule. A minimum of 30 minutes works best for this recipe. however, when time permits, I ’ ll let it go for an hour. The boodle will become more piano and accomplishable to work with afterwards .
A Note on Salt: some bakers prefer to add salt only after autolyse because it might slow down the gluten development. I ’ ve followed this technique for years, but no long do so. I prefer to mix everything all at once. It ’ s hardheaded, effective and produces excellent loaves ( plus, you won ’ thymine forget to add the salt belated on ! ). I ’ ll leave the choice up to you .
Bread dough in a bowl with a cloth on top |

Step #2: Bulk Rise

now the boodle is quick to rise .
Cover the bowling ball and let ascend at room temperature, about 68-70 F .

How Long will it take?

The boodle is ready when it has doubled in size and no longer looks dense .
This can take anywhere from 3-12 hours depending on the temperature, the authority of your sourdough starter and the specifics of your surrounding environment .
For example, in the summer the dough can take anywhere between 2-4 hours @ 85º F/ 29º C. In the winter, it will take longer about 10-12 hours @ 68º F/ 20º C. Temperature controls time.
And remember : because sourdough boodle does not contain rapid-rise yeast it will take longer to rise. Watch the boodle and not the clock. Be compromising .

Optional Step: Stretch and Fold the Dough

About 30 minutes into the bulge rise, you have the option to perform a serial of ‘ extend & folds ’ to strengthen the boodle dough {click here for a step-by-step tutorial}. Although it ’ south not mandatary, this proficiency will add stature and social organization to the finished loaf and it ’ s fun to do .
Watch the television below !

Bread dough |
Flour shaker for bread baking |

Step #3: Divide & Shape The Dough

Remove the dough onto a thinly floured surface .
Cut the dough in half to make 2 loaves, or leave it solid for a single loaf of bread .

How to Shape a Round Sourdough Boule (Loaf)

Starting at the top, fold the dough over toward the center. Give it a little change by reversal, and then fold over the future section of dough. Repeat until you have come entire circle. Or, use the envelope shaping proficiency outlined below .
Watch the video recording !

Round shaped bread dough |
Dutch oven for sourdough bread baking |

Step #4: Choose a Baking Pot

I bake my sourdough boodle in a dutch oven .
You can besides try the Challenger Bread Pan, another vessel I use for bake, that can accommodate both round and ellipse shaped loaves .
The pot traps in heating system and moisture which is essential to achieving craftsman style bread at home .
Steam plays a key character in how the bread will open up or ‘ flower ’ while baking and the Dutch oven helps to control this serve .
You can use any oven safe pot that can heat up to 450º F/ 232º C ( including the hat and handles ) .
TIP: In the past, I ’ ve test baking on pizza stones and cookie trays with no luck. The crust would harden besides promptly, forcing the bread to tear on the bed and sides. I used versatile steaming methods to remedy this, however I found them to be extremely cumbersome and not realistic for everyday manipulation. nothing worked. The miss of moisture in my home oven was apparent and using a toilet for bake was the only practical solution .
Shaped sourdough in a Dutch oven for second rise |

Step #5: Second Rise

After shaping the dough, it needs to rise again .
liberally coat the bed of your Dutch oven with cornmeal ( or line the bottom with non-stick parchment newspaper rather ) and place the dough inside .
This time, the boodle will rise for a shorter period about 30 minutes- 1 hour .

The dough is ready when it’s puffy and no longer dense. It does not need to double in size.

Preheat your oven to 450º F/ 232º C during the tail end of the second gear advance .
TIP: rather of doing a barren form second rebel in the Dutch oven, use a fabric lined proofing basket or 8-inch bowl alternatively. Either choice will contain the boodle and hold its shape properly during the second base rise .

Step #6: Score the Dough

After the second lift, and correct before the boodle goes into the oven, make a cut about 2-3 inches long down the center of the dough .
This allows the steamer to escape and for the boodle to expand during baking .
You can use a little serrate knife, paring tongue or bread lame.
Sourdough Bread |

Step #7: Bake the Sourdough Bread

identify the eyelid on top of the pot and reduce the oven temperature to 400º F/ 204º C .
Bake on the center rack for 20 minutes .
When 20 minutes is up, remove the lid. Your bread will be picket and glistening like the picture above .
Continue to bake ( uncover ) for an extra 40 minutes or until deeply, golden brown. The internal temperature should read 205-210º F/ 96-98º C .
Cool on a telegram rack for at least a 1 hour before slicing. Be patient !
If you cut into it excessively soon, the texture will be gummy…
TIP: During the final 10 minutes of baking, crack up open the oven door ( optional ). This allows the moisture to escape, leaving your sourdough bread with a crispen crust. alternatively, remove the bread from the batch and let it bake directly on the rack. The latter produces a more wrinkle crust .
Sourdough Bread |
Sliced Sourdough Bread |

Additional Sourdough Recipes & Resources

Sourdough Starter :
Sourdough Bread Recipes :
Sourdough Bread Tips & Techniques :
Sourdough Tools & Supplies :

Baking Schedule

  • Friday Evening: Feed your starter, cover the jar, and leave it on the counter overnight. If you keep your starter in the fridge, it might need two feedings to perk back up (feed it in the morning & in the evening).
  • Saturday Morning: Check your starter: if it’s alive and bubbling, you can make the dough to rise during the day. Or, feed it again in the afternoon to make the dough in the evening for an overnight rise. Remember to use the float test mentioned above to make sure your starter is ready to use.
  • Saturday Morning/Evening (or whenever your starter is ready): Make the dough. Leave on the counter to bulk rise at room temperature. In the summer, if your dough rises quickly and you’re not ready to bake, cover the whole bowl with lightly oiled wrap and chill until ready to use.
  • Sunday Morning: cut and shape the dough. Place in Dutch oven for second rise. Slash. Bake. Cool. Eat.

Sourdough Bread Recipe

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Loaf of sourdough bread on a table

Sourdough Bread: A Beginner’s Guide





  • author : Emilie Raffa
  • homework time : 13 hours
  • cook time : 1 hour
  • entire time : 14 hours
  • output : 1 bum
  • class : Sourdough Bread Recipes
  • method : Oven-Baked
  • cuisine : american
  • Diet : Vegan

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This beginner sourdough recipe is perfect for bakers looking to jump right in! It’s is a low-hydration dough, meaning it will yield a ‘tight’ crumb (small holes). It is great for sandwiches and toast.


  • 150g/ 5.35 oz bubbly, active sourdough starter
  • 250g/ 8.80 oz warm water, preferably filtered*
  • 25g/ .90 oz olive oil
  • 500g/ 17.65 oz bread flour (not all purpose flour)
  • 10g/ .4 oz fine sea salt
  • fine ground cornmeal, for dusting

*For a more soft and pliable dough, you can increase the water up to 300 g- 325 g total. Please use a cloth lined bowl (instead of the Dutch oven for the second rise).
**You will need a 5 1/2 or 6 quart Dutch oven for baking
***This recipe was tested with King Arthur Bread Flour, Gold Medal Bread Flour, Pillsbury Bread Flour


Make the Dough

Whisk the appetizer, water, and olive oil in a large bowling ball. Add the flour and salt. squish everything together with your hands until all of the flour is absorbed. The dough will be dry and shagged. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, reclaimable wrap or a clean, very muffle kitchen towel. Let perch ( autolyse ) for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour, if preferred .
After the boodle has rested, work the boodle in the bowl into a crude ball, approximately 15 seconds .

Bulk Rise

now the dough needs to rise .
Cover the bowl with wrap or a identical dampen kitchen fabric. Let rest in a warm spot to rise. The boodle is cook when it no longer looks dense and has doubled in size. This can take anywhere from 3-12 hours depending on the temperature of your ingredients, the potential of your crank and surrounding environment. For example, in the summer rise times can take anywhere between 2-4 hours @ 85º F/ 29º C whereas in the winter, the boodle will take about 10-12 hours @ 68º F/ 20º C .

Optional Step: Stretch & Fold the Dough

During bulk resurrect, you have the option to perform a serial of ‘ extend & folds ’ to strengthen the boodle. Start 30 minutes into the bulk rise. Gather a dowry of the boodle, stretch it upwards and then fold it over itself. Rotate the stadium ¼ act and repeat this process until you have come fully circle to complete 1 dress. Do this once or twice spaced about an hour apart. Although this step is not mandate, it will increase the total volume and height of your bread. Click here for a step-by-step video tutorial.

Cut & Shape the Dough

Divide your work surface in half ; lightly flour one side ( for cutting ) and leave the other one-half clean ( for shaping ) .
Remove the boodle from the stadium, and invest onto the flour section so that it does not stick. You do not need to ‘ punch down ’ the dough ; it will gently deflate as you fold and shape it .
Cut the boodle in one-half to make 2 loaves, or leave it hale for a single bum .
To shape, use a bench scraper to move your dough to the non-floured section ( if there is any flour deliver, it will be difficult to shape- brush away any excess ). Starting at the top, fold the dough over toward the center. Give it a rebuff become, and then fold over the future section of boodle. Repeat until you have come full circle .
then flip the dough over and place it seam english down. Using your hands, gently cup the sides of the boodle and rotate it, using quarter turns in a circular motion. You can besides pull it towards you to even out the supreme headquarters allied powers europe. Repeat this process until you are glad with its appearance. * See note below .

Second Rise

now the boodle needs to rise again, but for a shorter period of time .
Coat the bottom of your Dutch oven with cornmeal. alternatively, use parchment newspaper to prevent adhere ( this is what I do, now ). Place the dough inside for a moment short advance, about 30 minutes to 1 hour and brood with the hat of the potentiometer or a very damp fabric. The dough ready when it is slightly bouffant but not double over in size .
Preheat your oven to 450º F/ 232º C towards the tail end of the second get up .

Score the Dough

veracious before your bread goes into the oven, make a shallow slash about 2-3 inches long ( or more ) in the center of the dough. Use a bread lame, sharp pair or a belittled serrate steak knife. The cut should be about 1/4-inch bass .

Bake the Dough

place the bread into the oven on the center rack ( lid on ) and reduce the temperature to 400 F. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the eyelid, and continue to bake ( exposed ) for an extra 40 minutes or until thick, golden brown. Keep in mind that all ovens are unlike ; you might have to make minimal adjustments to these temperatures .
You can besides take the home temperature of your bread to double check that it is done. For sourdough, it should read about 205-210º F/ 96-98º C .
Remove the boodle from the oven, and cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing. Don ’ triiodothyronine cut besides soon or else the inside will have a gluey texture !


When shaping, the idea is for the dough to catch enough surface tension on a non-floured area in order to create a tight ball. If there is flour present, it will slide around… and drive you nuts.
Keywords: sourdough, sourdough recipe, sourdough bread, founder sourdough, sourdough bread recipe, craftsman sourdough

Sourdough FAQ

1. ) I only have all purpose flour. Can I silent make this recipe ?
For best results, use bread flour for this dough. If you alone have all determination try my Artisan Sourdough with All Purpose Flour rather .
2. ) Can I add solid pale yellow flour to this recipe ?
You can, but I wouldn ’ thyroxine. The boodle will be besides dry and dense without adjusting the water measure. Try my easy Whole Wheat Sourdough for more unharmed grain good .
3. ) Your founder recipe here uses 150g of sourdough starter. The casual Sourdough in your book uses merely 50g. What ’ s the dispute ? And why ?

  • When I first learned how to bake sourdough bread, I used 150g of starter. Overtime, it was too much to maintain (especially when doubling and tripling recipes). So, I scaled down. That’s why most recipes in my book Artisan Sourdough Made Simple include 50 g of starter instead. One amount is neither right or one; it’s just a matter of preference.

4. ) What ’ s the determination of olive oil in this recipe ?
Adding olive anoint to sourdough was the method I followed when I beginning learned how to bake. The natural fatness emulsifies the boodle and makes a plush crumb .
5. ) Why do some of your recipes call for the second originate in a dutch Oven ? And others in a cloth- lined bowl ?
The freeform Dutch oven second upgrade will only work with dry, low hydration doughs ( like this one ) because it will not spread out besides much. On the flip slope, when working with wet, high hydration doughs you ’ ll need to use a cloth-lined bowl sprinkled with flour to holds it shape. otherwise, it will spread .
6. ) Why preceptor ’ metric ton you preheat your Dutch oven before bake ?
Because this recipe follows a freeform second rise directly in the baking pot, it can not be preheated advance. The dough will begin to cook before going into the oven !
however, if you are doing the moment rise in a cloth-lined bowl as mentioned in wonder # 5 above, you can preheat the pot if you ’ d like. When bread dough is placed into a hot pot it begins to expand immediately which is great for the overall form and structure of the bread. And in fact, I use to follow this technique when I first gear started baking. But overtime, I found the preheat to be excessively cumbersome for small kitchens with little kids running around. Plus, I kept burning my wrists. Long history short circuit : you can achieve comparable results without the preheat. The option is up to you .
7. ) Can I halve the boodle to bake 2 loaves ? If so, what will that do to the bake time ?
Yes, you can decidedly halve this recipe. Bake for 20 minutes ( lid on ) and 30 minutes ( lid off ). Check at the 45 moment bell ringer .
8. ) If I halve the recipe, where should I store the second base dough if I ’ megabyte not baking at the same fourth dimension ?
Store the second boodle in the electric refrigerator until fix to bake. Place the boodle in a cloth-lined flour bowl ( seam side down ) and use the fabric overhang to cover it. If the dough is in the electric refrigerator for longer than 1 hour, rest at room temperature while the oven heats up .
9. ) How do I get the dough out of the cloth-lined flour bowl ?
Open up the fabric overhang to reveal the boodle in the bowl. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. Flip the bowl over. Remove the bowling ball and fabric. The boodle is nowadays smooth english up and quick to be scored.

10. ) Can I have the measurements for this recipe in cups, please ?

  • 3/4 cup bubbly, active starter
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp warm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt NOTE: Weight and volume measurements are not equivalent, only approximate. I strongly recommend weighing your ingredients alternatively. With that said however, I understand the convenience of measuring cups. For best results, please aerate the flour first gear ( I fluff it with a pitchfork directly in the base ), then thinly spoon and level it into the cup. excessively much flour will make the boodle dense. If your sourdough crank is identical bubbling, the volume amount might be off. If necessity, add up to 1 cup as needed. finally : the water can be increased up to approximately 1 1/3 cups, for a more soft and fictile dough .
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Category : Tutorial

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