Through a few trials and many errors, I have developed an amazing and simple sourdough loaf recipe. This loaf does take a bit of time, but with bread that is the best part. A method for those who don’t have a ton of time, but like to make sourdough at home.
Ingredients & Equipment Needed For This Recipe
- Sourdough Starter– If for any reason you don’t have a sourdough starter, you can use instant yeast! You will want to mix the dough the same way as you would with the starter, just adding one package of Instant or Active Dry yeast.
- Bread Flour– This type of flour is the best for making bread as it has a high protein and gluten development capabilities.
- Kosher Salt– The only salt to use in baked good and cooking.
- Water– Tap is fine if you live in a place that you trust the tap water. Personally. water is water to me.
- Set of Measuring Cups & Spoons (Liquid too) OR Digital Kitchen Scale if using Metric
- Stand Mixer– This is not a requirement as you can easily make this dough by hand in a Large Mixing Bowl
- Towel or Plastic Wrap– Personally I use a shower cap as it is the perfect top.
- Bread Proofing Basket– I have two different shapes that I use. You can find the ones I use here. If you don’t have them, a medium bowl with a light linen will work too!
- Dutch Oven or Cast Iron Pan– Anything with a lid that can create steam is the best for baking bread. I have learned from Bouchon Bakery how to make an at-home steam system.
My Kinda Professional Tips for Sourdough Loaf Recipe
- My best advice for any type of bread baking is patience. If you want a truly beautiful loaf with a good crumb time is need to naturally develop that iconic sourdough flavor.
- Don’t add ANY more flour to this recipe. The dough itself is pretty wet, making it daunting to tackle and shape. Practice is the only way you will be able to shape and develop your own method of shaping. The only extra flour you will need is when you are pre-shaping at the end of the process before bulk fermentation.
- This sourdough loaf will keep for 3-5 days well wrapped in plastic or a bread bag at room temperature. I have also frozen my loaves and used up to a month later.
Sourdough Loaf Recipe
- 1/2 Cup Sourdough Starter Levain (100 g)
- 3 Cups Bread Flour (500 g)
- 1 1/2 Cups Water (350 ml)
- 1 Tbl Kosher Salt (10 g)
- 1/3 Cup Water (50 ml)
- 1/3 Cup Flour-whatever you use in your starter (50 g)
- 1/3 Cup Old Starter (50 ml)
- Start by making the levain. This is done the same way you would feed your starter. When making a loaf I make two different jars, one for the bread and one to continue my starter.
- Let this double in size. This may take 4-6 hours depending on the temperature of your space. Once doubled, combine together the water and bread flour to make a shaggy dough, about 2 minutes on speed 2 of a stand mixer.
- Cover the dough and let relax until the levain is ready.
- Once ready add in only 1/2 cup of the levain to the pre-mixed dough. Squish in the levain by hand or mix on low speed in mixer until completely worked in.
- Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Add the salt and repeat the process of adding the levain. Cover and let rest another 15 minutes.
- When all of the ingredients have been added. Transfer dough to another bowl that has been sprayed with pan spray. After 15 minutes you will begin "turning" the dough, helping with the gluten development.
- With a wet hand, grab the dough on one side and pull it up and into the middle. Repeat this with all four sides. Let rest 15 minutes. Repeat the turns four more times for a total of one hour.
- After the last turn, let the dough rest for about 30 minutes to one hour, or until the top has visible signs of fermentation (jiggly with bubbles).
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Stretch and fold the dough to the center to create a circle shape. Quickly scoop up the dough and flip so the seams are now on the bottom. Cover with towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
- This is the trickiest part of the process (in my opinion). Lightly flour the top of your dough and flip over again to shape. Begin by taking the right or left side and pulling it towards the middle of the dough, repeat on other side. From the bottom pull up to the center. Gently roll dough into itself toward you, until you get a loaf like shape. If you're going for more of a boule, you'll want to shape more like a circle.
- Once the dough is shaped tightly, scoop up and flip into the bread proofing basket, seam side up. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge over night, a minimum of 8 hours.
- When ready to bake, place your dutch oven or covered pan in the oven and set to 475° F (250° C). For one hour prior to baking.
- Take the dough from the fridge and gently flip over onto a piece of parchment paper. Score any way you'd like with a razor blade.
- Take the hot pan from the oven and lift the dough into the cast iron. Cover and return to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, carefully remove the top of the pan and lower oven to 450° F (220° C). Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until dark brown.
- Remove from the pan and let rest on cooling rack for at least one hour before slicing.
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