A simple No-knead Sourdough Bread Recipe with Starter or make with commercial yeast! Making sourdough bread this easy and quick will make homemade baking a joy! It is the easiest sourdough recipe I’ve made that didn’t have to sit overnight and turns out crunchy, moist, and so delicious (using basic ingredients!)
When you have a sourdough starter you can make all kinds of sourdough recipes! Our favorites include this Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread using 100% freshly ground hard white wheat berries, Chewy Sourdough Bagels, and healthy Whole Wheat English Muffins. And if you must make sandwich bread you need to try these Whole Wheat Hamburger Bun Rolls that are made with yeast and are the best for sandwiches!
Sourdough is viral! Many people want to get their hands on sourdough bread Starter and make those crusty and chewy loaves that San Francisco sourdough bread is known for! It also happens to be a healthy bread, especially when made with grains like rye, and is truly a good-for-you bread with benefits!
Artisan sourdough bread is the loaf many are after and when I was first introduced to sourdough starter my journey began! Lo and behold I tried so many loaves from 3-day sourdough to easier variants and never really stuck to a recipe because it was just too much work for a loaf of bread, honestly I’d rather make my French Bread Recipe at the time and be done.
That concept drifted off after discovering my Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread. I was actually looking forward to grinding my own flour and feeding my sourdough starter because it was much easier than I had thought and I didn’t even mind the overnight soak for the wheat flour to get superb results! I was happy and somewhat waiting for a white flour version to come along into my life that I would enjoy just as much!
Well, that’s just what happened! A friend shared a no-knead bread recipe that she makes nearly daily with yeast and it turns out you can even make it with sourdough too! I tried this recipe with yeast and sourdough starter and had to make only 2 adjustments for the sourdough loaf. It is seriously the most basic sourdough bread recipe one can make! So a huge thanks to Alina and Ana (they both make this bread!)
Baking With Yeast vs Sourdough Starter
I’ve tried this No-knead bread recipe with yeast and Sourdough Starter and have noticed a huge difference between the two. Baking with sourdough makes for a much more moist crumb and it stays moist! The outside crust is also much chewier and overall way better in texture.
Using yeast makes a great loaf too. However, I’ve noticed the crumb dries out much quicker the next day and the loaf seems crusty after the oven but softens up rather quickly.
What Is Sourdough Starter?
Many years ago commercial yeast wasn’t available, which is why our ancestors made their own by leavening flour (known as a sourdough starter culture.) People as far back as the bible times leavened dough with a little leavening they kept from their previous bread dough and so on… A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough, Galatians 5:9.
A sourdough starter was a lifestyle. Home bakers would simply reserve a chunk of dough until they made bread again. This chunk of dough would ferment and become active like yeast in bread recipes. Today, many of us begin by making a culture then keep up with feeding sourdough starter for a bread recipe. A sourdough culture works the same way as a piece of leavened dough and can be used in almost any recipe that uses sourdough starter or yeast.
My Sourdough Starter has been passed down from a Mennonite Wisconsin baker through relatives. It is the best sourdough starter that I’ve ever used, fully active, bubbly, and foamy after feedings! (I’ve had it overflow my container before!) In fact, it’s so alive I don’t make any sourdough discard recipes, I’d rather share it with others. Here is Where To Buy My Sourdough Starter. I’ve also included full care and feeding instructions on the listing.
Does Homemade Sourdough Bread Taste Sour?
The longer you allow the acids to ferment and produce in the dough, the more, sour your loaf will be. Many bakers will ferment the dough slowly by refrigeration and colder environments. However, warmer environments create a faster-fermenting cycle. This loaf ferments for 4 hours with a room temperature starter and is not at all sour. I also bake it the same day I make the dough.
Basic Equipment For Making Sourdough Bread:
- 6.5 Quart Dutch Oven-I love the narrower bottom it makes for a taller loaf!
- Parchment Sheets-needed for baking in a dutch without sticking.
- Food Storage Bowls- perfect for proofing dough and helps from preventing a dry crust from forming (I used a kitchen towel over a mixing bowl before and it formed dry spots all over the top.)
- Wooden Spoon to stir this no-knead bread together!
Sourdough Bread Ingredients:
This easy Sourdough Bread comes together with basic ingredients! Use dry active yeast if you don’t have a starter!
- Sourdough Starter- works like the yeast, it is what will give the bread some rise.
- Unbleached white flour- a high gluten flour like bread flour is ideal, however, a medium protein flour like all-purpose will work too.
- Salt- use premium ingredients like sea salt or kosher salt.
- Warm water- warm water will activate the starter quicker, meaning, it will rise faster than it would with cold water.
How To Make Sourdough Bread:
So, to start this whole sourdough bread process, you will need to begin with an active sourdough starter. If you don’t have one you can use commercial yeast and ferment the dough for 3 hours instead of 4. I also add 1/4 cup more of water when using yeast.
- Combine all the ingredients with a wooden spoon! I like to do this right in the plastic container, that way I can close it shut with its lid and let it ferment.
- There is NO stretch and Fold needed! You simply rise and then shape the dough!
- Rest the dough for 4 hours.
- After shaping score or slit the top of the loaf with a razor blade or sharp knife.
- Place the loaf onto a lightly floured parchment sheet. I like to quickly wash the bowl the bread was resting in and transfer the loaf back into the bowl while the dutch oven heats in the oven.
- When your dutch oven has been pre-heated to 450°F together with the oven, transfer the loaf to the dutch oven holding the corners of the parchment paper and gently drop it in. Cover with the dutch lid (make sure the knob is oven proof.)
- Bake for 30 minutes covered at 450°F then uncover and bake another 5-10 minutes to the desired brownness.
- Cool before slicing.
How Do You Make Sourdough Starter?
To start a sourdough starter, make your own by combining equal amounts of flour and water until it passes the float test. This can take anywhere from 7-21 days. Stir together 1 cup of unbleached flour and warm water and continue to feed this every day the same way. When you think it’s active dollop a piece into a glass of cold water and if floats to the top it’s active.
I’ve mentioned before I like the more flour to water ratio so you can do that instead. This makes for a thicker starter as a starter is prone to thin out after lactic acid has developed (the bacteria that forms on the top.)
How To Use Sourdough Bread?
Homemade sourdough bread is crunchy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. It’s perfect for soaking up chicken noodle soup or dipping into Meat Sauce and Spaghetti! Not to mention the wonderful panini sandwiches a loaf of sourdough bread can make!
Serve it alongside your favorite main dish or in toast! Here are delicious recipes you can pair with this bread or simply spread butter, jam, or honey on a slice!
Sourdough bread is great with mix-ins. Add in your favorite herbs or crunchy toppings to bring out the best of your loaf!
- Honey Sourdough: add texture and a natural sweetener like honey for a rustic charcuterie board idea! Mix in cinnamon, walnuts, or pecans right into the dough before rising. Sunflower seeds make a great bread topping, simply shape the loaf and spray with water to adhere to the fine seeds.
- Nutty-Fruity: Add in your favorite dried fruits or buy a fruitcake fruit blend. Popular picks include dried cranberries, raisins, and red candied cherries. The zest of a lemon or fruit adds natural sweetness and tang in a delicious way!
- Jalapeno Cheddar: add 1/4 cup of freshly sliced jalapenos and 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese into the dough before shaping. Then spray the loaf with water right before baking and gently top with a handful of shredded cheddar and a couple of jalapeno slices.
- Multi-Grain Sourdough Bread: mix a blend of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, golden flax seeds, coriander seeds, and caraway seeds. Shape the sourdough bread loaf and spray with water before rolling the top into the mixed seeds.
- Italian Herb and Cheese Sourdough Bread: add 1 tsp of Italian seasoning and 1/2 tsp garlic powder with the salt. A blend of oregano and parmesan cheese makes a great aroma as seen in my Copycat Subway Bread Recipe.
- Olives and Olive Oil Sourdough Bread: add 1/2 cup green or kalamata olives to the dough with 1 Tbsp of oil and 1 Tbsp of rosemary.
Feeding Sourdough Starter?
This is how I feed my sourdough starter every time! I mix together 1 heaping cup of flour and a scant cup of warm water. I like the more flour to water ratio. Feeding a sourdough starter with this ratio works because within the time a starter can get runnier once the lactic acid bacteria forms from the fermentation (also known as Lactobacilli.)
Lactic acid bacteria called Lactobacillus is usually the black film that forms on the top to protect the sourdough starter from spoiling. After a sourdough starter sits in the fridge this is common to occur and can be fixed by simply stirring it back into the starter before feeding. Some people like to drain it, but I always keep it.
Within time your starter can appear on the thinner side which is why I prefer the more flour ratio. However, equal amounts of flour and water can also be mixed in. I love that this sourdough starter requires no precise formulas, making it approachable to maintain.
Tip: Wondering what to do with Sourdough starter? How To Use Sourdough Starter? You can make sourdough starter pancakes, waffles, crackers, crepes, biscuits, croissants, pizza dough, and so much more with a starter! Basically, anywhere where yeast or leavening is called for.
How Often To Feed Sourdough Starter?
Wondering how often to feed sourdough starter? The sourdough starter should be fed every 2-3 weeks, even if you’re not planning to use it. So, add your usual feeding amount to a cold starter straight from the fridge and give it a good stir. Place it back in the fridge if you will not be using it. This helps maintain a healthy and active sourdough starter.
Can I Use Starter Straight From The Fridge?
When making discard-sourdough recipes, you can use a sourdough starter that has been refrigerated. However, if you have a sourdough starter that has been fed within the last 2-3 days it may just pass the float test and be ready to use without bringing to room temperature. I typically feed mine overnight for premium results.
Not sure if your starter is active? Drop a dollop of starter into a glass of cold water, if it floats to the top it is active and ready to be used in recipes.
Does Sourdough Bread Have Gluten?
Most grains contain gluten, however, grains like sorghum, oats, and Amaranth are considered gluten-free grains that are healthy. Experiment with brown rice flour and incorporate food starches to develop a delicious loaf of sourdough bread without gluten.
If you have celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten, changing your diet can reverse gluten sensitivity and possibly heal any damage to the gastrointestinal lining. Read this book called [eafl id="20277" name="The makers diet" text="The Makers Diet"].
Can Sourdough Starter Go Bad?
My starter isn’t rising? How to keep an active sourdough starter? Can all be commonly asked questions. If your starter smells like alcohol, it is long due for a feeding. It is important reviving the sourdough starter with feedings because then it’ll take time to rebuild it to the active state.
If for any reason you weren’t able to feed your starter within 3 weeks or more, then it will have to be revived with more than one feeding. Remove your starter from the fridge and feed it 1-2 times a day until it becomes active. This can take anywhere from 2-5 days. Black film is common in the sourdough starter that is Lactic acid bacteria called Lactobacillus and it can be stirred back into the starter before feeding. It eventually disappears after a good stir.
What Is Sourdough Bread?
Sourdough bread is made with a sourdough starter. Lactic acid bacteria from fermentation called Lactobacillus works like the wild yeast in a starter. The sour qualities improve the bread texture and is healthy for the gut.
Storing Sourdough Starter?
Wondering how to maintain? Maintenance on this sourdough starter is actually quite simple. Every time I’m planning to bake with a sourdough starter, I like to remove it from the fridge a day in advance and feed it. To ensure that my starter is fully active I like to feed it at least 2-3 times (once overnight, the next morning, and sometimes until the next day.)
I always bring it to room temperature before using it in recipes and it doesn’t bother me that much to have it hanging around on the countertop for a few days.
Besides activating it for recipes, you should always keep sourdough refrigerated until needed. Now if you were using a starter with potato flakes, yeast, wine, or grape juice, then the feedings may differ.
How To Store Sourdough Bread?
Sourdough bread is best the same day you bake it. When I bake two loaves I like to cool them and slice one for the family to eat and the other for the freezer. Freezing the bread the day of baking ensures a fresh loaf of bread when you reach it from the freezer. I do this for almost all my bread when baking in bulk.
Cool your sourdough loaf completely before storing it. Place it whole into a gallon-freezer if freezing or keep it in a bread bag at room temperature for up to 3 days in a cool dark place. You can then freeze for up to 3 months or prolong the bread life and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Refrigerated bread is best for toast or reheated in hot sandwiches.
When Is Sourdough Ready?
Sourdough is ready when it has been brought to room temperature with a feeding or two. Signs that the starter is active are when it foams and rises in size. Another way to test if your sourdough is active is to drop a dollop into cold water and if it floats to the top it is active.
Use sourdough starter in pizza crust, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, focaccia, pretzels, waffles, crackers, pancakes, or chocolate chip cookies! There are so many ways to use an active sourdough starter.
Can I Make This With Yeast?
To make this sourdough recipe with yeast, omit the sourdough starter and use 1/4 tsp of dry active yeast. Also, increase the water by 1/4 cup. I decrease the liquid when using a sourdough starter since it is more in volume than yeast.
- I don’t recommend freezing sourdough starter, it can kill the living bacteria and strength of the culture.
- Leave a comment below for any other troubleshooting questions!
- Wondering how much sourdough starter to use for a bread recipe? For every Tablespoon of yeast use 1/2 cup of active sourdough starter.
- If your starter smells like alcohol, it is long due for a feeding.
More Bread Recipes To Try:
- Sourdough Bagels- you can make a French baguette with this dough!
- French Bread- my go-to yeast bread recipe! Great for sandwiches!
- Subway Bread Recipe (Italian Herb and Cheese Copycat)- if you love sub rolls you NEED to try these footlongs!
- Feather-Light Hamburger Buns
- Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns (Copycat Chick Fil A Multigrain Bun)
How To Make Sourdough Bread:
No-Knead Sourdough Bread
- 1 6.5-quart dutch oven with lid
- 1 bowl
- 1 parchment paper sheet
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- Mix together all the ingredients using a wooden spoon until you hardly see any more dry flour. Cover and let sit for 4 hours on the countertop.
- Preheat the dutch oven at 450°F. Meanwhile, transfer the dough onto a well-floured surface. Stretch and fold to make a smooth ball.
- Place seam down onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper and place back into a clean bowl. Score and allow to rise while the oven preheats.
- Place the dough inside a hot dutch (using kitchen mittens) and cover with the lid. Bake for 30 minutes covered then 5-10 minutes uncovered. Cool before slicing.
- 430 grams of flour
- 100 grams of sourdough starter
- 5 grams salt
- 300 ml of warm water (290 grams)
Nutrition per serving