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  • Writer's pictureJenya

Beginner Sourdough Bread Recipe

Simple Sourdough Bread recipe for new bakers

Beginner Sourdough Bread Recipe
Beginner Sourdough Bread PDF
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Oh, Sourdough, you are delicious, healthy, and smell like heaven, but you were my Everest!!!

If I were to compare my sourdough baking journey to any other challenge I did, I don't think I've ever wanted anything more than to open the oven after 30 min and see a beautifully risen crispy loaf like on all of the photos I have seen on social media. Little did I know that it will take me 7 times of trial and error to get the desired result! 7 times I opened the oven and saw my bread flat as a pancake with a texture of stone. I thought I was going sourdough crazy, covered in flour and dried bits of dough, but I kept pushing, until there it was - with beauty like no other my very first successful loaf of Sourdough Bread. And it was all worth it!

Here are the lessons I've learned:

  1. Don't start with high hydration recipes - lower hydration recipes around 65% are more beginner-friendly.

  2. Don't try to create your own recipe before learning the basics. Duh!

  3. Understand that your bread will look and taste different because your starter is not identical to anybody else's starter, your environment and the temperature in your home are different, and the way you mix and shape the dough is specific to you.

  4. Do not solely rely on the proofing time given in the recipe (it will be different for everyone depending on the factors mentioned above) - check the dough frequently for readiness.

  5. Don't overproof your dough, better underproof it, the over-proofed dough will not hold shape, and you won't be able to make it into a ball.

  6. Also, don't over-shape your dough - it will fall apart on you and spread out on the surface to the point of no return.

  7. Make sure your starter is strong and ready for baking. It should double within 6 hours of feeding. Find my Starter Recipe here.

  8. Use a banneton instead of a bowl; it will wick away moisture and support the dough during the proofing stage.

  9. Do the final proofing in the fridge - it will be easier to handle and score.

  10. Combo Cooker or Dutch oven makes a big difference in the end result in terms of rising; there is no need to pre-heat it.

Check out my Sourdough Bread Evolution in the photos below.

If I haven't scared you off yet from trying to bake your very first sourdough loaf, I encourage you to try the recipe I improved to make it easier for beginners. I hope the lessons I've learned will help you and make your sourdough bread baking journey less bumpy. Please share your results in the comments section. I would love to read about it!

As usual, I simplify my recipes, so they are easy to follow for beginners. I avoid using complex numbers and ingredients, so the recipe is more clear and less intimidating for new bakers. I list ingredients for 2 loaves so you can bake 2 and share 1 as a gift. To make a single loaf, simply divide each ingredient by 2.

Beginner Sourdough Bread



Ingredients for 2 loaves:

Starter feeding 1:3:3 Ratio

  • 50g Starter (we use Whole Wheat Starter)

  • 75g Bread flour

  • 75g Whole Wheat Flour

  • 150g Water (bottled or filtered)


  • 1000g Bread flour

  • 600g Water (bottled or filtered)

  • 300g Starter @ 100% Hydration (meaning equal amounts of flour and water)

  • 20g Salt



Prepare the Starter (morning 10 am)

  1. Feed 50g of starter with 75g of bread flour, 75g of whole wheat flour, and 150g of water at 85-90°F, cover, and leave it on the counter to ferment for 6 hours. It should double in size by then.

Make the Dough (afternoon 4 pm)

  1. Combine 300g of starter with 600g of water at 85-90°F in a large mixing bowl and mix until the starter is dissolved.

  2. Add 1000g of bread flour and 20g of salt to the mixture and mix the dough with fingers until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.

  3. Cover and leave it on the counter for 10 min to autolyse.

Stretch and Fold

  1. For the next 40 min perform stretching and folding technique every 10 min: take one side of the dough, stretch it as far as you can and fold it on top of the dough. Turn the bowl counter-clockwise and do it 7 more times stretching and folding each side.

  2. Cover and leave the dough on the counter for 3-4 hours to rise at about 76°F room temperature.

Shape and Proof (evening 8 pm)

  1. Mist the bannetons with water and sprinkle with Rice flour.

  2. Gently take the dough out of the bowl (use a spatula to help in the process), place it onto unfloured surface and divide the dough into 2 equal parts.

  3. Shape the dough into the final round shape using the same stretch and fold technique as above stretching and folding 4 sides until you see a smooth side of the dough.

  4. Gently turn the dough with your hands round and round to create the surface tension and make it into a tight ball. Do not over-shape.

  5. Put each piece in the banneton seam side up and dust the top of the dough with rice flour.

  6. Place the bannetons in plastic bags and let the dough rest overnight in the fridge.

Bake (next day)

  1. Test the dough if it’s ready to bake by gently pressing it with your finger. If it springs back up slowly - it’s ready.

  2. Preheat the oven to maximum temperature (550°F in our case.)

  3. Carefully flip the dough out of the banneton into the dutch oven or a cast iron combo cooker (no need to preheat it.)

  4. Score the dough with a razor blade about ½ inch deep. Read about how to score here.

  5. Mist the loaf with water and put the lid on.

  6. Reduce the temperature to 475°F and bake for 30 min.

  7. Remove the lid, reduce the temperature to 450°F and bake for another 15-20 min uncovered.

  8. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool completely before cutting.

Enjoy Baking!


Tools I used:

Endless Loaf Banneton Bread Proofing Basket Set with 2 Embroidered Linen Liners and 3 Linen Bags


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