snowy mountain

Simple Sourdough Loaf

This is the simplest sourdough bread you can make! It’s just white flour, water, salt, and starter. If you’re looking to be a little more adventurous taste-wise, I’d recommend trying a Spelt Sourdough Loaf! If you don’t have bread flour, you can try with all purpose but your bread might not be as springy in the end.

The whole loaf is beautiful. I drew an 8-person crew on it (bow seat didn’t quite make it into the final product though)!
Sliced bread shows all the bubbles!


  • Materials: mixing bowl, measuring cups and/or scale, either an oval Banneton basket with liner (such as this) or any basket with a floured dishcloth liner, sharp single razor blade or very sharp knife, baking sheet/pan
  • ½ cup (~110g) active sourdough starter (see below for starter instructions)
  • ~1 cup (240g) warm water (will depend on starter consistency)
  • ~1 ½ cups (180g) bread flour
  • ~1 ½ cups (180g) all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp (3g) salt


8am 1-3 days before: Get your starter to at least 1 cup active the morning you’re ready to make these. If you don’t have a starter, make some! It’s super easy–check out my Sourdough Starter recipe. I always save a small bit of starter in the fridge to re-activate (add some flour and warm water and bring to room temperature) the day or two before I make any sourdough bread. You can test if your starter is ready to use by the float test (see if it floats on water).

8am: In a large bowl, add ½ cup of your starter. Add about 1 cup of warm water and about 1 ½ cups each of all purpose and bread flours. Add the ½ tsp salt. Mix these together to form a shaggy dough (don’t worry if it’s lumpy). Let sit to activate and rise for 6-10 hours at room temperature. During this time, if you have the availability, feel free to “stretch and fold” it (see video below for technique) every hour for the first 3 hours. You shouldn’t need to flour or wet your hands to handle the dough. If you leave for work for the day and don’t come back until later, that’s fine too!

5pm: The dough should have about doubled in size and have some air bubbles. When you and the dough are ready, dump the dough onto the counter and shape it (see video for technique). You don’t need any flour or water for this step. Once shaped, place in the lined basked and cover with a damp towel. Place in the fridge to rest overnight (or, let rise at room temperature for ~2 more hours).

7pm or 6am next day: Remove the dough from the fridge if it was there overnight. Pre-heat the oven with your baking pan in it to 475˚F. When it has reached this temperature, sprinkle your dough with a little cornmeal or flour, and flip it onto a piece of parchment paper. Score your loaf (see video for technique). Transfer to pre-heated baking pan. Bake at 475˚F for 10 minutes then 425˚F for ~20 more minutes, until it is deep golden brown.

8pm or 7am next day: Enjoy some fresh bread with dinner or breakfast! The exterior will be crispy fresh but soon the crust will soften.

Here is the video to my Spelt Sourdough loaf — this recipe is the same, just with all purpose flour instead of spelt. See my Youtube playlist about sourdough or my Spelt Sourdough page for more detailed videos too!

Watch me make the spelt sourdough in 2 minutes! Includes all the key techniques, though at an increased speed. See the videos below for real time!

Greetings from our kitchen!

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