How to Make Sourdough Bread

Опубликовал Admin
3-04-2021, 08:30
Sourdough bread is bread leavened using only wild, naturally-occurring yeast and bacteria. For millennia, this was the only way bread was produced, because knowledge of microscopic life had not been developed, and so yeast was not cultured and sold intentionally. Sourdough bread has a wonderful flavor and can be made with the most basic of ingredients. By following a few simple steps, you can quickly learn how to make sourdough bread of your own.

Preparing the Sourdough Starter

  1. Select a container for your starter. A "starter" is a slurry of flour and water, and it provides the vehicle in which your yeast will propagate. You need a high concentration of yeast to leaven your bread, so you have to get a colony going before you can start baking. Any glass or plastic container with a lid will work for a sourdough starter.
    • Canning jars are excellent, as are empty pickle or jam jars.
    • Be sure the jar is clean, so the started doesn't get contaminated.
  2. Fill the container with equal parts flour and water. Mix equal parts flour and water in a separate bowl (the amounts aren't important, as long as you mix enough to fill your jar most of the way). Stir until thoroughly blended. Pour the mixture into your starter jar, leaving just a little room for air.
    • Any type of flour will do, but remember that you need a good amount of gluten for your bread to rise properly (wheat, barley, and rye contain gluten).
  3. Place the container in a warm, dark location. There will be plenty of yeast in your mixture already, as they are present in the air and in the flour. Yeast like 4 things in order to reproduce: warmth, darkness, water, and starch or sugar. You have now provided all of those things, so your yeast should begin to reproduce rapidly. Leave the jar (with the lid on) alone for 24 hours.
    • Room temperature is usually warm enough to provide the right conditions for yeast to grow. If your house is on the colder side, place the jar in a warm part of the kitchen.
    • Cover the yeast jar with a heavy cloth to keep it dark.
  4. Feed your yeast every 24 hours. Once a day, pour half of the mixture out and replace it with a fresh batch of a mixture of half water, half flour. Within a week, your starter will develop a bubbly froth and a pronounced sour smell. When this happens, your starter is done, and you are ready to bake.
  5. Place the starter in the refrigerator. If you don't want to use the starter right away, park your jar in the refrigerator. Your yeast will stay alive in the cold, but they will remain in a state of sluggish dormancy. The starter can be left in the refrigerator indefinitely if you feed it once a week following the procedure outlined above.

Making Sourdough

  1. Proof your sponge. To do this, pour the entire starter into a mixing bowl and add equal parts flour and water to it, stirring to combine. The total amount of water you add should not exceed the amount of water called for in your bread recipe. 1 cup (236 ml) is a good amount for a loaf of bread. Cover the bowl with a towel, and let the yeast propagate for several hours. This process is called "proofing." The resulting slurry is called a "sponge."
  2. Mix in flour and salt. When your sponge is bubbly, you are ready to mix in the rest of your ingredients. Add a pinch or 2 of salt, and then gradually stir in flour until the dough holds together but is still sticky.
    • Flour varies in absorbency, so using exact measurements isn't nearly as useful as relying on your judgment.
    • You can mix the dough together easily using nothing but your hands and the mixing bowl.
  3. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise for several hours. The yeast will work at different rates depending on conditions, so be patient. When your dough has doubled in volume, it's ready for the next step.
    • Dough rises faster when it's in a warm, dry place. If your kitchen is cool, turn on the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, tilt the door open a few inches, and place the bowl inside while the dough rises.
    • You can let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight.

Finishing the Bread

  1. Knead the dough. Spread some flour on a clean countertop and place the dough onto it. Punch the dough down and massage it, continuing for about 10 minutes. Add flour when necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
    • The dough should begin to look glossy and smooth. Keep punching the dough until the consistency looks right.
    • You can use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment instead of your hands.
  2. Let the dough rise again. Form the dough into a ball and cover it with a towel. Allow it to sit and rise until doubled in volume. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius).
  3. Bake the bread. When the dough has doubled in volume, place it on a baking sheet, in a loaf pan, or in a heavy pot, and put it in the oven. Let it bake for 45 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius). Remove the bread when it's done and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting it.


  • Flour
  • Water
  • Salt


  • If you use sourdough bread on a regular basis, you can prepare the sourdough starter and store it.
  • Save some of your sponge after proofing, and use it as a starter for your next loaf of sourdough bread. There should be a clean fresh smell of vinegar off your starter when it's about day 5. This smell is important, if it doesn't smell like this its probably gone off and unusable.


  • Don't use a metal container for your sourdough starter. Some metals are reactive and can ruin your starter.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass jar
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wire whisk
  • Towel
  • Salt
  • Baking sheet
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