Simple Sourdough Bread {Using Starter!}

filed under: Bread on March 23, 2020

This Simple Sourdough Bread is just that…simple! It is made using my homemade sourdough starter that is just as easy! So, after your sourdough starter is ready to go, be sure to make this crusty and chewy (in the best way) bread. This bread is certainly delicious on its own, but use it for my Crispy Cheese Sandwich or Apple Gouda Grilled Cheese next time to really make the sandwiches stand out! 

Simple Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is one of those loaves of bread I always get from the bakery or in the bakery department at my local grocery store. It’s also my bread of choice (when it’s an option) at my favorite restaurants. There is just something special about the somewhat fermented taste of it. So, once I figured out the sourdough starter, I knew I had to use it for this simple sourdough bread!

Plus, there are never too many bread recipes to have at your fingertips, especially when we may be home more than normal!


Loaf of Sourdough Bread Cut Into

Simple Sourdough Bread Recipe

This Simple Sourdough Bread recipe takes a little patience to let the dough rise a couple of times before baking it. But, if you were patient enough to get your sourdough starter ready to go, then a few hours is nothing! Plus, it is SO worth it to have freshly baked bread! There are only five ingredients to this recipe, so you more than likely have everything you need on hand.

Ingredients (full recipe below)

Sourdough Bread in Bowl of Stand Mixer with Dough Hook 

How to Make Simple Sourdough Bread

Get out your stand mixer (or get your muscles ready) to mix the ingredients for the dough.

  • Combine all the ingredients together in the bowl from your stand mixer. (Learn how to make a Sourdough Starter here)
  • Use the dough hook attachment and mix the ingredients together on medium-low speed (or no higher than a ‘2’ setting). If you are mixing by hand, knead everything together for about ten minutes.
  • After you have mixed the dough (it will be sticky), place it in a lightly oiled bowl.
  • Cover the dough with plastic and let it sit for about 3 hours to let it rise.

Sourdough bread that has risen and is on parchment with flour

After the dough has had time to rise, gently fold up the sides of the dough, rotate the bowl, and fold again. Continue to do this until you have folded and rotated the dough a few times.

Did you know that using your hands this way and baking bread, in general, is very therapeutic? It involves patience and it can be very calming. Speaking of patience, after folding and rotating the dough, you need to cover it again to let it rise. It may not take the full 3 hours this time; it depends on how warm your kitchen is. Check it after a couple of hours.

After a couple of hours, sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and place the dough on the flour. Pull up the sides of the dough, pressing them into the center. You may need more flour, so keep that nearby! Continue to pull and press for a while. Finally, flip over the dough. The top should be smooth. Sprinkle some flour on it, and place it on a piece of parchment paper.

Once the dough is on the parchment paper, score the dough, or make a few cuts on the top of the dough a few times with a knife.

Baked Sourdough Bread in a Dutch Oven with Parchment Paper

How to Bake Simple Sourdough Bread

Once the dough is on the parchment paper (or you could do this before you pull and press the dough the final time), put a Dutch oven–lid ON–into a cold oven. Set the oven to 450°F to heat up the Dutch oven. Once the oven has reached the temperature of 450°F, carefully remove the hot Dutch oven and take off the lid (setting the lid on the stovetop).

Grab the parchment paper that is holding the dough and place it (again, carefully) into the hot Dutch oven. Cover it, and bake the bread for 15 minutes, with the oven still set at 450°F. After fifteen minutes, remove the lid of the Dutch oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the top is a nice golden brown. 

When you tap on the top of the bread, you should hear a hollow sound. Then, you know it is ready to be taken out of the oven. Let it sit for about 20 minutes before taking it out of the Dutch oven and sliced. Enjoy!

Overhead Image of Sourdough Bread and Two Slices

How to Store Simple Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread usually lasts for 4-5 days at room temperature. Do not store it in the refrigerator. Instead, keep it covered with a towel or in a zipped plastic bag someplace that is relatively cool. A bread box also works well. If you want to freeze the bread, be sure to let the bread cool completely before freezing!

The same advice goes for when you are going to cut into the bread–wait until it has cooled. Anyway, to freeze the bread, seal the loaf into a zipped plastic freezer bag, making sure to let all the air out. You can store bread for up to 6 months in the freezer, but the longer you keep it in there, the less fresh tasting it will be. (And be sure to label it with the date!)

Looking for Other Homemade Bread Recipes?

Simple White Bread

Amish White Bread

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Sweet Bread

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

4.87 from 22 votes
Simple Sourdough Bread
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
6 hrs
Total Time
6 hrs 50 mins

Using a sourdough starter, you can have freshly baked sourdough bread with just a few ingredients!

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Simple Sourdough Bread, Sourdough starter
Servings: 8
Calories: 175 kcal
Author: Amanda
  • 4-5 cups (500-625g) all-purpose flour, I prefer unbleached
  • 1 1/2 cups (355g) warm water
  • 3/4 cup (170g) active sourdough starter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Add all ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook.
  2. Turn the mixer on 1-2 (never higher than 2 or medium-low) and let the mixer knead the dough for about 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky and doesn't quite form a ball. (If making by hand, knead for about 10 minutes.)
  3. Turn off the mixer and scrape the dough into a medium bowl that has been lightly coated with oil. Cover with plastic and set aside for about 3 hours while the dough rises.
  4. After 3 hours, turn the dough and gently start folding up the sides. Grab the dough at the side of the bowl and lift up and towards the center of the bowl. Press down, turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat this several times.
  5. Cover again and let it rise for an additional 2-3 hours. (This will depend on the temperature of your home. A warmer kitchen will need less time.)
  6. After the 2 hours, lightly dust your countertop with flour. Press the dough down with your fingers then start pulling up the sides and pressing into the center. You may need to add more flour as this can be a loose dough. Keep pulling up the sides and pressing into the center then flip the dough over. The top should be smooth. Dust with more flour and set the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Score the dough with a knife.

  7. Place a Dutch oven (make sure you have a lid) into a cold oven and heat to 450°F. Once heated, carefully remove the hot Dutch oven from the oven. Remove the lid and set it somewhere heat resistant. (I set the lid on my stove.) Pick up the parchment paper with both hands and place inside the Dutch oven. Carefully replace the lid.

  8. Place into 450°F oven and bake for 15 minutes.

  9. After 15 minutes, carefully remove the lid and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the top is nicely golden brown (don't worry if it is darker brown, you just don't want it burnt) and when you tap on the top the bread sounds hollow.
  10. Set Dutch oven to the side and leave the bread alone for about 15-20 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Easy Homemade Sourdough Starter Recipe:

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  • Melissa says:

    Hi Amanda, I had the same experience as Alison – had made this recipe 2x with 3 cups of flour and then came back and saw the switch to 4-5 cups. That was definitely too much and really changed the consistency of the dough (and bake). \I’ve gone back to the 3 cups but was going to say you might consider 3-5 cups with a note about zones? I’m in central TX where there’s plenty of humidity 🙂
    Aside from that – thanks for a great tasting and well-explained sourdough! Great blog and I can’t wait to try more recipes.

  • Melissa says:

    Forgot to leave my rating!

  • kris Farrar says:

    do you have measurements in g for all of the ingredients? I find that easier with flour

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, kris! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. I have updated the recipe to include grams (500-625 grams of flour; 170 grams of sourdough starter). I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • Carolyn says:

    I never leave comments but this turned out so wonderful I had to! This was my very first time making bread from starter. I followed the recipe exactly and used 4 cups flour (WA state). I did have to watch a YouTube video on how to properly fold and was worried this wouldn’t turn out because it was so much simpler than what they did on the video. Needless to say it was perfect as is! Thank you!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Great job, Carolyn!

  • Gwen Lackey says:

    Do you have a recipe for raisin cinnamon bread with starter?

  • Avani says:

    This is such a great recipe! I was finally able to make a sour dough loaf that was chewy, had just the right amount of tang and did not take 12+ hours of planning/waiting. My kids said it was even better than the commercial sour dough we buy and we live in San Fran!! My search for the perfect sour dough loaf ends here 🙂

  • Mary says:

    What does “active starter” mean?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Mary! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. An active sourdough starter is a sourdough starter that has been fed and the flour and water have had some time to ferment. An active starter should have lots of bubbles present when at its peak. Here is some more information about a sourdough starter. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • Jenny says:

    Love this recipe, I’ve made it a couple of times now, and always got a lovely loaf. The last one i subbed in 100gr of wholemeal flour and oats, for a really tasty farmhouse style wholemeal sourdough.

  • Kelli C says:

    I’ve made this bread weekly and it’s outstanding. Can’t NOT have it in the house.

  • Laurie says:

    This recipe is fabulous! I used 4 coups of flour, added a bunch of fresh rosemary and it came out perfect. I’m so happy the weather is cooler so I can bake this easy bread twice a week now. I live on Long Island in New York and it was rainy, cool weather when the dough was proofing. I kept it in a glass bowl near my oven and I needed the full six hours to get it to rise.

  • Betty says:

    You didn’t say when to score it but your bread was scored

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Betty! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Score the bread after the second rise and after you have placed the dough onto parchment paper. Have a great day!

  • Mary says:

    My dough was very wet after allowing to rise the first time—- my hands were loaded with it—- I used 4 cups of flour and seemed right consistency but became very wet after sitting???

  • Jen D. says:

    I really wish I read all the coments before I started the the dough. I used 4 cups of flour (whole wheat) and I’m worried because the dough seems to look dense. Mine formed a ball just fine. Is this wrong?

  • Ainslie says:

    Hi! I followed all of these steps and after it was done baking and resting i cut my bread open and it was still doughy in the center. Any tips or ideas on why this might have happened?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes, you can use a thermometer! Make sure the internal temp gets to 185-190°F

  • Kelsey says:

    After many total disaster attempts with other sourdough recipes, this one has been my go-to and has never failed! I find it really forgiving as well, which feels so different than other bread recipes. I have a Staub Dutch oven that might just be a lot thicker, but I found the top of the bread was getting undercooked so I just leave the top on through the whole bake and it turns out perfectly!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Thrilled to hear it, Kelsey!

  • Timothy Dornbusch says:

    Can this be made in a bread machine? Thanks

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Timothy! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We have not tried to make this bread in a bread machine, so I can’t say what adjustments would need to be made to the recipe. Have a great day!

  • Anu says:

    Thrilled and overjoyed…🥰😛🤗😋😝🤩😙😍,such an easy to follow recipe,for such a complex process!!
    The bread came out perfectly 🥰🥰🥰
    Thanks so much,will be trying out other recipes too…with much love from me and the rest of my family that just went in a trance enjoying the bread.lotsa love and Merry Christmas and a Happy New year 🥳🥳

  • Hannah says:

    Hi! This is my first attempt at making sourdough and the starter. The starter seemed to be going really well! I tried to make the bread yesterday, and it looked great. I let it sit for a couple of hours after I baked it, and it completely deflated! I became so dense and heavy! Any ideas what I did wrong? I googled it, and it said I over proofed it…. im not quite sure how I over proofed it since I didn’t use yeast? Any ideas

  • Lea says:

    This has become my go-to recipe for sourdough bread. It turns out perfect every time. I have also cut it half and half with whole wheat flour. Very good!
    Thank you for this great site!

  • Danielle says:

    I want to try this recipe but have an allergy to honey, can you use sugar? And if so how much?

  • Debby Farmer says:

    I’m a little late to the sourdough party. OMG! This recipe is da bomb!! I did add a pan of hot water below my Dutch oven. The bread turned out chewy on the outside and tender on the inside. Best of all, it really tastes like the San Francisco sourdough bread I have come to know and love. Best of all, this was so easy to follow your directions. I ended up using only four cups of I bleached flour. Thank you so much!!!

  • Carol says:

    What size Dutch oven should I use? I have a 3.5 quart and a large Le Crusette?

  • Darlean says:

    I don’t have a Dutch Oven would can I use instead

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Darlean! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. You can use any oven-safe, large pot with a lid. I hope this helps, and have a great day!