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.

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

5 from 3 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
  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour, I prefer unbleached
  • 1 1/2 cups (355g) warm water
  • 3/4 cup active sourdough starter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoons 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.
  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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  • Hannah Lewis says:

    If I don’t have a Dutch oven what can I use ?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You need to create some type of way to capture steam in your oven so that the crust forms properly. You can use a heavy oven-safe pot and place a cookie sheet over it or a skillet with another skillet stacked on top.

  • Colleen says:

    Is there A way to make it gluten and dairy free I would really like this ,used to like this a lot but I’ve gotten to the point I had to go gluten and dairy free per my doctor and feel so much better this way so is there anyway we can adjust for this

  • Emma says:

    What size Dutch oven do you use? I’d like to purchase a rectangular one to create more of a loaf shape, but want to make sure it’s the right capacity.

  • Shauna says:

    Hi Amanda, my mixture is very wet, do I need to add flour? I used the exact measurements given for the flour, water and starter.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Nope, it is a very loose batter. You CAN add more flour if it is a pourable consistency, you do want it a little firm.

  • Shauna says:

    Thanks for the quick reply! Fingers crossed I don’t mess it up 😅. I got my starter from an older lady who taught me how to make her recipe which uses beer and also yeast and I wanted to try a little simpler recipe and yours fit the bill. I made your pancake recipe with the starter discard and my family loved them this morning.

  • Mary Ann says:

    I cannot get the recipe for the sour dough starter can you help me ?

  • Edna Fitzpatrick says:

    OMG!!!! I cooked off my first loaf of bread today and it was wonderful!!! I was worried at first because my dough was initially runny. But all turned out great in the end. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes with all of us. May make the brownies tomorrow.

  • Joyce Bowen says:

    Cracker recipe please.

  • Barb says:

    Do we need to grease the Dutch oven before putting the dough inside to cook? I have a cast iron Dutch oven is like to use that is coated with ceramic. Would I need to oil it first?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Nope, you don’t need to oil it. Just place the dough on parchment paper and that is how you will transfer it to the hot Dutch Oven.

  • Barb says:

    I am baking sourdough bread tomorrow using your starter recipe. My dutch oven in cast iron, is there any temperature adjustments I need to make?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      No, that will work perfectly. 🙂

  • Lola says:

    Hi I am gluten free and used rice flour to make the starter. Do I continue to use rice flour when making bread? Or do I use a all purpose gluten free flour? Thank you.

  • Nicola says:

    I’m at the splitting stage of the sourdough starter process, how much starter do I use to make a loaf?. My quantities may be out because mine is taking longer to ferment. I’ve followed links in recipes but recipes say use starter but not how much. Love your recipes. Nicola, Barry, Wales.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I would not make sourdough bread until you have a fully established and strong starter, usually day 6 or 7. The recipe above then indicates how much you need.

  • Laura says:

    What size Dutch oven do you use.?

  • Rose Procaccy says:

    Hi , Amanda hope you’re safe and well? I am not a Movistar when it comes to making bread however I haven’t made starters or sour dough. I’m on my forth day and divided my starter yesterday and I noticed it has a cheesy smell and this morning it smells more . Is this normal it putting me off?
    Thank you , Rose

  • char says:

    looking for recipes for day 3 leftover starter??

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Just enter “sourdough” in the search bar at the top of my page and several will come up for you!

  • Rebecca L says:

    Hi there! My dutch oven can only withstand 400 degrees. Do you think I can extend cooking time at this temperature and still have success? I’m so excited to try your sourdough recipe!

  • Lori Carlyle says:

    Do you have a coffee cake recipe that uses the starter? Would love a recipe to make it.

  • Deirdre says:

    If I made the sourdough starter with bread flour. What flour should I use to make your sourdough bread.

    Thank you

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You can use most grain flours! All-purpose, unbleached all-purpose, bread flour, whole wheat have all worked well for me.

  • Grace Kerzmann says:

    I did every step of the starter from day 1 to day 7. Made brownies loved them! Made pop overs loved them! When it came time to make the bread I did everything correctly and it didn’t rise. I gave it more time and folded it, figured I’d put it in the oven and maybe some sort of magic would happen and all I got was a lump of dense nasty dough.
    What do you think went wrong? Going to try again tomorrow.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Glad you liked the other recipes but such a bummer about the bread! Most bakers will agree, this has happened to us all. In my experience, temperature makes a big difference. In the summer it can take 5 hours to rise, in the winter 10. The spring can be difficult because of the variance in temperatures between the day and night.

      What I started doing was watching the dough, not the clock. (A wise friend told me that!) So if after an overnight rise I don’t see results, I will place the dough in a truly warm spot (like an oven at 100°F – the is the PROOF setting in some ovens- or covered in the laundry room) and give it more time to rise. If the dough doesn’t rise there, it won’t rise in the oven. (Another way to do this is set your oven to the lowest temperature then place a thermometer in it. Turn it off. When it gets to 75°F, place the dough inside (quickly!) and close the oven door. It should rise!

      Hope that helps Grace!

  • char says:

    i am not sure what to do with my 3 day starter that I took out.. I would like to make something with it. Where can I find that info?

  • Char says:

    I am trying to raise my 3 day discarded starter with this recipe for bread and it is on the second raise time. It is very wet. Is it supposed to be?

  • Steve says:

    It was amazing. Thanks. Just had our first loaf tonight. Of course, we had the pancakes yesterday morning with the starter! Thank you

  • Jenny says:

    What can u use to make the sour dough bread if i dont have a dutch oven?

  • Sherry Mitchell says:

    Can i just knead the dough by hand? I don’t have a machine. Thank you,,, sherry

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes, you can. It’s about 8-10 minutes of kneading.

  • Sophia Ferrari says:

    Slowly making my way through your recipes and this one is great and so simple! Keep em’ comin’ because my family is loving all the fresh baked goodies. Can’t wait to try your sourdough brownie recipe with my starter discard. God bless and stay safe my favorite Baker!

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