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

4.79 from 14 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 all-purpose flour, I prefer unbleached
  • 1 1/2 cups (355g) warm water
  • 3/4 cup 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.
  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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  • Doreen Dulowski says:

    Can I use agave in lieu of honey? Or sugar? As you can guess I do not have any honey

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You can use corn syrup, simple syrup, agave syrup, brown sugar, maple syrup or molasses as a substitute.

  • Aparna says:

    Hi Amanda, I tried your sourdough starter, and its looking good 🙂 I’m excited. Quick question on baking the bread – I dont have a dutch over with lid, is it possible to bake it in any oven safe pan, and cover with aluminium foil? Would that work? Please let me know. Thanks so much!!
    (Apologies – I posted this question about the bread on the brownie posts! I have been reading all of them :))

  • Linda Schwartz says:

    Is there a way to bake the bread with gluten free flour and substituting monk fruit or stevia for the sugar?

  • Hannah says:

    Do we need to score the top of the dough before baking? Thanks!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes, good question. You should!! I will update the post. Thanks for letting me know I had forgotten to add the in there! <3

  • Aparna says:

    Hi Amanda, hope you’re well and safe. I have a Dutch oven now but it can only be heated to 400 degrees F. Would I need to bake the bread longer at 400 (instead of 450 as mentioned in the post). Please can you advise? Thanks so much!

  • Aparna says:

    Hi Amanda, I baked this today, and while the taste was good, it was very dense 🙁 please help! Will you be putting a video or more pictures for this recipe please? My sourdough starter looked pretty good (thank you for that! :)), and I used it at day 7. But after the second rise, the dough was still lose, so I added more flour to make it more manageable. Is the final dough still supposed to be lose or like a normal bread? Please can you advise. Thanks so much!

  • Sammy says:

    Hi i’m on the second rising section and i don’t think my dough is rising much. 🙁 any tips?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Temperature is important!! Make sure it is at least 70°F. Don’t worry about the clock, just make sure the dough has risen before baking. 🙂

  • Mary says:

    Hi Amanda do you also have a recipe for dinner buns using the starter
    Please and thank you

  • Ruth says:

    Help!! I don’t have parchment paper on hand and don’t want to go to the grocery store because covid.WhatCanIDo?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You could use wax paper. Some folks use foil but I’m not a fan of that.

  • Heather says:

    Please, please, please make a video on this! I somehow messed it up, but I’m not quite sure where I went wrong. A video would help tremendously!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I will work on that! So sorry. Sourdough bread is finicky!

  • Sarah says:

    I made this last night and it was relatively easy and absolutely delicious! Good recipe Amanda. This will be my go-to sourdough recipe.

  • Lynn York says:

    Amanda, help, I just mixed up my dough and it is very runny, not just sticky. Do I need to add more flour?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You can add a bit more, but it should be fairly loose. Not runny, but loose. 🙂

  • Janice says:

    I have whole wheat flour, but I’ve been storing it in the freezer. Will that still work or did it freeze off any of the “good natural” things in the flour that I need for it to create that natural “yeast”?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      It might work, just make sure it is room temperature before starting.

  • Billie Watson says:

    Amanda , years ago a friend gave me a sour dough starter recipe that I could mix up the recipe once a week and keep in a bowl in the refrig, thenI could pinch off rolls daily let them rise about an hour or so and bake. I moved and lost that starter and recipe for the bread. I have made your starter and am ready to use it, can you help me with a recipe that the dough can be refrigerated like this?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      The sounds like Amish friendship bread!

      “If you were to ask a real live person who has made Amish Friendship Bread, you might hear something like this: “It’s a gloopy, unappetizing substance in a bag that you mash for ten days before baking the most heavenly bread in the world.”

      Amish Friendship Bread operates on a similar principle as a chain letter–pass it on–but with no threats or negative repercussions if you choose not to make it. At the end of the ten days, you divide it into four portions, bake with one, and give the other three away. This usually hums along nicely for the first cycle or two, but eventually people will start running in the other direction if you keep showing up on their doorstep with a fresh batch of starter. You have been warned.”

  • Aparna says:

    Hi Amanda, I have the sourdough starter and can’t find normal all purpose flour anymore. All out of stock 😕. Can I use gluten free flour to feed my starter?

    And can I use gluten free flour to bake the sourdough bread (which uses normal all purpose sourdough starter)? Please let me know. Thanks so much!

  • Pam says:

    I haven’t made this yet but I know as soon as I have the ingredients I will. I love all kinds of bread and sour dough is one of my favorites. Thanks again for sharing such wonderful recipes ❤️❤️

  • Addison says:

    I don’t have a Dutch oven 😬 I have a large cast iron skillet and an oven safe casserole dish with a lid. What’s the best thing to use since I don’t have a Dutch oven?

  • Sandy R. says:

    HELP!!!!! My dough isn’t rising and it’s been two hours…. what should I do ????

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Put it in a warmer place!! You could recover it!

  • Jeni says:

    Hi! Would you please explain STEP 4 in different detail, please?
    Thank you 🙂

  • Julie L says:

    Thank you for this simple recipe. So many are very complicated. I was so afraid my first ever loaf would come out like a hard rock. It was perfect! Crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. I used a cast iron dutch oven. I’ll keep doing this until I am able to learn more. I’ve wanted to try making sourdough bread for the past 3 years and of course, now (bc of quarantining), I had the time to think about the starter. 😀

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      So thrilled you enjoyed it and were successful in your baking! Excited for you!

  • Spencer says:

    What size is the Dutch oven you use in this recipe?

  • Teri Carpenter says:

    It’s a question ? After you punch it down right before Dutch oven , is it suppose to rise again ????

  • Rachel says:

    Hi there!
    My initial dough is super runny. Have you run into this before? Should I add more flour until it sets up more?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      The dough should be very loose… not runny like a liquid, but loose.

  • Mike says:

    I had a very running dough as well. 1 1/2 cups of water and 3/4 cup sourdough starter seems like a lot of moisture to 3 cups of flour

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      I work with iambaker and am happy to help out with questions!
      Hi, Mike. It could be the consistency of your sourdough starter is on the thinner side. You could add a little more flour, but the dough should be loose (not runny). I hope this helps! Have a great day!

  • Jon Crook says:

    Hi, really enjoyed making this bread and it has turned out really well. My one issue is that the parchment paper has completely stuck to the loaf? How do I stop this happening? Thanks

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Jon! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. That didn’t happen to me, but you could always spray the paper with nonstick spray when you bake the bread again. I am glad you enjoyed making it. Have a great day!

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