The Easiest Sourdough Bread ever!

sourdough bread 1Do you have a sourdough starter ready to use but can’t find a simple recipe? Look no further. I have you covered!Last week I posted my how to make your starter and now we will use that starter to make delicious bread! Let’s get started.

Items You Will Need:

A large non-metal bowl preferably glass or ceramic (like this one)
Organic Flour (find some here)
Sea Salt ( like this one)
Your sourdough starter ( get my recipe here or purchase one here)
2 medium loaf pans (these are perfect)
Non-metal spoon (like these)

The Sponge:

The first step in making most sourdough recipes is to use your starter to create what is commonly called the Sponge. Next to the starter, the Sponge will have the longest wait time, but is very critical to the process and benefits of sourdough.

You will Need:

1/4 c. Sourdough starter
1 c. Water
1 3/4c flour

  1. In a bowl, put starter and water and mix well to saturate starter.
  2. Add flour and mix very well.
  3. Then knead for a couple minutes on a lightly floured surface. The dough will be kind of heavy and slightly tacky. You can also put everything in a stand mixer with your dough hook and knead until you have a nice ball.
  4. Put in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap.
  5. Let sit undisturbed for 12 hours. This maximizes the health benefits and really helps to develop the characteristic sourdough flavor. Don’t lessen the wait time!

The Sourdough Bread Recipe:

After all the waiting you are complaining there. This process is most like standard bread baking for those who have made homemade bread.

You will need:

4 1/2 c. Flour
1 3/4 c. Water
2 1/2 t. Sea Salt
Your Sourdough Sponge

  1. In stand mixer bowl (or large bowl), combine sponge and water. Saturate the sponge.
  2. Add salt and flour.
  3. Mix until you have a soft ball forming.
  4. Knead. If using a stand mixer, knead for about 2-3 minutes. Kneading helps activate the gluten to give you a beautiful rise and texture. If you don’t have a stand mixer, knead on a lightly floured surface for about 7-8 minutes. The dough should be soft, pliable, and just a little tacky.
  5. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. Depending on warmth of your kitchen and humidity, this can take anywhere from 1-3 hours.
  6. After the dough has risen, separate into 2 equal portions.
  7. Shape into loaves and place loaves into loaf pans that have been dusted with flour.
  8. Cover lightly with a towel and let rise until doubled. This usually takes 45-90 minutes.
  9. Finally, when loaves are risen, bake in a 400 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.
  10. Take bread out of loaf pans. Thump the bottom of the loaf (its done if it sounds hollow).
  11. Cool on a cooling rack for at least one hour. If you eat it fresh out often oven which you will tempted to do, it will taste very bland.

Congratulations! You have made sourdough bread! Other than some patience, it’s very simple and nutritious! Enjoy and let me know how yours turned out!

For more recipes, information, and ideas about sourdough check out these articles from my blogging friends:

Whole Wheat Sourdough Tortillas by Prairie Homestead

Tips for Using and Maintaining a Sourdough Starter by Our Heritage of Health

Another Sourdough Bread Recipe by Our Small Hours

Pumpkin Nut Sourdough Muffins by Reformation Acres

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins by Fancy Nonsense

Sourdough English Muffins by Life From the Ground Up



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sourdough bread 2

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  1. March 18, 2014    

    I have to be 100% gluten-free, so just ordered GF sourdough starter from Cultures from Health. I have a GF flour mix that says it can be used exactly like regular wheat flour cup for cup. So – do you think this recipe would work with my ingredients? I’ve never made sourdough anything before and am looking for an easy way to get started.

    • NaturallyPersnickety's Gravatar NaturallyPersnickety
      March 19, 2014    

      Honestly, Data, my experience with Gluten free flours, etc. is very limited. Try it and let me know how it turns out so I can link to the information. I know there are many GF readers who would love that information!

  2. Molly's Gravatar Molly
    October 2, 2014    

    Do you ever go over the 12 hour waiting time for the sponge? I am having a hard time getting started because I so to want to be finishing the bread at midnight or 3 am! So I was wondering if the sponge can sit for longer than 12 hours and if you have the same success? Thanks!

    • NaturallyPersnickety's Gravatar NaturallyPersnickety
      October 2, 2014    

      Yes, Molly. It can sit for longer than 12 hours! I have had one for 18-20 hours with no problems, but the sour flavor is much stronger the longer it sits. I have also used it after sitting for 8-10 hours and it yielded good flavor and quality. However, I find that any less than 8 you lose flavor and quality. Sourdough can be very forgiving once you have a good starter going! I would love to hear how it works for you! On a perfect day, I usually make my sponge before bed and get up and make my dough in the morning and have bread baked by lunch, if that helps as well!

  3. Molly's Gravatar Molly
    February 7, 2015    

    Does your sponge rise or stay the size it was when you first mixed it? My sponge was very moist. But I followed the directions completely. What kind of starter do you use? Because mine is already moist.

    • NaturallyPersnickety's Gravatar NaturallyPersnickety
      February 16, 2015    

      Sorry it took me a bit to respond. The sponge doesn’t really rise. Mine most often is moist and very bubbly. Sometimes it will “rise” but not very much it is just because of all the bubbles which means it is very active!

  4. Tamara's Gravatar Tamara
    March 22, 2015    

    Hi, I just finished making 2 loaves of sour dough as per my recipe. The only difference was the time of rising. My starter is only around 10 days old so used 1/4 tsp of yeast in the mix. It took about 4 hours for initial rise after the 12 hour sponge. Then about the same for in the loaf pans, but they turned out beautiful. I used more wholemeal and grain mix as I prefer this and the starter was new but loved it. Very stickey dough to kneed but after the research I expected this. My previous bread was too crumbly due to the dough being too dry. Fantastic recipe

    • NaturallyPersnickety's Gravatar NaturallyPersnickety
      March 28, 2015    

      Thank you so much. I know lately with the cooler weather, my rise times have taken much longer! Now that spring is coming and the outdoor temperatures are rising, my loaves are rising better and looking more beautiful. Thanks for your feedback! I am glad you enjoy the recipe!

  5. Lindsey's Gravatar Lindsey
    March 23, 2015    

    My bread is not rising. The sponge and the first rise all went well but then when I put them in the loaf pans they hardly rise at all. What am I missing?

    • NaturallyPersnickety's Gravatar NaturallyPersnickety
      March 28, 2015    

      Sometimes, the rise in the pans needs to be longer. I have had to let it wait about 2-3 hours before! These loaves are often denser than a traditional white flour loaf. They won’t completely double in size. Also make sure the area you are putting them into rise is warm. I will often sit them on my stove top while I am preheating my oven!

  6. November 17, 2015    

    For the second part (the kneading and such), can I use a metal bowl?
    My stand mixer (KitchenAid), only has a metal bowl…… 😕

    Thank you!

    • NaturallyPersnickety's Gravatar NaturallyPersnickety
      December 2, 2015    

      Yes, Brandie! It’s what I use as well. Stainless steel is generally non-reactive so is Okay. Just don’t use aluminum or other reactive metals.

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