We’re bringing sourdough week to a close in fitting fashion with an easy and delicious recipe for homemade sourdough bread.
This loaf is crusty, tender, and a little chewy, which is nice since a lot of homemade breads are on the crumbly side. And again, because those natural yeast and bacteria from the starter are basically predigesting it for you, sourdough bread is easier on your digestive system, better for people with gluten issues, and helps you assimilate all the nutrients from the whole grains.
You’ll want to start this early in the morning, because of the wait time, though the longer you leave it out, the more sour it gets – if you like a little pucker with your bread, put it in the fridge for a few days.
- 2 cups sourdough starter
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup milk
- 4-6 cups flour
- 1 Tbsp salt
- In a large bowl, combine the starter, water, and milk. (If you're in a hurry, you can also add 1 tsp yeast to speed the rising along.)
- Add the flour, one cup at a time, mixing well before adding more. If the dough becomes too stiff to mix by hand, dump it onto a floured counter to knead the rest of the flour in. The dough should be firm and just a little sticky when it's done. I generally use a little over 5 cups of flour total, but it may vary depending on how thick your starter is.
- When the dough has come together, flatten into a rough circle and sprinkle the salt over the dough. Continue kneading for another 8-10 minutes, or until the dough is nice and stretchy.
- Clean and lightly oil your original bowl, place the dough in and cover, then let rise for about 2 hours.
- Dump the dough onto the counter, divide into two even chunks, and gently flatten into rough rectangles, approximately the length of your loaf pan.
- Roll the dough lengthwise and place into a greased loaf pan, seam side down.
- Cover and let rise for another couple hours - time may vary depending on your conditions, but it'll be ready to bake when it rises an inch or two over the top of the pan.
- Preheat your oven to 400 F.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temp to 350 F and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crusty.
If you like round loaves, go ahead and make them round and bake them on a baking sheet.
This works well for a sandwich loaf, and since I don’t have a professional bread slicer, I’ve found that using an electric knife is great for slicing thin and evenly.
For even more sourdough goodness, check out the links below!
Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread
Can you use buttermilk?
I don’t see why not, though I haven’t tried it. Just about any liquid should suffice.
When do you add sugar?
Sugar can go in with the salt, though I’ve removed it from the recipe because I don’t usually use it.
Ok so I did put the sugar with the salt but it’s been 2 hours and no rising…it’s covered, in the oven, with pilot light on…is it a flop? I followed your directions for the starter btw, and it smelled and looked good!
It’s not going to rise nearly as much as a yeast bread will in two hours, if that’s what you’re using as a point of reference. In fact, you could leave it out all day, and it probably still won’t rise as much as a regular yeast bread (if you’re lucky it’ll rise about 50%, but certainly won’t double in size like most bread recipes call for). It definitely yields a loaf that’s a bit more dense than a standard sandwich loaf. If you want something closer to that, go ahead and add a pinch of yeast the next time you make it! That way you’ll have the nice sour flavor, but it’ll be a little lighter.
I’m a bread newbie (obviously) but it worked! Really delicious…thank you! Sorry for all of the questions!
No problem, that’s what I’m here for 🙂 Glad it worked out – I’ve got my own loaves rising right now!
Julie Wilson says
Do you have to use milk?
Nope, if you want to use all water or a non-dairy milk, go ahead – it’s just the liquid that matters. The milk just makes the crumb a little softer!
Hello! my starter is almost ready to use………wondering how to adjust this recipe to make them into rolls? Can you please assist me with any helpful ideas? Thank You ever so much 😀
oh and do you suggest I use the little bit of yeast for the rolls for the lightness? thank u again
I don’t claim to be an expert baker, so I can’t really offer any professional-sounding advice. If it were me, I’d honestly just keep the recipe the same, and instead of forming into loaves, make them into balls and put in a 9×13 or whatever they fit. I would guess that you’d want the dough a little on the firmer side (rather than overly sticky), but again, I could be totally wrong! I tend to do things by trial and error though – if it doesn’t work the first time, try something different! And yes, a little yeast might help them fluff up a bit more.
Thank You every SO much 🙂 any idea on how much yeast you might try?
when I take out 2 cups of the starter for the bread, it obviously depletes the starter. I am assuming you add more to the starter so you can use it again, so how much and how often do I need to add to the starter to keep it around for a long time. thanks!
If I take a bunch out, I’ll add about a cup of flour, then just enough water to return it to the soupy consistency. Then the next day, I’ll do the same, so you should end up with just as much as you started with. I usually keep mine in the fridge, and just top it off with 1/4 or 1/2 cup of flour (plus a little water) maybe once a week or so. It’s pretty forgiving stuff.
Can I use Wheat flour?
You mean whole wheat? Absolutely!