An Easy Guide to Sourdough Starter and Baking Your First Loaf

This easy sourdough starter guide will take you through the exact steps to follow to bake your first loaf of sourdough bread… no confusing steps, no pretentious language, super easy to follow!

There are tons of guides out there on how to make your own sourdough… but I found them all to be very complicated, crazy pretentious, and difficult to read for a beginner baker like myself.  I’m sure they are all amazing and produce fantastic loaves of bread… but I needed the basics. Then when I finally had my sourdough starter going, it took forever to find a decent recipe to use to bake my first loaf.  So voila – I present you with an EASY and UNPRETENTIOUS guide to  making your first loaf of sourdough.

What You Will Need:

  • Flour: I used all purpose flour, some blogs say not to do that, but hey its what I had in the pantry and it turned out delish so I’m sticking to it.
  • Water: I used filtered tap water, but use whatever you would normally drink.
  • A large bowl: or jar with an airtight lid.  I used a 2 quart baking bowl, but use what ya got.
  • A kitchen scale: Yes yes,  you do have to measure by weight.  Its annoying if you hate exact measurements like me (I’m a free-form cook, baby!)  but measuring is really the one step you have to take to ensure you’re doing it right.

 

DAY 1: Start That Dough

Its an exciting day – the beginning!  I followed this Washington Post sourdough guide when I was getting started (as it was the clearest one I could find), so I’m loosely posting their instructions with some changes for clarity.

  1. In your large bowl, measure out 113 grams flour, and 113 grams water.
  2. Stir well to combine.
  3. Set the bowl on a cutting board, and loosely place the lid on the top of the bowl.  Make sure there is air flow going to the dough.   Don’t cover so it makes an airtight seal.
  4. Name your sourdough starter.  Mine’s name is Joe Don Baker because I think we watched MST3K Mitchell episode that day and he is our favorite dough-y actor.
  5. Allow the starter to sit overnight.

DAY 2:  The First Feeding

This is how you ‘Feed’ the dough, you’ll be repeating these steps for the ext few days.  Make sure you feed around the same time of day, each day.

  1. Place your starter on the scale, and discard all but 113 grams of the starter. (See Recipes for Sourdough Starter for ideas on what to do with the discarded dough so it doens’t go to waste!)
  2. In your large bowl, measure out 113 grams flour, and 113 grams water.
  3. Stir well to combine.
  4. Set the bowl on a cutting board, and loosely place the lid on the top of the bowl.  Make sure there is air flow going to the dough.   Don’t cover so it makes an airtight seal.
  5. Allow the starter to sit overnight.

DAY 3: Feed Again

Same as yesterday!  Feed dough as normal.

  1. Place your starter on the scale, and discard all but 113 grams of the starter.
  2. In your large bowl, measure out 113 grams flour, and 113 grams water.
  3. Stir well to combine.
  4. Set the bowl on a cutting board, and loosely place the lid on the top of the bowl.  Make sure there is air flow going to the dough.   Don’t cover so it makes an airtight seal.
  5. Allow the starter to sit overnight.

DAY 4: Feed Again

Your Sourdough should become more stringy as the strands of gluten develop.  Little bubbles should appear on the top of the starter.  Feeding again, as normal.

  1. Place your starter on the scale, and discard all but 113 grams of the starter.
  2. In your large bowl, measure out 113 grams flour, and 113 grams water.
  3. Stir well to combine.
  4. Set the bowl on a cutting board, and loosely place the lid on the top of the bowl.  Make sure there is air flow going to the dough.   Don’t cover so it makes an airtight seal.
  5. Allow the starter to sit overnight.

DAY 5: Feed Twice a Day Now

Your sourdough starter should be fed twice a day now.  I did mine about 12 hours apart, once in the morning and once at night.

  1. Place your starter on the scale, and discard all but 113 grams of the starter.
  2. In your large bowl, measure out 113 grams flour, and 113 grams water.
  3. Stir well to combine.
  4. Set the bowl on a cutting board, and loosely place the lid on the top of the bowl.  Make sure there is air flow going to the dough.   Don’t cover so it makes an airtight seal.
  5. Wait 12 hours
  6. Place your starter on the scale, and discard all but 113 grams of the starter.
  7. In your large bowl, measure out 113 grams flour, and 113 grams water.
  8. Stir well to combine.
  9. Set the bowl on a cutting board, and loosely place the lid on the top of the bowl.  Make sure there is air flow going to the dough.   Don’t cover so it makes an airtight seal.
  10. Allow the starter to sit overnight.

DAY 6: Double Feeding Again

As with yesterday, feed the starter twice in a day, once in the morning and once at night.

  1. Place your starter on the scale, and discard all but 113 grams of the starter.
  2. In your large bowl, measure out 113 grams flour, and 113 grams water.
  3. Stir well to combine.
  4. Set the bowl on a cutting board, and loosely place the lid on the top of the bowl.  Make sure there is air flow going to the dough.   Don’t cover so it makes an airtight seal.Get your Dough Ready!
  5. Wait ~12 hours
  6. Place your starter on the scale, and discard all but 113 grams of the starter.
  7. In your large bowl, measure out 113 grams flour, and 113 grams water.
  8. Stir well to combine.
  9. Set the bowl on a cutting board, and loosely place the lid on the top of the bowl.  Make sure there is air flow going to the dough.   Don’t cover so it makes an airtight seal.
  10. Allow the starter to sit overnight.

 

DAY 7: Ready to Bake!

Yaaas, you’ve done it!  You’re ready to make your first loaf of sourdough bread.  I’m so proud of you.  Let’s bake!

Feed your sourdough starter as normal, and refrigerate.

  1. Place your starter on the scale, and remove 1 cup of sourdough starter, and place in a separate bowl to make the dough.
  2. In your starter bowl, measure out 113 grams flour, and 113 grams water.
  3. Stir well to combine.
  4. Set the bowl on a cutting board, and loosely place the lid on the top of the bowl.  Make sure there is air flow going to the dough.   Don’t cover so it makes an airtight seal, and allow to rise for 4 hours.
  5. After the starter has been fed, seal the airtight lid on the dough, and refrigerate the starter.  Now you don’t have to do daily feedings, only once a week or whenever you bake bread.

Mix the Sourdough
I like to do this step the night before, then bake the next morning as it required about 14 hours total to rise.  What you’ll need for baking: your sourdough starter, a dutch oven (or heavy lidded pot that can be put in the oven), and another large mixing bowl.

  1. To your 1 cup of starter, add 3 cups flour, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt.  Mix well to combine.
  2. On a floured cutting board, knead the sourdough for 10-15 minutes until the gluten begins to develop in the dough. Work it.
  3. Cover the bowl with a tea towel, and allow dough to rise for about 12 hours.
  4. Once the dough has risen, knead the dough again and set in a floured bowl (or proofing bowl) for the second rise.  Coat top with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to keep tea towel from sticking.  Cover with tea towel, and allow dough to rise again for another 2 hours.
  5. TIME TO BAKE!  Preheat the oven to 450  degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the dutch oven in the oven while its heating up, so it is nice and hot when you are ready to add the dough.
  6. Once oven reaches 450, carefully remove the dutch oven, and place loaf of bread in the dutch oven.  Bake with thte dutch oven lid ON for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove the dutch oven lid and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes until the top becomes nice and brown.
  8. Carefully remove the pot from the oven, place bread on a cooling rack, and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
  9. Enjoy your first loaf!

As always, if you make this  sourdough starter be sure to leave me a comment, rate this recipe, and tag me on Instagram so I can feature you.  I love seeing all your photos of my recipe recreations!

Don’t forget to follow over on Pinterest & Instagram – I’d love to connect with you there!

Baking Bread with Your Sourdough Starter

This easy bread recipe is perfect for making your first loaf of sourdough with your starter!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Rising Time 14 hrs
Total Time 15 hrs 10 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • Dutch Oven, or heavy lidded pot that is oven safe

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • To your 1 cup of starter, add 3 cups flour, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt.  Mix well to combine.
  • On a floured cutting board, knead the sourdough for 10-15 minutes until the gluten begins to develop in the dough.
  • Cover the bowl with a tea towel, and allow dough to rise for about 12 hours.
  • Once the dough has risen, knead the dough again and set in a floured bowl (or proofing bowl) for the second rise.  Allow dough to rise again for another 2 hours.
  • TIME TO BAKE!  Preheat the oven to 450  degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the dutch oven in the oven while its heating up, so it is nice and hot when you are ready to add the dough.
  • Once oven reaches 450, carefully remove the dutch oven, and place loaf of bread in the dutch oven.  Bake with thte dutch oven lid ON for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the dutch oven lid and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes until the top becomes nice and brown.
  • Carefully remove the pot from the oven, place bread on a cooling rack, and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
  • Enjoy your first loaf!
Keyword Easy Sourdough Recipe, Simple Sourdough Recipe, Sourdough Baking Guide, Sourdough Starter Bread
Did You Make This Recipe?Tag me @theherbeevore in your photo on Instagram so I can feature you!

 

 

8 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.