Easy Beginner Sourdough Bread

If you have recently acquired some sourdough starter and are excited to make your first loaf of bread, this recipe is for you!  This is an easy, fool-proof recipe that I created in order to make you successful on your first try!

Same recipe made with Ultra-Unifine Unbleached Bread Flour from Azure Standard.

Notes:

King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour is readily available at local grocery stores.  King Arthur has a reputation for high quality flour.  Although you may want to use whole wheat flour for the health benefits, I recommend baking your first loaf with this unbleached bread flour in to have success with the recipe before trying a whole wheat flour.

Ultra-Unifine Unbleached Bread Flour from Azure Standard is a whole wheat flour that has some of the bran sifted out.  This flour always gives me great results (see second photo).

Measurements are by weight (for everything except salt) because measuring by volume is highly inaccurate.  However, I do prefer to measure salt by volume with a half tablespoon.

This recipe makes a rather small loaf of bread (using about 3 cups of flour).  This is intentional so that it won't take you long to eat it up and then you can make another loaf and continue the learning process!

Easy Beginner Sourdough Bread

  • 400 grams King Arthur unbleached bread flour
  • 250 grams water
  • 100 grams active starter at 100% hydration
  • 9 grams (1/2 Tablespoon) salt

Before mixing your dough, make sure your starter is active:

It should be roughly doubled in volume since the time that you fed it. 

Drop a spoonful of starter into a glass of water to perform a float test.  If the starter floats, it's ready to use and you can proceed with the recipe.

Late afternoon or evening before bake day:.

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a mixer and knead on low speed for 5 minutes.

Turn the mixer off and allow to rest for roughly 30 minutes.

Knead on low speed for another 5 minutes.

Allow to rest for roughly 30 minutes.

Knead on low speed for another 5 minutes.

Cover the dough loosely and leave at room temperature overnight to proof (I leave mine in the bowl of my mixer.)

By the next morning, the dough should be almost doubled in size.

Prepare a 4 x 8 bread pan with oil and/or parchment paper.  Shape the dough into a log and place in bread pan.  Cover loosely with plastic or a towel to prevent it from drying out.

Allow the dough to rise until almost doubled in size.  Mine usually takes about 8 hours.

By late afternoon, the loaf should be ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 500.

Score the loaf with several slashes 1/2"-1" deep and promptly place loaf in the oven.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 190-200.

Optional: Rub a stick of butter over the warm surface of the crust to give a glossy appearance and turn the crust a golden color.

Allow the bread to cool for about 5-10 minutes in the pan, or until it is just cool enough to remove from the pan.  Then allow to cool for at least 30 minutes more before slicing.

Comments

Anna Anderson

My first loaf was a success – except for browning on top and it did not score the way yours did in class. My thoughts are that I only preheated the oven to 475 and I really don’t know why it didn’t score…should I put butter or egg on the top to brown??
Andra Kallhoff from your 1st class

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