How I Make Sourdough Bread
Sourdough pamphlet

Sourdough Starter

After looking through several library books...

  • I saw this one on Amazon, cheap, a pamphlet really.  It was the best book I found for simple sourdough.

  • I followed his instructions for making the starter — it's just flour and water left out on the counter until it picks up yeasts from the air and becomes bubbly.  I had success on the first try and have kept it going for years.

  • I am happy to share my starter with anyone who wants to stop by my house.

Sourdough 2

Storing the Starter

To store the starter between bakings...

  • Keep the flour and water in a jar, with an unbleached coffee filter on top held on with a rubber band.  This allows air to get in and keeps other "stuff" out.

  • Place the covered jar in the refrigerator.

  • If a black liquid forms on top, simply pour it off, or if there isn't much just stir it into the starter and consider it more yeast. 

Waking Up the Starter

When ready to make some bread...

  • Remove the starter from the refrigerator and let it warm to room temperature for a few hours.

  • Pour the entire contents into a clean bowl, add a cup or two more flour and water.

  • Let it sit a few more hours (or overnight) until it gets bubbly, as pictured.  

  • Remove about a half cup of this fresh starter, put it back in the jar, add a bit more water and flour, secure coffee filter with rubber band, and put into the refrigerator to use the next time.

Sourdough yellow bowl 4

Making Dough

The simplest sourdough...

  • Water, flour, and 1 tsp salt per loaf.

  • My large Tupperware bowl shown above is filled with water about ¼ full, the salt added, and some flour continuously added until it is no longer able to be stirred.

  • The dough is kneaded right in the bowl to avoid a mess on the counter.  

  • Flour is added while kneading until it doesn't stick to fingers anymore, but not as dense as regular yeast-raised bread dough.

  • The bowl is covered with a towel and set aside at room temperature until the dough doubles in size.

Sourdough yellow bowl 3

Ready to Bake!

The dough is ready to be put in a pan...

  • This amount makes 2 loaves for me.  

  • I bake it in a bread loaf pan, so I can easily cut it for toasting in my toaster, but you could easily form and bake it in the typical sourdough style. 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped.  

  • Let cool a bit and then dig in!

  • When making bread, I have sometimes made a small batch of cinnamon rolls with some of the dough — a delicious treat!

Sourdough bread loaf done

Final Product

As shown here, the final product has a very good texture.  Exceptional for French toast!  


Optional add-ins when making the dough...

  • Honey, molasses, or another sweetener (makes it rise faster)

  • An egg or two

  • Fat of some sort, such as ghee or olive oil

  • Other flours such as rye, whole wheat, whatever. (Our local co-op has a flour blend for making a multi-seed bread that is very tasty with this bread.)

  • Seasonings, spices, cheese, raisins, dried fruits, seeds... go nuts!  (Oh yeah, you can add nuts!)

It typically takes 2 days, from removing the starter from the refrigerator until the loaves are baked and ready to eat.