Basic Sourdough Bread shown on tea bowl and cutting board.

Basic Sourdough Bread Recipe

Sourdough is a simple process once you get it going and the results, well you can thank me later!

Course Breads, fermented
Cuisine American
Keyword artisan bread, sourdough bread, sourdough recipes, traditional
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes
Servings 24 servings
Calories 208 kcal
Author Cultured Palate


  • 450 g sourdough starter
  • 1275 g unbleached white flour
  • 825 g water
  • 30 g salt


  1. Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Allow to rest 30 minutes.

Stretch and fold using the stretch and fold in the bowl technique:

  1. To do this simply stretch one side of the dough lifting it slightly out of the bowl but not allowing the dough to tear and fold it back to the center of the ball of dough. Pat down the seam and turn the bowl 1/4 turn and repeat stretching and folding until you have done the whole ball of dough. See "stretch and fold in the bowl" illustration for more detail.
  2. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Repeat the stretch and fold in the bowl on the ball of dough for 10 rounds. Rest for 30 min.
  4. Repeat the stretch and fold in the bowl again for 10 rounds. You should be feeling a difference in the dough by now - it is getting tougher/stronger which means the gluten is developing. Rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Put the dough on a lightly floured counter (you still want the dough to have traction on the counter top) and do the stretch and fold technique for 1 round. Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with saran wrap. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Repeat the stretch and fold on the floured counter. Reform the dough into a ball and replace it in the bowl. Leave the dough at room temperature until it has increased by 50%.
  7. Place the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
  8. The next day, remove dough from the refrigerator. place dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into loaves. Allow the loaves to rest for 60 mins.
  9. Shape the loaves and allow them to proof in pans or supported by towels for 35 mins.
  10. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  11. Score the loaves and bake with steam for 35 - 45 mins or until they are browned. See Notes.
  12. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Basic Sourdough Bread Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 208
% Daily Value*
Sodium 487mg20%
Potassium 53mg2%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Fiber 1g4%
Protein 6g12%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.