If you’ve been following me on Instagram then you know I’ve been working on a sourdough bread recipe for months and months. I set out to create a super easy recipe that still tastes really good. A homemade bread recipe for non-bakers if you will.
I experimented with different flours, temperatures, pans and methods and think I’ve finally nailed it with the recipe in this post. I love that this recipe is easy to follow and doesn’t require a ton of steps before baking. I love kneading and punching, but sometimes I just want to bake already! So, if you’re an actual bread baker, then you might as well click away now because I am sure my method will make you cringe. But the bottom line – it’s easy, it works, and it tastes SO GOOD. Plus, your house will smell like fresh baked sourdough. That’s a win in itself.
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For this Super Easy Sourdough Bread – Dutch Oven Style, you’ll need:
1 cup sourdough starter
2 cups filtered water
2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
Small dutch oven (I use this 3.2 quart enameled cast iron dutch oven)
*I recommend taking your starter out of the refrigerator about 4 hours before you want to make the dough. Give it a good feed and let sit on the counter until nice and bubbly. It takes about 3-4 hours for mine to become bubbly but all sourdough starters are different.*
First, dissolve the salt in the filtered water and set aside.
Next, combine the all-purpose flour with the whole wheat flour in a large bowl.
Add in the sourdough starter, all of the water (with salt), and mix together by hand.
Once well mixed, the dough will become sticky, but shouldn’t be sticking to your hands too much.
Then I knead/fold the dough in half, while working the bowl in a circular pattern using quarter turns. I make about 10-12 folds, when the dough starts to feel about done.
Your dough will eventually look like this:
Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit for 12-24 hours. I’ve noticed the longer it sits, the more sour it tastes. We tend to leave it for 24 hours most of the time. We prefer it sour!
This is what the dough looks like after it has risen:
Once the dough has had 12-24 hours to rise, it’s time to bake.
Preheat oven to 450°F with the dutch oven on the center rack.
Once the oven is preheated, turn the temperature down to 415°F.
Quickly work the dough into a round shape, so that it doesn’t stick to your hands too much. Then place on a piece of parchment paper.
Score the dough and place in the dutch oven.
Bake for 20 minutes with lid on.
Remove the lid and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes.
Remove bread from dutch oven and set on cooling rack. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
I know, this is difficult, but the bread will keep baking on the inside while it cools. This is important!
After 30 minutes, cut off a slice, add some grass-fed butter and enjoy! Try not to eat the entire loaf in one day!
Super Easy Sourdough Bread - Dutch Oven Style
Easy recipe for homemade sourdough bread using a dutch oven.
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 tsp salt
*Initial prep work*
Dissolve salt into filtered water and set aside
Combine all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour in large bowl
Add in sourdough starter and filtered water (with salt dissolved in it)
Mix everything together by hand until well mixed
Knead/fold the dough in half, while working the bowl in a circular pattern using quarter turns
Make about 10-12 folds in total
Cover bowl and let sit to rise for 12-24 hours
*After dough has finished rising*
Preheat oven to 450°F with dutch oven on center rack
Once oven is preheated, turn temperature down to 415°F
Quickly form dough into a round shape and place on a piece of parchment paper
Score the dough and place it (on parchment) into the dutch oven
Bake with lid on for 20 minutes
Remove lid and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes
Move bread to a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes
Slice a piece off and enjoy!
I have a 5.5 qt cast iron enameled dutch oven. Not a 3.2 quart. Will this recipe work in my larger dutch oven? I am just beginning to make sourdough bread in round loaf form. I have made sourdough English muffins for several years.
Hi Reta- It should work just fine, keep an eye on it the first time in case you need to adjust the baking time. And yum! Sourdough english muffins sound delicious!
I use about the same volume of water, flour and start in it makes a pretty good size loaf. Yes
hmmmm….my dough didn’t rise and the bread turned out flat. After I let it sit overnight it was very wet the next day. Could it be my starter?
Oh no! I am sorry to hear that. It most likely has something to do with the starter. How long before making the dough did you feed your starter?
My sourdough does not rise either
I only do half mixture and find it very wet as well
My starter was a week affter the ladt feed
I dont know what else to do
The end product does taste good
Hi Barbara- I’d recommend taking your starter out of the fridge about four hours before you want to make the dough. Feed it and let it sit on the counter. Once it is nice and bubbly (for me, it’s about 3-4 hours) then mix up your dough.
Mary Jane Smith
The parchment paper would not come off the bottom and sides after baking. You don’t mention when to remove it and mine was a real mess
Hi Mary Jane – Thank you for your comment and I’m sorry to hear about the issues with the sticking bread. We have never had this happen before when using parchment so unfortunately I can’t reply with specific experience. However, from the sounds of the issue there may be a few things to look at or tweak before trying again.
First, I feel a bit like the cable guy when saying this (Is it plugged in?;)), but are you using wax paper and not parchment? I assume you have parchment, but figured I’d ask. Assuming you are using parchment, I am guessing the dough is pretty wet when transferring from the bowl to the paper, and maybe this caused the dough to almost glue itself prior to baking. While the risen dough tends to be sticky, if it is too wet this may cause a problem.
A couple possible solutions: 1) – use a little less hydration when making the dough, which in turn should make for a less sticky risen dough. 2) – if using the same recipe, simply add a few drops of sunflower oil to the sheet of parchment and use your hand to spread around to make a very thin layer of oil. Then transfer the risen dough to the parchment and immediately bake.
Lastly, in terms of removing the parchment during the baking process. We keep the parchment under the bread the entire time during baking, only removing the bread at the end to go on a cooling rack. Please let us know if this helps as we always are interested in hearing feedback, so we can learn as well as others, if the same problem is being seen. Thanks again!
Hi, I oiled parchment paper lightly with oil. No problems.
Used flour instead of parchment paper and it worked great. For people having a hard time with their loaves, the starter is the key! If you’re starter isn’t ripe, well fed, and doesn’t taste sour…let it sit on your counter and feed it equal parts water and flour daily until it is. Patience is a necessity for good sourdough, but it doesn’t have to be fancy to be delicious! Great recipe!
Hi Will – Well said and we completely agree! This is especially true of the starter in colder climates and/or if you’ve had the starter in the refrigerator for some time and need to get it back up and moving again. Continuous feeding until it is good to go!
Good things come to those who wait. 🙂 Cheers
I gently removed my dough from its overnite home and it very quickly lost almost half the volume. What’s the secret for this not happening?
Luckily it gained most of this back with the lid on.
This is my first shot and all was going well.
Would placing parchment paper in the overnite bowl work or would it disintegrate? I’ve never used parchment this way other than direct baking.
Will let you know how the loaf turned out.
Thanks for the comment and happy to hear you are starting in on sourdough baking!
We sometimes see settling back with the dough after being removed from the overnight sit, so no worries. The fact that it did regain size during the baking process is perfect, that happens frequently, so you aren’t doing anything wrong. This type of quick sourdough recipe will be tackier than others out there, but we like it for the ease of use and number of total steps involved. In other recipes, we actually punch down the dough multiple times and allow it to rise again, so the loss of size really shouldn’t worry you. We haven’t used the parchment over night, but I don’t see it being an issue or making a huge difference either.
Let us know how it turns out, we always love hearing how recipes work for others! Thanks again
Can I use regular flour and not add the wheat?
Yes, you can absolutely use regular flour for this recipe, just make sure to use unbleached flour and not bleached. The chemicals in the bleached flour could affect your starter/bread. We prefer a combination of wheat and white flour, but have made versions using all white flour and all wheat before. It really comes down to what you prefer for taste. We recommend trying a few different options and seeing what ratio turns out the best for you. Thanks!
Help! I’ve tried to make this bread 3 times now. It’s fine up until I need to bake it. Before then, It rises in the bowl and looks just like the picture. When I try to remove it from the bowl, however, it’s no longer the consistency of dough; it’s very runny. There’s no possible way to shape it; it just sticks to my fingers like peanut butter and spreads out onto the parchment paper as if it’s a liquid.
It takes the shape of the container that it’s in when baking because it’s so runny and unshapeable. It takes good and sour when it’s baked. But why is it so runny? I tried adding another 1/4 flour to the last batch but that did nothing (it might been worse, I don’t know).
What is going on???
I really have no idea why this happening for you. Is your starter on the runny side? We keep ours at 100% hydration. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.
Thanks for responding. I’m not sure what 100% hydration means. The starter doesn’t seem to be too runny. I feed 4 oz of starter with 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water.
Amy ideas on how to resolve the issue?
I made this bread, but the bottom of it came out almiost burnt– how do I avoid this– I mean I followed the recipe to a T, please give me some hints
Hi Liz, sorry to hear that. My best guess is that your oven is hotter than ours? I would suggest adjusting temperature or bake time.
Thanks for the recipe and tips. Just wondering for the 12-24 rising period is that just on the counter or in the fridge?
We covered it with a towel and generally stored in the oven since we were tight on counter space. Oven turned off 🙂 Counter would work just fine!
My problem has been the wet dough as well when trying this recipe and I think I figured out what it is!!
I’m using bleached all purpose flour for the bread, the starter is made with unbleached…. when the starter gets added to the dough, it changes the consistency.
Thanks for reporting back, never would have thought of this!
This is exactly how I make my sourdough bread (though I weigh my ingredients instead of using measuring cups).
What helps with rising is placing the bowl after kneading inside your turned OFF oven only switching the light on. The heat of the light is enough to let your dough rise and the oven protects from draughty chills.
Mine turned out totally brown and shiny and really hard what did I do wrong
My starter is fairly new about a week and a half. I used all purpose unbleached flour, Walmart brand, and king Arthur whole wheat.
Matt & Alana
Sorry to hear that, it is possible your starter is too new and maybe needs another week to develop. It’s also possible your oven runs at a way different temperature then ours. Do you have a thermometer inside the oven?
I am so happy that my bread turned out perfect and delicious using this easy, fabulous recipe! And it was my first attempt at sourdough bread. I can’t wait to make another loaf.
Matt & Alana
Glad to hear it, happy baking!
Thank you for this recipe. So easy to follow and works really well.
Bread was delicious. And you are right, the hardest part was not to eat in one sitting!
Alana, i gave it a go and turn out great. However it was a bit under cooked in the center. Should I leave the lid on longer and turn down the heat a few degrees? What is your thoughts? Also i am at 6000 feet elevation.
Matt & Alana
Hi Justin, thanks for your comment. I think leaving the lid on longer and turning it down a bit is a good call. I would start there. Unfortunately, I don’t have experience baking at your elevation level. Would you mind stopping back with an update if you try again? Thank you!
Newbie bread baker here. My bread was kind of dense. Followed the recipe exactly but j have a 5.5 (?) Qt. Would that have made a difference? Should I use a little less whole wheat? Would that make it lighter?
Matt & Alana
Hi Kathie – Yes, this makes a hefty loaf! Less whole wheat will make it lighter, enjoy!
This bread is delicious! I was initially concerned about the wetness of the dough. As I live in a high humidity area, I did add a bit of flour, while still keeping the dough fully hydrated.
I allowed the dough to sit for 23 hours before baking. The cust is perfectly crisp, the tart flavor is amazing!
My loaf was a little flatter because I used a larger Dutch oven, bit I am having bread and Kerry gold for lunch today!
Thanlkyou for sharing
Matt & Alana
Yay! Enjoy and happy baking!
I have received a very old family starter and your recipe is my first attempt at sourdough. I let it rest for 18 hours before baking and the sour taste was amazing. My only question is about the sticky dough. In order to fold and turn the dough in the bowl, I had to add sprinkled flour for each fold because my fingers were coated in the dough. It didn’t seem to make the finished bread tough though. I’m wondering how you measure flour. I place the flour into the measuring cup using a spoon. If I dip the cup into the flour and pack it a bit, then more flour I’d measured. What do you think? You did not mention oiling the bowl to prevent some sticking. Thanks
Your experience seems exactly like mine- so sticky I couldn’t handle the dough so I sprinkled in more flour with each fold. Should the bowl be oiled for the overnight rise? I didn’t use any wheat flour though, so mine rose like crazy. I do hope the authors come back and respond, I’d love to know how to improve, too.
After waiting for what seemed like a long time, my sourdough starter was finally ready. This was the first recipe I attempted (and the first bread I’ve made). The results were delicious, but not quite what I expected. Here’s what I think I did wrong.
When I pre-heated the oven to 450, I wasn’t sure whether to have the lid on the dutch oven, have it on the side, or leave it out of the oven entirely. I opted for the latter. I think that was the right move, but I should have left the dutch oven preheating in the oven for much longer which I’ll do next time.
Since my oven has a knob with 400, 425, 450 markings, when I put it to 415 it was an estimate. Next time I’ll stick a thermometer in the oven to make sure I’m really at 415 after the pre-heating stage.
After sitting overnight my dough looked exactly like the picture, and the surface of the dough was a little hard after the rise. I tried to follow the directions to quickly reshape the dough into a round shape, but the dough was super sticky and I was didn’t think I was supposed to mess with it for very long. The resulting shape of my bread was a bit off.
Next time, I’ll use a little extra flour at this stage, roll the ball in my hands into a round proper round shape. The picture actually does look like there’s additional flour on the outside of the dough so perhaps that just wasn’t specified in the directions.
It also took a bit longer for my bread to cook all the way through. That could have been due to less pre-heating or maybe my temperature was lower than I expected.
The result as mentioned wasn’t super pretty, but it tasted good and had nice bubbles throughout. The sourness was quite tangy and complex. I loved it but my I might let it rise for a few hours less next time for a less sour batch.
Thanks for the recipe! It was a really fun learning experience.
I ended up with a puddle in the morning. I live in Florida so I wonder if I need more flour since sitting on the counter it will have more moisture?
Matt & Alana
Sorry to hear that Kelly, I would suggest adding more flour. We developed this recipe in the winter in Wisconsin so quite dry. Please let us know if that solves the problem. Thanks
Can you please give me your recipe for your sourdough starter.
Matt & Alana
Hi Helen – We based our starter recipe on this one: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/sourdough-starter-recipe
I have a packet of platinum instant sourdough. Do you think this recipe will work with that instead of using the sourdough starter? Should I make any modifications to the recipe? Any advice is welcome!
Matt & Alana
Shoot, we really have no idea as we’ve only done this with a live sourdough starter. If you try, please report back!
I just made my own sourdough starter and your recipe worked perfectly. Really crunchy and flavorful.
My dough got really dried out on top, when it was rising on the counter. I did cover it with a towel. Was it supposed to be covered with a wet towel or plastic?
Matt & Alana
Sorry to hear that! We have always just used a regular dry towel. I think using a damp towel could be the solution for you.
So I made this recipe 3 times now with 2 out of 3 turning out good and the third one literally fell flat!!! The first time I made it with the wheat and white flour, it was good. The second time was all white flour and it was PERFECT, but this last time I used 4 cups white flour and 1 cup of organic dark rye and it was a disaster! The dough was way way too wet, after 24 hours it did rise, but not as much as the first 2 times. It was too runny to even get a ball shape out of it but I figured I’d still try to bake it. It rose maybe 1/4 of an inch. I’m not sure if the dark rye did it? We did have a huge storm come through here yesterday when I did the mixing and the majority of the rising, could that have done it or was it the rye flour itself? My starter is good and hearty (at least a month old) so I know that’s not the issue. Also, I do notice that the dough has been wet each time I make it and it is hard to get a nice ball. I’m not sure if I’m kneading it enough? I mean, can you over knead a dough? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!!!!! Thanks,
My bread is cooling and looks exactly like the picture and smells delicious. I can hardly wait for it to cool enough to try. This recipe seemed too easy, but it rose correctly, baked correctly and looks perfect. Thank you for an uncomplicated tried and true recipe. I can’t wait to try it with all white flour and I will in a couple of weeks.
Made this bread for the second time today. This time the proofed dough was very soft and sticky and spread out a lot on the parchment paper. I couldn’t get the cut in the top to hold its shape and was afraid the loaf was going to fall while baking. It turned out a little flat, not too pretty and rather heavy but is absolutely delicious non the less. Crispy crust, soft and chewy inside, nice crumb. Between my husband and I, we have eaten half the loaf already; can’t stop eating it. I used one cup of whole grain spelt and the rest just unbleached white. I’m thinking maybe I should have used a little less water as the white flour doesn’t hold as much moisture as whole wheat, resulting in a really wet dough. Will try again
This recipe gave me such easier steps to follow than other recipes I’ve used and allows for more creativity. I’m currently baking my second loaf using this recipe after the first turned out so great. Thank you so much for sharing!!
Hi! I’ve made this recipe just with white flour and it turned out great! The starter is definitely the key! I keep my starter in fridge, then take out around noon time, feed it (½ cup warm water ½ cup flour) then mix and let it sit on counter till late afternoon. Then mix the dough and leave it in the oven till morning when I bake it! It’s delicious!! Just hard to wait that ½ hour after its our of the oven before eating. Warm it up later on and drizzle a bit of olive oil on it and oh.my.goodness!! Thank you for this recipe!! I’m on to my 4th or 5th time making it! We all love it!!
I tried this bread for the first time this weekend. It was my first sourdough recipe in years as I just got a starter from a friend. It was delicious! We’re going to try it next with all white flour as my partner wants to enjoy the full sour flavor over the mild white flour.
The only modification that I made was that I did not use parchment paper and instead sprinkled the bottom of the cast iron dutch oven with cornmeal before putting the dough in: a tactic that I’m used to using for breads that I make with yeast. It worked great! Thanks for the delicious and easy recipe!
I’m making my first loaf using this recipe right now. There is no rising/punching down/rising so my question is: the dough has risen to double beautifully in just 6 hours! Should I bake it, gently fold it and re-rise it, or leave it alone for another 6-12 hours? I’m afraid it’ll overflow if I do nothing. HELP!
Matt & Alana
We reach out via your Facebook commment. Let us know how it turns out!
Cm I bake sour dough in an aluminum
Pot with lid?
Matt & Alana
Hi Carol – I have not tried but do believe you can bake in aluminum pots. I have no idea what you would need to do as far as adjusting your temperature or baking time. Sorry I can’t help!
Can any type of salt be used?
I made this bread and it was delicious! It was my first time making sourdough. Thanks for sharing this easy and yummy recipe!
The Reluctant Baker
Wow! I didn’t have the two kinds of flour and only had a Brand name bread flour. I followed the recipe almost exactly (forgot to turn oven down in first part) and it turned out great. This is my new go to bread for the family.
I loved this recipe! I let the dough rise for about 20 hours in the KitchenAid bowl, then dumped it onto the parchment paper as you suggested and rolled a little bit of garlic, rosemary and parmesan cheese into it and voila! Next time I would turn down the temp a bit. It is hard to adjust because I have a gas oven in celsius and it isn’t very accurate. Super moist and tasty. Loved that I could make this with zero store bought yeast. Thanks for the recipe!