The Best Crusty Sourdough Bread

8 minute read

Crispy, chewy, tender, and tangy: all the flavor and texture you want in a beautiful homemade loaf of sourdough bread. This easy method take a little patience and planning, but the final result is worth every fold and ferment! I have tried several methods in making variations of sourdough and this one is by far my favorite. My dear sweet friend, Katie, spent months developing how to make the perfect loaf of sourdough bread and taught me how to make this mouthwatering, delicious bread and I’m so excited to share it with you! My family loves this bread so much that I make at least 2-3 loaves a week for sandwiches, avocado toast, toasted with grass-fed butter, or my favorite: as a crispy, chewy slice of heaven to dip in my favorite soup.

Crusty Sourdough Bread Recipe

Why Sourdough is So Good for You!

Have you ever wondered why sourdough is considered a healthier bread? There are several reasons why sourdough is a great choice when looking for a tasty and nutrient dense bread. Sourdough bread is rich in fiber, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, vitamins B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), B5 (riboflavin) and B9 (folate).

Sourdough bread can be easier to digest for those with gluten sensitivities. I do NOT recommend eating sourdough bread if you have celiacs disease or any type of severe sensitivity to gluten without checking with your physician first. One of the reasons sourdough can be more digestible for those with gluten sensitivities is due to the long fermentation process that sourdough bread undergoes. This allows for the wild yeast and bacteria present from your starter to break down proteins and carbohydrates (fructans) found in the flour [1].

Sourdough bread can be helpful for individuals working to maintain more stable blood sugar levels as it has a lower glycemic index, which supports healthier blood sugar regulation by reducing the potential for a severe blood glucose spike due to its slower absorption. This is thought to occur due to the fermentation process and how the carbohydrates are broken down and changed [2].

The Best Sourdough Bread Recipe Easy

Why Organic Unbleached Flour vs. Conventional Flour

If you do a lot of home baking like do it’s important to choose your ingredients wisely, let’s unpack why I only buy and use organic unbleached flours when I bake.

Why Organic? Organic flour is milled from grains that have been grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. By using organic flour in your baked goods, you are also increasing the nutrition found in the foods you create. Organic grains have higher levels of zinc, magnesium and protein than their conventional counterparts [3].

Why Unbleached? Bleached flour is refined, and that is enough reason to cut it out of your diet! During the processing of refined foods such as flours, sugars and oils, the key and essential nutrients get stripped away, yielding a product that is nutritionally void. Chemicals you say? Why yes! Bleached flours are full of chemicals, such as potassium bromide which has been shown to be a carcinogen linked to kidney and thyroid cancer [4].

Making Sourdough is super simple and only uses 4 ingredients: your starter, flour, water and salt.  That’s it, but the results are amazing: soft chewy bread with a satisfying crispy crust full of tangy flavor and all the benefits of the fermentation process.

What You’ll Need to Make Roasted Garlic Rosemary Sourdough

Dutch Oven
Parchment Paper
Mixing Bowl
Bench Scraper
Digital Scale
Spatula
Bread Lame or Sharp Knife
Spray Bottle
Banneton

The Best Crusty Sourdough Bread Ingredients

50g Fed Starter*
425+105g Organic Unbleached Bread Flour
375g Cool Filtered Water
12g Fine Salt

*Discard and feed the starter about 10-12 hours before making the bread. I like to use the starter at the peak once it has doubled, you can still use it as it is beginning to fall, but once it is 1-2 hours after peak, wait until it has been re-feed to start the process.

1. Start by adding your starter, the water and 425g of flour to a large bowl, mixing well with a spatula until a shaggy dough forms. Cover and let rest for 4 hours at room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator overnight.

Easy Sourdough Bread

Shaggy Dough

Easy sourdough bread method

Dough after resting overnight in the fridge

2. The next day, add the remaining flour and salt knead into the dough. It will take about 5-minutes, but the dough will take in all the flour, just keep kneading. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 1-hour.

The Best Rustic Sourdough Bread

Dough after kneading in the remaining flour

3. After 1-hour, start the folding process, four sets of folds every 30-minutes. Fold each side (4 sides) towards the center/opposite side of the dough, repeat until all four sets have been completed. Cover in-between folds.

Tangy sourdough bread recipe

After the 1st round of folds

4. Cover and allow to bulk ferment for 2-12 hours until the dough has doubled in size. Timing of this step depends on environmental factors and each loaf will take a different amount of time.

Pro Tip: Take a marker and indicate on the outside of your bowl the size of the dough before bulk fermentation to have a nice indicator of when it has doubled.

5. Once the dough had doubled in size, turn it out onto a clean counter (you can lightly dust with a pinch of flour if you want.) Gently, using a bench scraper, pull the dough inward to form a ball and begin shaping the dough into a ball. (Do this by tucking the dough under as you spin the dough in a clock wise motion to strengthen it. Continue until the dough is shaped, about 15-30 times and gently pop any bubbles that form near the surface.)

6. Transfer dough to your floured (rice or regular flour) banneton, or towel lined colander and cover or wrap in a large plastic bag. Set in the fridge 24-72 hours for the cold fermentation.

7. Preheat oven to 450 degrees with the Dutch oven inside.

8. Tear off a large piece of parchment and turn the dough over onto it. Score the dough: typically a large score along the side or you can do a cross over the top. Trim the parchment so you have handles at the end but so that it’s not so large to fit in the Dutch oven.

9. Transfer to the Dutch oven and spray with water 6-10 times (optional for that mouthwatering crispy crust). Cover and bake for 22-25 minutes covered, and then 18-20 minutes uncovered.

10. Remove and discard the parchment paper, cool completely on a wire rack.

11. Slice and serve!

Crusty Sourdough Bread Recipe

Crusty Sourdough Bread Recipe

The Best Crusty Sourdough Bread

Amy Lippert
Crispy, chewy, tender, and tangy: all the flavor and texture you want in a beautiful homemade loaf of sourdough bread.
Prep Time 3 days
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine Sourdough Bread
Servings 16
Calories 104 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 50 g Fed Starter*
  • 425 +105g Organic Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 375 g Cool Filtered Water
  • 12 g Fine Salt

Instructions
 

  • Start by adding your starter, the water and 450g of flour to a large bowl, mixing well with a spatula until a shaggy dough forms. Cover and let rest for 4 hours at room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator overnight.
  • The next day, add the remaining flour and salt knead into the dough. It will take about 5-minutes, but the dough will take in all the flour, just keep kneading. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 1-hour.
  • After 1-hour, start the folding process, four sets of folds every 30-minutes. Fold each side (4 sides) towards the center/opposite side of the dough, repeat until all four sets have been completed. Cover in-between folds.
  • Cover and allow to bulk ferment for 2-12 hours until the dough has doubled in size. Timing of this step depends on environmental factors and each loaf will take a different amount of time.
  • Pro Tip: Take a marker and indicate on the outside of your bowl the size of the dough before bulk fermentation to have a nice indicator of when it has doubled.
  • Once the dough had doubled in size, turn it out onto a clean counter (you can lightly dust with a pinch of flour if you want.) Gently, using a bench scraper, pull the dough inward to form a ball and begin shaping the dough into a ball. (Do this by tucking the dough under as you spin the dough in a clock wise motion to strengthen it. Continue until the dough is shaped, about 15-30 times and gently pop any bubbles that form near the surface.)
  • Transfer dough to your floured (rice or regular flour) banneton, or towel lined colander, and cover or wrap in a large plastic bag. Set in the fridge 24-72 hours for the cold fermentation.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees with the Dutch oven inside.
  • Tear off a large piece of parchment and turn the dough over onto it. Score the dough: typically a large score along the side or you can do a cross over the top. Trim the parchment so you have handles at the end but so that it’s not so large to fit in the Dutch oven.
  • Transfer to the Dutch oven and spray with water 6-10 times (optional for that mouthwatering crispy crust). Cover and bake for 22-25 minutes covered, and then 18-20 minutes uncovered.
  • Remove and discard the parchment paper, cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Slice and serve!

Notes

*Discard and feed the starter about 10-12 hours before making the bread. I like to use the starter at the peak once it has doubled, you can still use it as it is beginning to fall, but once it is 1-2 hours after peak, wait until it has been re-feed to start the process.

Nutrition

.wprm-nutrition-label-layout .wprmp-nutrition-label-block-line {background-color: #333333;} .wprm-nutrition-label-layout .wprmp-nutrition-label-block-nutrient {border-top-color: #333333;}
Nutrition Facts
The Best Crusty Sourdough Bread
Amount per Serving
Calories
104
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.5
g
1
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.1
g
1
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.04
g
Sodium
 
292
mg
13
%
Potassium
 
28
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
21
g
7
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
0.1
g
0
%
Protein
 
3
g
6
%
Vitamin A
 
1
IU
0
%
Calcium
 
5
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.3
mg
2
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Artisan Sourdough, Chewy Sourdough, Crusty Sourdough, Easy Sourdough, Homemade Sourdough, Perfect Sourdough, Rustic Sourdough, Sourdough bread, Tangy Sourdough
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The Best Crusty Sourdough Bread, Almond Milk & Cookies

FAQs

Q: What is the shortest amount of time you would recommend doing the cold fermentation?
A: I would at a minimum allow the dough to cold ferment overnight, but the longer you can wait, the more developed that iconic sourdough flavor becomes.

Q: What if I don’t have a bread lame to slice the dough?
A: You can use a really sharp knife, and it doesn’t have to be perfect, the more rustic looking the better in my opinion!

Q: What is the best way to store fresh sourdough bread?
A: After the first day, I always pre-slice my sourdough and store it in the freezer to keep it fresh. If you are eating it fairly quickly, you can store it in a paper bag on the counter to prevent too much moisture build up.

Q: How will I know when the bulk fermentation is done?
A: You want to keep an eye on your dough during this time as environmental factors will alter the timing of the bulk fermentation. On warmer days it will go faster than on cooler days. In general, I have found that at 72 degrees my bulk fermentation takes around 4-8 hours, at 68 degrees it can take up to 12-18 hours. Keep an eye on it and use a marker to mark the outside of your container so you know when it has doubled.

Q: Do I need to use a hungry or fed starter for this recipe?
A: I prefer to use an active starter that has been fed and it at it’s peak. I would not recommend using the starter straight out of the fridge as it will not be as strong as an active starter that has been fed for a few days before.

Q: How many days do I need to feed the starter at room temperature after having been in the refrigerator before I can make sourdough bread?
A: It really depends on your starter and how long it has been in the fridge. Ideally, discard and feed every 24 hours until you see that the starter is doubling in size at about the 10-12 hour point, then you know it’s strong and ready.

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Welcome to Almond Milk and Cookies where good food, health and lots of flavor go hand-in-hand!

I am a holistic nutritionist with an auto-immune disorder, a love of cooking, and a passion for holistic health.

Sharing what I make and eat with all of you…in hopes that you find inspiration here to fuel your body and feel your best with nutrient dense whole foods and clean eating.

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