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Easy Rustic Sourdough Bread

Overhead view of sliced sourdough bread loaf on cooling rack

An old-fashioned rustic loaf that doesn’t take all day to make—imagine that! This sourdough bread is perfect for beginners.

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup (227g) fed (ripe) Sourdough Starter
  • 1 ½ cups (340g) Water, between 90-100 degrees
  • 12 tsp Instant Yeast
  • 2 ½ tsp (15g) Kosher Salt
  • 5 cups (600g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and stirring with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Use your hands to create a smooth dough in the bowl. You can also do this in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, kneading the dough on low until a smooth ball forms.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size, about 60-90 minutes.

Divide the dough in half, and pre-shape each round by pulling the edges of the dough to the center of the ball. Turn the ball over so the seam is on the bottom, and rolling the ball with your cupped hands, a smooth tight ball is formed. All the dough to rest for 15 minutes.

To do the final shaping, you can create ovel loaves by rolling the dough after it has been pre-shaped by rolling it back and forth on your work surface several times. Or you can create longer loaves by rolling them out until they are about 10” long.

Place the loaves onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover them with a tea towel and allow them to rise about 1 hour. During this time, you will want to preheat your oven to 425 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, place it in your oven while preheating. If you are using Dutch Ovens, place them on the racks to preheat.

Spray the loaves with additional lukewarm water, and slash deep cuts into the bread for venting steam. This creates decoration, as well as letting steam escape as the bread bakes preventing ugly “blow outs”. A sharp knife, or bread lame should be used to create those cuts.

If using a pizza stone, slide the bread rounds, while still on the parchment paper onto the stone. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until they are very deep golden brown. The bread should register 200 degrees when measured with an instant read thermometer.

If you are using a pre-heated Dutch Oven, lift the bread rounds using the edges of the parchment and place into the Dutch Oven. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to bake until the bread is deep golden brown, and registers 200 degrees on an instant read thermometer.

Remove immediately from the Dutch oven and place onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Notes

  • Weighing flour provides the most accurate way to make bread, but if you don’t have a scale, measuring out your ingredients by cup is fine.
  • You can half this recipe to create one single loaf of bread if desired.
  • For best results, use a pizza stone, or Dutch oven to get a bread with extra chew. 

Keywords: no knead sourdough bread, homemade sourdough bread, sourdough loaf