How to make sourdough bread?

The idea of making a sourdough bread can seem complicated. However,once you know how to make sourdough, it is very easy to make your own delicious sourdough bread at home!

Why make a sourdough bread?

Sourdough bread has many virtues. Whether it’s nutrition, taste, or conservation, you’ll find at least one good reason to make homemade yeast.

1. A more digest and healthy bread

First of all from a nutritional point of view: sourdough bread is more digestible than traditional yeast bread. When growing bread, the bacteria in the natural leaven feed on the starch, making the bread more digestible. Because of that sourdough bread glycemic index is lower than traditional bread.

2. A better conservation

Bread made with sourdough, can be preserved better than traditional bread. It can be kept for up to a week (well packaged in a clean tea towel). While the classic bread will only hold 2 days. So you can make your sourdough boule bread on Sunday and enjoy it all week.

3. The baste taste ever

Not convinced yet? This is the best reason to make leaven and make leavened bread. The taste of leavened bread is different from traditional bread. Its flavor is more subtle. In addition, the crumb of leavened bread will be more honeycombed, giving it a pleasant rustic side in the mouth. Finally, the bread crust will be crispier. What you make delicious sandwiches!

How to make your sourdough starter

It will take you 4 days to make your sourdough starter. And only a few basic ingredients are enough: rye flour, water and a pinch of sugar. Find here all the information you need to make your sourdough starter.

How to  make sourdough bread, make your sourdough starter first!
How to make sourdough bread, make your sourdough starter first!

Make your sourdough boule bread at home !

Above all, the day before you want to make your sourdough boule bread, it is necessary to feed your sourdough starter. So you have to feed him to be in good shape for your bread. It will swell, plan a container big enough not to overflow.

Rye flour is great to activate it:

100g of rye flour + 100g of water

Sourdough bread recipe : Activate your Rye sourdough starter
Activate your Rye sourdough starter

Mix everything well. Cover with a cloth or a lid without closing. And let rest a whole night.

The next day, your sourdough starter should be bubbling. It is ready to give you the best of himself for your sourdough bread recipe!

Preparation of your sourdough bread recipe

Tools you will need for your sourdough bread


  • 500 g flour
  • 10 g of salt
  • 150 g of your homemade sourdough
  • 300/350 g of water (Depending on the absorption of your flour)

Preparation of the sourdough bread

1. Autolyse (Not mandatory)

This step makes it possible to launch a first fermentation. Your dough will be more elastic. But if you do not have a lot of time in front of you, skip this step.

 In the bowl of your KitchenAid, put 300g of water and 500g of flour. With the hook, knead about 3 minutes, just the time to obtain a paste. And let it rest for 30 minutes. It will start the process of natural fermentation.

2. Kneading with the KitchenAid

Add the salt and the sourdough and always knead for 10 to 15 minutes speed 1 or 2. (No higher than that!)

When the dough comes off, you can stop kneading. If the dough seems too dry, add a little water and knead until you get the right consistency. The dough must always come off the robot tank.

3. Or kneading by hand

With the palm of your hand, knead the dough. At first it will be very sticky then after 10/15 minutes you will have the right texture. Do not stop before, even if you are tired! If you do not knead enough, your sourdough boule bread will not grow properly. Hence the interest of investing in a Kitchenaid, when you do these kind of recipes.

How to make sourdough bread: knead the dough
How to make sourdough bread: knead the dough

4. Pointing (Pointage): First fermentation

Cover and let push for at least 2 hours in a warm room. The dough will double in size.

5. Shaping the sourdough boule

Give it the shape you want. Boule, bread, baguette, etc. Do not handle the bread too much, because we have to keep the bubbles inside.

6. Bread Primer (Apprêt): 2nd FERMENTATION

Always in a warm room, let your bread rest for at least an hour. It will swell again.

Baking your sourdough bread

Preheat the oven to 425 °F. Before baking, using a knife make a cross on the top of your bread (or something else). The goal is to cut the bread so that it can grow well in the oven.

During preheating, put in the bottom part of the oven a large enough container with warm water. The water will heat up and steam. It is thanks to this steam that the bread will have a nice golden crust!

The other method to get steam is to throw water in the oven just before baking.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Your bread must be golden brown. Do not open the oven door while baking. You would get the steam out.

After baking, place on a rack and wait for the cooling before tasting it! We must allow time for carbon dioxide to escape.

Making homemade sourdough bread may seem a little long at first, but when you get to a result like that, you know it’s worth it!

To taste, slice ​​and enjoy with a good salted butter !!

Sourdough bread with salted butter...
Sourdough bread with salted butter…

If you do not have your homemade sourdough starter yet, start! Here you can know how to make your sourdough starter easily.

No sourdough or no time to make it? But you still want a good homemade bread, try our French country bread recipe , with or without kneading. It’s so simple and delicious!

You like our sourdough bread? Pin it!
You like our sourdough bread? Pin it!

19 thoughts on “How to make sourdough bread?

  • April 9, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    The ingredients are 500gr flour but in the directions it only mentions adding 300gr of flour and then add sourdough and salt. What about the 200gr left of flour?

    • April 11, 2019 at 1:59 pm

      You need to add the 500g of flour. Sorry, it’s corrected!

  • May 11, 2019 at 6:23 am

    Hey, Chef ! I have a problem with making the recipe. I combined the 500g flour with 300g water, then added the 150 sourdough, respecting all the steps you provided. Yet, the dough does not want to come off the bowl or the hook. I added 60 more grams of flour to no avail. What am I doing wrong ? Is the flour so saturated with water that I need to add less water than 300g ? Thank you a bunch !

    • May 30, 2019 at 1:48 pm

      Are you using white wheat flour? It really depends on the kind of flour you are using and also the sourdough. If it is liquid, you will need to add a extra flour. And it takes around 10 minutes of kneading to have the good texture.

  • September 18, 2019 at 12:14 am

    Bonjour Chef,

    I have a question about the sourdough steps in the recipe:

    The first step is making the starter, which will yield 160g of starter and a bit more every day I feed my friend Grisbert.

    Then I feed him before the baking day, with 100 g flour and 100 g water to activate the starter, but which amount of starter do I use? Do I take160 g from the jug, and add the flour and water to prepare the levain (that´s the levain, right?) in an individual vessel and use 150 g of that mixture for baking the bread, or do I just feed Grisbert with a lot of flour and water and use 150g of that, or does it make no difference at all?

    Merci et à bientôt

    • September 19, 2019 at 12:48 pm

      Bonjour Hanna,
      I love your levain’s name, it’s very cute!
      So yes, you need to feed your levain the day before you plan to use it. Then just when you are making your bread you can take whatever you need. From what you are saying, I think you are doing it right!
      Hope this helps!

  • October 14, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    This is a fantastic recipe!! Thank you for sharing it and for all the details! I make my own starter and tried a few recipes; yours is my favorite, came out exactly how I like my sourdough bread!!

    • October 15, 2019 at 8:24 am

      Oh merci Lina! I’m really glad you enjoy this sourdough bread as much as I do!

  • December 9, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    We love this recipe. I have made it 3 times now and it is wonderful. My question is this, if I wanted to make a honey whole wheat loaf how much honey should I add?

    • December 10, 2019 at 6:27 am

      I think you should start with 1/4 cup of honey.
      Thanks for your kind words!

  • January 4, 2020 at 11:02 am

    Hi. Can I use regular white unbleached flour? Rye is too expensive to my budget. Thanks

    • January 6, 2020 at 1:55 pm

      Yes you can, but results are better with rye.

  • February 15, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    Hi from Australia
    I’ve just found your site and really enjoying this sourdough conversation.
    My family are not keen on all rye flour so my question is about mixing different types of flour. Is there a ratio formula for mixing white bakers flour and rye flour and does the water ratio change?

    • February 20, 2020 at 3:13 pm

      Bonjour Talya from Australia! You can mix different flours, I would say as long as you keep 40% of white flour. But you can also make it with only white flour. Bon appétit!

  • March 17, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    The 4th day , I see a clear liquid line in my starter, is this normal. I stir it and add ing. Next day,but it comes back after about 2 hr

    • May 26, 2020 at 4:30 am

      It’s not getting enough air. Use a wide bowl. And make the starter into a paste. I had the same issue and the above change solved it

    • April 24, 2020 at 7:01 pm

      All purpose

  • April 25, 2020 at 4:50 am

    Hi. Can you explain the steps to go through if using a bread maker please? I have my sourdough starter ready to go!


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