Classic Sourdough Bread
Relish Magazine

(bread, wheat flour, American )

Classic Sourdough Bread
Classic Sourdough Bread

Yield: 2 loaves; 12 servings each
120 calories per serving


1 C Sourdough Starter
2¼ C warm water, divided
5 to 7 C white bread flour, divided
2 (¼-ounce) packets dry yeast
2 tsp sugar, divided
2 tsp salt


  1. Mix sourdough starter, 2 C water and 5 C flour in a large bowl. Mix well; cover with dish towel and let rise 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Combine yeast, ¼ C warm water, and ½ tsp sugar. Let stand 5 min, until mixture bubbles.
  3. Add yeast mixture to the sourdough and flour mixture. Add salt and remaining 1½ tsp sugar. Mix well. With you hands or a dough hook, knead while gradually adding up to 2 additional cups of flour, ½ C at a time. Knead until a smooth, soft dough forms. Dough should be shiny and supple, not sticky and wet. If you plan to add additional ingredients, (see sourdough olive bread), add them at this point so they are evenly distributed.
  4. Place dough in an oiled bowl; cover with dishtowel and let rise about 2 hours.
  5. Punch down and divide in half for 2 large loaves or fourths for 4 smaller loaves. Knead each portion by hand on a lightly floured surface until smooth; shape into rounds. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and lightly cover with a dishtowel. Let rise 1 hour, until double in size.
  6. Preheat oven to 375°F. Just before placing bread in the oven, place an ovenproof bowl filled with 2 cups of water or ice cubes in the bottom of oven to create steam to help bread form a crisp crust.
  7. Slash tops of loaves with a sharp knife. For a rustic look, sprinkle with flour. Bake about 45 min., until loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.