Naturally Leavened Sourdough Bread

Side Dishes

Naturally Leavened Sourdough Bread

Wild yeast, friendly bacteria, time, and a little tending are basically all it takes to yield crusty, artisan-style Sourdough loaves worthy of any Parisian or San Franciscan bakery window. Check out our article where we teach you how to make a sourdough starter, feed it for about a week, then use this recipe to turn it into burnished loaf after burnished loaf.


16 servings (1 loaf/1.75 lb.)

Total Time

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Combine bread flour, water, starter, and salt in a bowl until it comes together into a rough, shaggy dough; cover and let rest 30 minutes. (Step 1, below)

Pull, lift, and stretch a small handful of dough from one edge across the rest of the dough; slightly turn bowl. (Step 2) Repeat pulling, lifting, and stretching dough and turning bowl until dough feels less sticky and forms an almost smooth ball. Cover dough; let rest in a warm place for 45 minutes. Repeat pulling, lifting, stretching, and turning procedures every 45 minutes for a total of 3 times. (The dough should be bouncy and smooth.)

Place dough (after the last set of procedures) back in a warm place to rise until doubles in size, about 3 hours.

Sprinkle banneton with all-purpose flour (or add a liner) once the dough doubles in size.

Turn dough onto a floured surface; shape by pulling edges together to form a ball. (Step 3) Transfer dough ball to prepared banneton, smooth side down. (Step 4) Sprinkle sides and top of dough with all-purpose flour; cover and refrigerate for 3–24 hours.

Preheat oven to 450° with a 5- to 7-qt. covered Dutch oven or heavy pot inside at least 30 minutes before dough is ready.

Remove dough from refrigerator; uncover. Place parchment over dough, flip onto parchment and set on counter. Score top of dough with lame or sharp knife, cutting about 3/8-inch deep. (Step 5)

Carefully remove Dutch oven from oven; remove lid. Transfer dough with parchment to Dutch oven, allowing excess parchment to hang over edges. (Step 6) Cover Dutch oven.

Bake bread 40 minutes; carefully remove lid and continue baking until browned and a thermometer inserted into center registers 207–209°, about 10 minutes more.

Carefully remove bread from Dutch oven; discard parchment. Transfer bread to a rack to cool completely, about 2 hours.


When making the dough, using a bowl scraper (or spatula) to scrape the sides of the bowl ensures the dough becomes roughly mixed.


Perform a series of stretches and pulls until the dough is almost like a smooth ball; cover and leave it on the counter in a warm place.


For a boule shape, with the palms of your hands on the sides of the dough, move dough in a circular motion to gently tighten it into a ball.


Transfer dough ball to prepared banneton, smooth side down. If you don’t have a banneton, use a bowl or a colander.


When ready to bake, remove dough from fridge, turn out of banneton onto parchment, arrange on counter, and score top of the dough.


Carefully transfer the bread to the hot Dutch oven by picking up the four corners of the parchment; drop into the Dutch oven and cover with the lid.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

Calories: 118

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 1g 1%

Saturated Fat 0g 0%

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 252mg 10%

Carbs 24g 8%

Protein 4g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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