This collection of reliable recipes, recommended tools, and resources such as podcasts and videos and more, is perfect for anyone wanting to learn how to make sourdough bread. Everything you need in one convenient post!
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Like many others in the past few months, I have jumped in on the sourdough train. While I have been baking bread for almost a decade now, sourdough was that next thing that seemed too intimidating, or just not the right timing.
My personality can be the type to build something up in my mind as too daunting or too overwhelming, but then once I finally try, I realize that I had blown it way out of proportion.
I’m just a couple of weeks in to having my own sourdough starter and I’m already completely hooked and figuring out my own baking rhythm. And, I’m here to tell you, that sourdough baking doesn’t have to be overwhelming or complicated! You can do it too.
Kate from Venison for Dinner gave me the final push to get started when she announced that she would be making a starter in her Instagram stories and demoing exactly how to take care of it and recipes to try. Like she said, what do you have to lose, but a little flour and water?!
After feeding and discarding for a few days, my starter began to COME ALIVE! Seriously, y’all. I got very excited about all those bubbles and every time my starter doubled.
Thankfully, my starter was active and alive enough to do some baking for Easter. I made dinner rolls and my first sourdough boule. The next day, I made another boule to gift to my in-laws and followed Kate’s recipe for sandwich bread.
How to Make Sourdough Bread
I am new to sourdough, but have a great advantage of knowing many sourdough experts who have been very generous with their experience and knowledge. (Shoutout to Sue & Marco Polo, Meleah, Kate, and all my IG peeps who offered their favorite recipes and tips).
I put together a comprehensive aid to anyone who is wanting to learn how to make sourdough bread, looking for new recipes or ideas, or simply wanting to go further in their sourdough skills.
My hope is that this will become a go-to resource for sourdough baking! I plan to work my way through all of these recipes, podcasts, videos, etc. Don’t forget to pin or save this post so you can easily reference it as you need it. And, as always, I love to see when you share posts or try recipes, so don’t forget to tag me @thispilgrimlife!
Five Quick Tips to Get Started:
- Keep it simple. Don’t overcomplicate the process. Get comfortable with your starter and a few basic recipes, and find just a few people to follow for tips and methods.
- Mark the level with a rubber band or hair tie. My friend Meleah recommended using a hair tie to mark the level of the starter when I feed it so it is very easy to see when it has doubled.
- 100% hydration: Maintain your starter with equal parts starter, water, and flour (measured with a scale). I’ve been keeping my scale in a drawer directly below my jar of starter. It’s so easy to quickly measure out a portion of starter, then stir in the same amount of water and flour. My friend Sue swears this method changed her sourdough life.
- Find a rhythm and routine. One thing that held me back from sourdough for such a long time was thinking it was too time-intensive. I’ve been pleasantly surprised, though, to find that I can easily fit sourdough baking into my normal daily routine. I mix the dough before going to bed and let it rise overnight. Then in the morning, I shape the dough while I make my morning coffee. Finally, I bake the loaf/ves after they’ve sufficiently risen so they are ready for lunch/afternoon snack/dinner.
- Keep the starter on the counter for everyday baking, or in the fridge for weekly baking. Once your starter is established, you can keep it in the fridge so that it will not need to be fed everyday. I am still experimenting and baking daily, but I’m sure I will get to this point. Probably.
(fed with flour and water in the last 4-12 hours)
- Sourdough Sandwich Bread* :: Venison for Dinner
- Basic Sourdough Boule :: Venison for Dinner (I have not made this one. I used a recipe from the cookbook, Artisan Sourdough Made Simple. I am eager to try this one, though).
- Natural Yeast Dinner Rolls* :: Simple Life By Kels
- Challah Bread :: Simple Life By Kels
- Natural Yeast Bagels :: Simple Life by Kels
- Sourdough Crepes :: Farmhouse on Boone
- Sourdough English Muffins :: Gnowfglins
- Sunday Morning Bagels :: Recipe How (recommended by Greta, aka @maandpamodern on Instagram)
- Ultimate Sourdough Banana Bread :: The Clever Carrot
Save your excess starter in a jar in the fridge to use for these quick and easy recipes!
- Sourdough Waffles* :: Serious Eats
- Sourdough Pancakes* :: Farmhouse on Boone
- Sourdough Skillet :: Farmhouse on Boone
- Sourdough Biscuits :: Venison for Dinner
*recipes I have personally tried so far
Of course, you do not need all of these tools to get started with sourdough, or bread-baking in general. However, as with anything, if you plan to stick with it and want to simplify and make your life easier in the future, quality tools can be a great investment!
Most of these are multi-purpose in your kitchen and will be handy for much more than sourdough!
- Stainless Steel Dough Whisk
- Bench Scraper
- Round Banneton Proofing Basket
- High Quality Bread Knife
- Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
- Parchment Paper
- Flour Sack Towels
- Beeswax Wrap Bread Wrap & Sandwich Wraps (these are a little pricy, but I’ve used the same wraps by this brand for over a year and they are still going strong)
- Kitchen Scale
- Bread Lame for scoring
- 2 Quart Mason Jar
- WATCH || Kate’s @venisonfordinner highlights on Instagram: DIY Sourdough Starter, Sourdough Starter Part 2, Sourdough Sandwich Bread, Sourdough Discard Muffins, and more
- WATCH || Kate’s @venisonfordinner YouTube video: How to Feed A Sourdough Starter (The Ma Ingalls Way)
- LISTEN || Lisa’s @farmhouseonboone podcast episodes (#29: Sourdough FAQ’s, #23 : Week in the Life of Sourdough Starter), sourdough e-course, and free sourdough e-cookbook
- WATCH || Lisa’s @farmhouseonboone YouTube video: Top Ten Favorite Sourdough Recipes
- READ || Wardee’s Traditional Cooking School comprehensive sourdough e-book & e-course
- LISTEN || Jill’s @theprairiehomestead podcast (#72: How to Make Your Own Sourdough Starter, #89: My 5 Favorite Ways to Use Up Sourdough Discard, #105: ALL Your Sourdough Questions: Answered!, #107: Flour Shortages, Grain Mills, & Whole Wheat)
- WATCH || Jill’s @theprairiehomestead YouTube video on starting a sourdough starter
- COURSE || Sourdough Schoolhouse has several high-quality courses all about various sourdough baking!
- READ || Troubleshooting Your Starter from the Clever Carrot
- READ || Sourdough Bread: A Beginner’s Guide from Clever Carrot
- READ || Sourdough Baking Glossary from Clever Carrot
- READ || Comprehensive post on Beginner’s Sourdough from The Perfect Loaf
- FOLLOW || Clever Carrot, Venison for Dinner, Farmhouse on Boone, The Prairie Homestead, The Sourdough Schoolhouse, & The Perfect Loaf
- Artisan Sourdough Made Simple (this cookbook is recommended by EVERYONE and their brother!)
- Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast