Sourdough bread (beginner’s recipe)

This no-fuss, no-knead sourdough bread is a good first recipe to try. The dough isn’t as wet as the one from King Arthur Flour so it’s easier to handle and shape.

sourdough for beginners

Dare I say it, but I think I’m slowly getting the hang of this sourdough adventure. Feeding my Pumbaa (my sourdough starter) hasn’t been as tedious or difficult as I had envisioned. And baking bread hasn’t been as insane as I imagined it to be. However, I still haven’t fond the perfect recipe.

This one, however, is a good beginner one to try. It doesn’t require a lot of handling and the dough is easy to work with. The first recipe I tried yielded a super wet dough, so I was essentially baking a shapeless blob. Thankfully, that loaf puffed up very nicely in the oven and was gorgeous and tasty. This recipe was so much easier to deal with and didn’t cause me as much anxiety.

sourdough for beginners

However, this dough didn’t puff up as nicely as the other. It also didn’t brown as much. My guess is that because the oven temperature was lower, and the amount of time I baked with the lid on versus off was different, the bread shape and doneness differed. I may try this recipe again but with a higher initial temperature (500 degrees F) and then bake for more time with the lid on rather than off.

Regardless, I am still proud that this loaf turned out. Not bad for my second time baking sourdough bread, right? Flavor-wise, my husband noted that the taste wasn’t as good as the one from King Arthur Flour. Appearance-wise, it also didn’t measure up. My bread didn’t brown or crisp up as nicely, and the shape got a little funky. Despite it all, this was an easy bread to create with good results. I still prefer the King Arthur Flour recipe, even if it’s more difficult to handle.

sourdough for beginners

Husband’s rating: 3 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 3 out of 5
My rating: rating: 3 out of 5

Sourdough bread (basic recipe with low moisture)

This is a no-knead sourdough bread that is great for beginners. The dough contains lower moisture than the King Arthur Flour recipe so it's easy to handle.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Resting time14 hours
Total Time15 hours 20 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bread, Breakfast
Servings: 1 loaf
Author: Eva Bakes


  • ¾ cup (100 grams) sourdough starter 100% hydration
  • 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon (250 grams) warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons (25 grams) olive oil
  • 4 cups (500 grams) bread flour try NOT to use all-purpose flour
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons (10 grams) salt
  • cornmeal for dusting


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment or in a large bowl if mixing by hand, add the sourdough starter, water and olive oil. Mix on medium speed until it comes together. Then add the flour and salt and mix until no dry streaks remain. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Shape the dough into a rough ball and then cover with plastic wrap or a wet towel. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Stretch and fold the dough by taking one corner of the dough and lifting it up. Place the lifted part into the middle of the dough. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat until you've folded all of the corners of the dough in the center. Allow the dough to rest another hour and repeat this process 3 more times.
  • Cover the dough and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Take your dough out and stretch and fold it once more. Flip the dough over, seam side down, onto a clean work surface. Use a metal bench scraper to push the dough against it and tuck any ends underneath itself. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat until you get a nice, tight ball of dough.
  • Place the shaped dough into a large round Dutch oven lined with parchment paper (and dusted with cornmeal). Allow it to rise one final time, about 1-2 hours.
  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  • Using a sharp knife or bread lame, make slices in your dough in a criss-cross pattern in the middle or with two parallel lines. If desired, dust the top with a light dusting of flour. Cover the Dutch oven with the lid and turn the temperature down to 400°F. Bake for 20 minutes. Then uncover the pan and bake for additional 40 minutes until your bread is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 205°F-210°F.
  • Allow the bread to cool at least an hour before slicing and serving.


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