Simple Sourdough Bread Recipes

Follow this beginner’s guide to delicious homemade sourdough bread with minimal kneading, and discover more recipes beyond.


Creating a starter from scratch is simple, and ultimately marks the beginning of an ongoing relationship. It’s also the most intimidating part of the sourdough baking process, because it’s often misunderstood. Here, you’ll get step-by-step instructions for making a starter, as well as a couple of recipes in which to use it.

Start Your Starter

Sourdough starters can be made a few different ways, with methods that include fruit juices, grapes, honey, and even potatoes to boost natural fermentation. In my experience, all you need are two simple ingredients: flour and water. Once combined, the culture will begin to ferment, developing the wild yeasts and bacteria needed to make your bread rise.

When creating a sourdough starter, it’s vital to begin with whole-grain flour to jump-start the fermentation process. Whole-wheat, rye, and spelt flour are great choices. Temperature and location also play important roles, so for best results, find a warm spot for your starter to thrive. My starter lives in a cozy cabinet next to the fridge.

The overall process will take about seven days from start to finish. My best advice is to be flexible with timing, because developing yeast can be unpredictable. Your starter is ready when it has doubled in size and has produced plenty of bubbles on the surface and throughout the culture.

DAY 1: Add 1/2 cup (60 grams) of whole-wheat flour and 1/4 cup (60 grams) of water to a large jar. Mix with a fork to combine; the consistency will be thick and pasty. If measuring by volume (cups), not by weight (grams), add more water to thin out the texture. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a small cloth, and let rest in a warm spot for 24 hours.

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