Basic Sourdough Bread

Hmm, three bread posts in a row. I think I need to branch out a bit. Don't worry, this weekend I'm going to be making a berry tart I think, and maybe also some scones.

But until then you will have to suffer through another post about bread. I love bread, you might have noticed.  I used my sourdough starter for this one.  This is the sponge, you first remove the starter from the fridge and mix it with a cup warm water and a cup flour.  This helps wake the yeast up again and get it going so your bread will rise more quickly.
You take the amount of starter you need and mix it with your other ingredients.  This recipe is very simple.  You don't really need to add much since the sourdough starter does the work and gives it a great flavor.
Once your dough is made you treat it exactly like normal bread.  Knead it, let it rise until doubled, punch it down and shape it and let it rise again.  I ate my sourdough bread at an outdoor performance of "Much Ado About Nothing" with some cherries and sharp cheddar cheese.  I would definitely recommend it.

Basic Sourdough Bread

Sourdough starter
1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
1. Mix in a clean bowl.  Take this opportunity to clean out the starter container.
2.  Allow to sit in a warm place for a couple of hours (this is called proofing).
3. When your sponge is bubbly and has a white froth, and it smells a little sour, it is ready. The longer you let the sponge sit, the more sour flavor you will get.
4. Reserve 1 cup of sponge and return the rest to your starter container.  This is your starter for next time.
2 cups sponge
3 cup flour
2 tbsps olive oil
4 tsps sugar
2 tsps salt
1. Mix sponge, olive oil, sugar and salt.
2. Mix in the flour 1/2 a cup at a time.  You can start using a spoon but as it gets stiff you'll want to switch to kneading until all the flour has been added.
3. Cover dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled, at least 1 hour.
4. Punch down dough.  Shape into a long rectangle and roll up from short end.  Pinch seam to close and shape into a loaf shape.
5.  Place loaf on a baking sheet (greased or sprinkled with cornmeal).  Cover the loaf and let it rise in a warm place until doubled.
6. Place loaf in a cold oven.  Set oven to 350 degrees and bake bread for 30 - 45 minutes.

From S. John Ross

Print this recipe


  1. This "Much Ado About Nothing" wouldn't be by the Wooden-O theater troupe, would it? We saw them last Friday in Redmond, and it was fantastic!

  2. It was! I thought it was wonderful.

  3. I am making scones today too because friends are coming for tea. I was thinking of making the nectarine tart but, after reading the recipe again, realized that I don't have enough time. Next time!

  4. Leslie - I made scones last weekend. Every time I use my family cookbook I think of you! That is probably one of the best presents I have ever gotten.