Artisan Sourdough Bread and Starter




One of my favorite things to indulge in is bread. Though I can't indulge often—because large amounts of gluten simply don't agree with me—I have found that Sourdough bread is less harsh on my body.

Because of the fermented yeasty goodness, sourdough can be a great bread alternative for those with gluten sensitive digestive systems. Not only that, it's simply delicious. The process of sourdough is incredible, and a science in and of itself. The bacteria and yeast break down the sugars and gluten in the bread, allowing your body to digest it better than regular bread.

Here is a great recipe that I enjoy making. Please keep in mind, this is a true sourdough recipe, therefore requiring a long amount of rising time to ensure the breaking down of gluten and sugars. This also creates that nice crusty outside, and large air bubbles on the inside of the loaf. I've also included my sourdough starter recipe.



Good sourdough bread must start with a good sourdough starter. If your starter isn't active enough, your bread won't rise properly. Here is my tried and true starter, and the one I always use!

Sourdough Starter

1/4 cup whole grain rye flour
1/4 whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cold water
1 quart size mason jar

Day 1: Combine flours and water into quart size mason jar. Should be a thick pancake batter like consistency. Cover top tightly with a cloth or paper towel, secured with a rubber band. Set in warm place on counter out of direct sunlight.

Day 2 and 3: Stir mixture daily. Add 3/4 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup cold water every 12 hours (or twice a day). Make sure that your starter is less than halfway full in the jar. If it is more than half full, it could spill over during fermentation. Simply pour off excess.
Day 4 through 5: Stir mixture daily. Add 3/4 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup cold water once a day. Again, pouring off any excess. You will continue doing this every single day from this point on. 

Transfer your starter to a permanent home such as a sourdough crock or larger jar. Do not use plastic or metal.
Your starter will begin smelling very fragrant after day 5. Before day 5 it might smell very sour and nasty. But after it has successfully fermented, it will have a very lovely yeast smell to it. It can take up to 7 days of feeding your starter before it is ready to use. It will become very bubbly and active. Once it is ready to use, you’ll take out what you need and add flour and water back into the mixture every single day. If you are not going to make bread every week, then you can refrigerate the mixture and feed it once a week. However, it does much better just staying on the counter and feeding it daily.


Artisan Sourdough Bread

1/2 cup to 1 cup sourdough starter1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp. oil
2 cups warm water
1 tbsp. salt
6 cups flour

1. Add all ingredients, holding back two cups of flour, into a mixer or large bowl. Knead until smooth, adding remaining 2 cups of flour, or enough flour until the bread forms into a soft ball.

2. Turn out onto floured surface and knead for ten minutes (or do so in your stand mixer), until dough is elastic and smooth. Flour loaf as necessary. Dough should be sticky by not extremely wet.

3. Put dough into greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place to rise for 12-14  hours.
4. Punch down dough and turn out on a floured surface. Knead again for 2-3 minutes, lightly flouring if necessary.

5. Form a round loaf, pulling the top of the bread tightly. Very lightly dust outside of loaf with flour. Let rise on the counter or in a floured proofing basket for 2-3 hours.

6. Preheat oven to 375. Place a dutch oven (with lid) into the oven to pre-heat.

7.  After dough has risen, remove dutch oven from the oven. Remove lid and carefully place sourdough loaf in the dutch oven. You can rearrange the loaf into more of a ball if necessary, but do not knead. Place top back on dutch oven and bake covered for 30 minutes. 

8. Remove lid after 30 minutes and cook bread uncovered until golden crispy or desired darkness/doneness. When tapped on, loaf will sound hollow when done.

9. Turn loaf onto a cooling rack and allow to cool before slicing. 

10. Use a very sharp bread knife to cut into your loaf and enjoy!


You can find this recipe, and more, in my upcoming Our Generational Farmstead Table family cookbook. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you'll be alerted to publishing dates and pre-order sales!


Holistic Health