We're about to show you how to make sourdough bread that's soft on the inside, slightly tangy, and crunchy on the outside.
With very little effort and a few simple ingredients, you will soon be slicing into a warm and fluffy loaf of artisan bread.
Table of Contents
First off, we're huge sourdough fans. If we could eat only one kind of bread it would for sure be sourdough. But, store-bought loaves aren't exactly the cheapest, especially if you buy them at artisan bakeries.
When we figured out how much more affordable and delicious it is to make sourdough ourselves, we were 100% all in.
The really nice thing about sourdough is that it doesn't require commercial yeast to rise. It's made with a fermented culture of flour and water, which acts as a natural leavening agent. So, all you have to do is mix it and watch the magic happen.
It does have to rise for quite a few hours, but the long fermentation process helps breaks down the gluten and proteins. In other words, sourdough is easier to digest than other types of bread.
🍲 Key ingredients
- Sourdough starter: this is a live culture of flour and water. When the water and flour mix, it starts to ferment, which cultivates the natural yeasts found in the environment. This can be made from scratch, purchased online, or shared from a friend or family member. We got ours from Justine's mom, who has been making sourdough for a long time!
- Flour: this recipe uses both unbleached white flour and whole wheat flour to create a hearty bread with a crispy crust, but tender inside. We want our bread to be healthy, but not too healthy!
- Water: this is necessary for the fermentation process to happen. Without water, you'd be hard-pressed to make any dough at all! When people talk about the hydration of a sourdough loaf, it means the ratio of water to flour. Depending on your bread preferences, more or less water can be added to create a certain density.
- Salt: in addition to adding flavor, salt also gives the dough more structure and helps make the bread last longer once it's baked. If you have sea salt on hand, it will give you a better end result, but we'll leave it up to you.
To begin, remove your sourdough starter from the fridge for at least an hour before starting the bread making process. Once the starter has warmed up, mix it with water and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Once incorporated, add in the flours and stir until you achieve a dough consistency. This should take about 2 minutes. Cover your dough with plastic wrap or a plastic bag and let it rise for about 18 hours. We will typically start the bread around 3 pm the day before baking to let it rise overnight.
Depending on the climate you live in, the time your dough takes to rise will vary. As a general guideline though, you want the dough to almost double in size before moving on to the next step.
Once the dough has risen enough, sprinkle some flour on the top of the dough and on your hands. Take a portion of dough from the bottom to stretch and fold it about 5 or 6 times.
Once that's done, transfer it into a parchment-lined bowl that's about the same shape and size as the dutch oven you'll bake it in. Cover it with a clean towel and leave it to rise some more.
After another few hours of rising, score your sourdough any way you want. There are some pretty creative ways to score loaves, and clearly we nailed this one (see below). Bake it on 450 degrees F with the lid on, then take the lid off for the last bit of baking.
Let your loaf cool on a wire rack before cutting into it. Enjoy a slice with vegan butter, toasted with PB & J, or as a sandwich base!
This loaf will last in a ziplock bag at room temperature for 4 days. You can also slice it and freeze it in a freezer-safe ziplock bag for 1-3 months (but 1 month for optimal flavor and freshness).
💭 Budget tips
We think everyone should be able to eat better for less, so here are a few tricks to make this recipe even more affordable:
- Buy your flour in bulk
- After baking the loaf, slice it and freeze the slices so they don't go bad
- If your loaf does go stale before you eat it, make some French toast!
🍴 Tasting notes
It's no secret we love this sourdough recipe, and we promise you will too. It's
- Crunchy on the outside
- Tender on the inside
If you try this bread, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
No-Knead Sourdough Bread
- Dutch oven
- Large bowl
- Parchment paper
- Sharp knife or bread lame
- ¼ cup sourdough starter ($0.01)
- 1 ½ cups water ($0.00)
- ½ cup soft whole wheat flour ($0.09)
- ½ cup whole wheat flour ($0.08)
- 2 ½ cups white bread flour or unbleached AP flour ($0.17)
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt ($0.02)
- In a large bowl, mix ¼ cup sourdough starter with 1 ½ cups of water and 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt.
- Mix in flour and other optional add-ins like seeds or olives until well combined, about 2 minutes.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a plastic bag and let the dough rise at room temperature for 18-22 hours, or until it reaches almost double the size.
- Once the dough has risen enough, sprinkle the top and cover your hands with more flour. Stretch and fold the dough around from the bottom to the top about 5-6 times.
- Form the dough into a ball about the same size as the dutch oven you're going to bake it in, and transfer it to a parchment-lined bowl approximately the same size. Cover it with a clean towel and let it rise for another 2-3 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 450°F, and place the dutch oven inside to warm it up.
- Once your oven is ready, transfer dough and parchment paper to your dutch oven and score the top of the dough with a very sharp knife or razor blade to let steam escape. You can also sprinkle the top with more flour for decoration.
- Bake sourdough with the lid on for 35 minutes. Then, remove the lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, and let the loaf cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
- It's best to find someone who can share their starter with you since sourdough starters can be tricky to figure out at first.
- For a softer bread and crust, use all soft whole wheat flour instead of both soft whole wheat and regular whole wheat.
- Try using add-ins like nuts, seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, or dried fruit!
♻️ Similar recipes
For some tasty meals to enjoy this sourdough with, check out our:
- Mushroom hummus toast for a savory breakfast you won't forget.
- Tofu scramble because "eggs" always need a side of toast.
- Vegan sweet potato chili to mop up all the little bits of chili.
- Curried butternut squash soup as sourdough slices or crouton garnishes!
- Dairy-free bread for a simple at-home bread recipe that's completely egg and dairy-free.
You will know when your sourdough has risen enough when it appears almost double in size. Also, if you make an indentation with your fingers into the dough about ½ an inch and the indentation remains, the dough is ready for the next step.
If you can't find soft whole wheat flour, then you can definitely just use all regular whole wheat flour. It will create a more sturdy bread with a thicker crust.
No, you cannot eat this bread if you are on a gluten-free diet. Although it contains less gluten than other bread varieties, it is not completely free of gluten.