Easy Sourdough Starter & Sourdough Bread Recipes

Easy Sourdough Starter & Sourdough Bread Recipes

Crafting homemade sourdough bread provides a sense of accomplishment, captivates the taste buds and fills the kitchen with the inviting aroma of a time-honored tradition. In recent years, the resurgence of homemade bread making has brought renewed interest to the unique and delightful world of sourdough, and there’s good reason for that.

Known for its tangy flavor, chewy texture and crisp, crackly crust, sourdough is unique in the fact that it’s made without commercial yeast. Instead, sourdough is crafted with a live fermented culture of fresh flour and water, which acts as a natural leavening agent. The fermented culture, known as the “starter,” is the heart and soul of sourdough baking, and creating one is surprisingly simple—it just takes a little patience.

Classic Sourdough Starter Recipe

Simply put, a sourdough starter is a live culture made from flour and water. Once your starter is set up, it can be used for a wide variety of recipes and reused for many years to come.

Feeding & Maintenance

In order for your starter to grow into a healthy and lively culture, regular feeding is essential. This process typically involves removing a portion of the existing starter and replacing it with fresh flour and water. This act ensures the vitality of the sourdough starter and influences the final taste, texture and rise of the resulting bread.

When tending to your sourdough, consider keeping the excess and exploring sourdough discard recipes that elevate this often-overlooked ingredient, such as our sourdough pancakes recipe. Not only does this approach minimize waste, but it also showcases the versatility of your sourdough starter beyond traditional bread.

How Do I Know if My Starter Is Ready?

After regular feedings, your sourdough starter will become a lively and bubbly concoction, ready to add its distinctive character to homemade bread. It will take 1-2 weeks, but you’ll know when your starter is ready to use when it more than doubles in volume within four hours of feeding. To tell if it’s ready, watch for the following signs:

  • The starter doubles in size after being fed.
  • There are bubbles on the surface and throughout the culture.
  • The starter has a spongy or fluffy texture.

If you’re not sure whether your starter is ready to use, try dropping approximately one teaspoon into a glass of water. If it floats to the top, it’s ready to use. If it sinks, your starter should be fed and left to sit longer. Once the starter is ready, it can be divided and used as you please. Remember to save the rest of your starter and continue feeding it so it’s ready for future baking endeavors.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Using a homemade sourdough starter to make cinnamon roll dough adds a delightful depth of flavor and a subtle tanginess to the classic sweet and gooey goodness.

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Recipes Using Your Sourdough Starter

From a simple loaf to creative recipes that prove that sourdough is anything but basic, we have the inspiration you need to use your starter to make the fresh, fluffy breads of your dreams.

Sourdough is a versatile kitchen staple that can turn everyday toast into something special and a boring sandwich into a gourmet experience. Transform pizza night with the distinctive flavor and texture of a homemade sourdough pizza crust, a delightful change from the usual. For a breakfast treat, savor the nooks and crannies of freshly toasted sourdough English muffins, perfect for whipping up fresh avocado eggs Benedict. Get these sourdough recipes and more inspiration below.

How to Use Sourdough

Whether you’ve just learned how to make sourdough bread or you’re looking for ways to use the loaf you bought at the store, discover the true magic of this bread and how it can bring a fresh and unique twist to everyday meals.

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Find ingredients needed to make your sourdough starter, or try out some of our premade sourdough options!