Rustic Sourdough Bread

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dairy free
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
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Yield: Two 10" loaves, 32 servings

Recipe photo

This chewy loaf, with its deep-brown crust, has rich, deep, flavor, and very mild tang. We love this bread for its chewiness and golden crust, ideal qualities for panini; try it with ham and cheese, for a new take on that favorite sandwich.

New to sourdough? Find the help you need for all of your sourdough baking at our Sourdough Essentials page.

Rustic Sourdough Bread

star rating (258) rate this recipe »
dairy free
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: Two 10" loaves, 32 servings
Published: 01/01/2010


Tips from our bakers

  • For an assertively sour loaf, read our recipe for Extra-Tangy Sourdough Bread.
  • Want a brick oven effect? Rather than dividing the dough into two separate loaves, shape it into one large ball, and place it in the base of a round covered stoneware baker, such as La Cloche. Put the lid on, and let the loaf rise for 1 hour. Make two slashes on top of the bread, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, removing the lid of the baker for the final 5 minutes of baking.


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1) Combine all of the ingredients, kneading to form a smooth dough.

2) Allow the dough to rise, in a lightly greased, covered bowl, until it's doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

3) Gently divide the dough in half; it'll deflate somewhat.

4) Gently shape the dough into two oval loaves; or, for longer loaves, two 10" to 11" logs. Place the loaves on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise until very puffy, about 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

5) Spray the loaves with lukewarm water.

6) Make two fairly deep diagonal slashes in each; a serrated bread knife, wielded firmly, works well here.

7) Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, until it's a very deep golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 slice Servings Per Batch: 16 per loaf Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80 Calories from Fat: 5 Total Fat: 0g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 180mg Total Carbohydrate: 17g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 1g Protein: 3g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 04/25/2015
  • member-pls14 from KAF Community
  • I'm very pleased with this bread recipe and my new sourdough starter. I got 2 beautiful loaves. I'll use this recipe often, and share it with those I give starter to. Thank you!
  • star rating 04/18/2015
  • member-kmo16481 from KAF Community
  • Yet another riff on this recipe. I used half to make baguettes in the emile henry baguette pan. That has become reliably delicious. Then I put half in the refrigerator for it's second rise over night. The next day I made a very tasty pizza crust with it, after letting it sit out of the refrigerator for a couple hours. Makes a thin, crispy deliciously different crust.
  • star rating 04/09/2015
  • soup nazi from KAF Community
  • Great bread, good for just about anything including just plain while warm. I bake mine in two dutch ovens, covered until the very end. One large and one small, we eat the big one and give away the little one. The dutch ovens give it a great crust plus I use tiles in the ovens for even heat. Ready to try it without any added yeast once I have two days free to complete.

    When you are ready to try making sourdough without additional yeast, please use our recipe called "Extra-tangy Sourdough," as this has adjusted to account for the extra time you will need to allow the wild yeast to develop and make your bread rise. Happy sourdough baking! Kye@KAF

  • star rating 04/05/2015
  • kwlabr2 from KAF Community
  • A great recipe. Easy to make and hard to mess up. The family and friends are always waiting for the next batch from the oven. It never lasts more than a day or so.
  • star rating 03/23/2015
  • member-kmo16481 from KAF Community
  • Just as an experiment I made this recipe, divided into 3 and baked it in the emile henry baguette pan. The recipe was a little large for the pan so the loafs kind of merged together a little but man did it come out great. Rose like a champ, beautiful italian bread like loaves with great flavor. By accident, however, I left out the sugar, and I did not miss it. Why do sourdough breads often have a little sugar in them?
    Both wild and domestic yeast love to feed on sugar so if there is a series of or longer fermentation times the sugar keeps the yeast active a little longer. We are happy you enjoyed the outcome in the baguette baker! Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 03/16/2015
  • Bridget_M from KAF Community
  • I make this bread once a week. I purchased the starter from KA and it has been a great recipe. When I feed my starter I always let it sit out for 24 hours before I use it in a recipe. It tastes better!
  • star rating 03/10/2015
  • member-kmo16481 from KAF Community
  • Followed some feedback on the thread and put it in the refrigerator overnight for the second rise...definitely made it sourer and what a rise! I was unsure how long to let it rest once it came out of the fridge so let it go about an hour before I turned on the oven...which added another 20 min. It wasn't enough, should have maybe done 2, because the bread was only at 140 after 35 minutes. (I baked one loaf in a cloche) I baked it another 10-15 min and it was perfect! Really delicious and pleasantly sour.
  • star rating 03/07/2015
  • Patrick from Washington DC
  • I used white whole wheat instead of AP flour and it worked just fine. I also did not use the instant yeast or the sugar that it calls for. My well fed KA sourdough starter provided plenty of leavening and the white whole wheat gives it a great flavor. The first rise was a bit long (2 hours) but it shaped into a beautiful boule and came out great.
  • star rating 02/26/2015
  • shcaruso from KAF Community
  • Delicious! Dense, chewy, soft, mild sourdough flavor. Beautifully risen and browned. Very successful first sourdough bread made with homemade sourdough starter. Yay!!!!
  • star rating 02/25/2015
  • Stewart from Loris, SC
  • I'm 65 and have been baking bread since my college days (Tassajara Bread Book) and have from time to time baked sour dough. Great texture, crunch and chewiness. Prep is simple and straightforward. The sourness of the dough, which is why we make it, just doesn't come through. Tried a variation on the theme with both less and no yeast and got better sour dough flavor. Thanks though, for a great start.
    Loris-- for an extra tang, try putting your shaped sourdough in the fridge overnight to complete its second rise. The acid that sourdough produces in a cool environment is the one that tastes tangy to us. Give that a try and hopefully this will take your sourdough from good to amazing! Good luck and happy baking! --Kye@KAF
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