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5 Minute Sourdough Bread


I think it is the love and enthusiasm I feel for my sourdough starter than actually raises the dough.Donna

sourdough 2 copyThis is the bread I make at least two or three times a week. As my business has been growing and I found myself with less time, this bread recipe has become the bread I make most often. It only has four ingredients and takes about 5 minutes to throw together. Then I let it rise; and more times than not, I do the second rise in the fridge overnight and bake it in the morning. You may notice that my recipes are pretty easy and simple. This is because I don’t have any more time than you and since convenience seems to be why most people eat fast food, I have to find easy ways to make healthy foods for my family.

My daughter Holli eats my sourdough bread every day – from toast in the morning to paninis and sandwiches; and she loves, loves sourdough bread. She can smell it when it’s baking in the oven and nothing is more fun for her than having a hot slice fresh from the oven. Most of her morning breakfasts consist of a kefir smoothie and a slice of sourdough toast. Although it takes a little bit to make it, sourdough bread can be fast food on busy days. I am surprised as I have gotten older how simple our diet has become. A bowl of kefir cheese mixed with cultured veggies and fresh ground pepper served with sourdough bread and a bottle of kombucha can be a great lunch. As I am writing this blog, my husband just brought me grilled cheese on sourdough bread that he made all by himself. For me this is invaluable. One of his favorite treats is sourdough toast with a spread of kefir cheese and topped with my tomato bruschetta. These are super simple cultured foods that we make into meals to save ourselves time and give our bodies what they need to stay healthy.

Tips for good sourdough bread

sourdough-culture copy The secret to good sourdough bread is in the bubbly sourdough starter. (You can buy my live starter here.) To make a really bubbly sourdough starter, you must feed it a ratio of one to one to one. So what this means is 1/2 cup of sourdough starter and 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 water. You can make more starter than this, but always keep the ratio 1 to 1 to 1 and you will have a really bubbly sourdough starter.

sourdough culture Always feed the starter the night before (or at least 8 to 12 hours before you make your bread) and make sure that you have been feeding the starter at least once a week if you have been keeping it in the fridge. If you haven’t been feeding your starter this often, then feed it twice a day for a couple of days until it’s bubbly again. Here’s a link to make a strong sourdough starter.

Keep your dough on the moister side. Add less flour and it will rise higher and have a lighter taste and will also have more holes if you like this in sourdough bread.

sourdough 1copy I love to do my second rise in the refrigerator. After the first rise, place your dough in the pan you plan to bake it in. Cover it and place it in the fridge to rise slowly overnight. In the morning, take the bread out of the refrigerator and heat up your oven and bake accordingly. This will allow the bread to be broken down even more by the lactobacillus in the starter and create a very digestible bread.

Use a flour with a high protein content as this allows for a high rising sourdough bread.

“Bread – like real love – took time, cultivation, strong loving hands and patience. It lived, rising and growing to fruition only under the most perfect circumstances.”Melissa Hill

Five Minute Sourdough Bread
This is the bread I make most often for my family. Four ingredients, 5 minutes of prep and overnight in the fridge. Then bake fresh in the morning or later in the day.~Donna
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  • 1cup Sourdough Starter
  • 1 cup warm waternot hot! It will kill the culture
  • 2 - 1/2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour(do not use sprouted flour) You might need a little more flour than this but don't add too much and make the dough heavy. Lighter is better.
  • 2teaspoons Celtic Sea SaltYou can substitute other salts but this is the one I like the best.
Servings: Loaf
  1. Add the sourdough starter, water, salt, and flour to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed until the ingredients are just combined, about 3 minutes. (You can also mix by hand.)
1st Rise
  1. Cover the dough in the greased bowl or rising bucket and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let it sit for 5 hours at room temperature (about 70°F) or until it doubles. If it takes longer than 5 hours that's okay, let it go till it does rise and doubles.
2nd Rise
  1. After the dough is doubled in size and moist and sticky, remove from the bowl and place in your greased baking pan that you want to bake your bread in. Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap that is coated with oil and let rise for another two hours or until double again.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place loaf that has doubled into the hot oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
EXTRA TIP! You can do the second rise step in the fridge.
  1. You can also do this second rise in the fridge. I like to do it at night. Place it in the fridge overnight and it will grow and double. If it doesn't quite double in the fridge this is ok. When you take it out of the fridge the next morning, leave it out a little before you place it in the oven (up to an hour) and then bake. It will also rise in the oven too.




63 Responses to "5 Minute Sourdough Bread"
  1. Hi, I was wondering like your kefir you put a lid on it when it’s on the counter doing its thing, do you also use a lid on your starter when your feeding it and it’s on your counter top?

  2. Is it ok to use gold metal regular flour? It’s white. I don’t want to ruin my start that hasn’t been feed. Thank you

  3. I received my starter, fed it twice and put it in the fridge. Now I am ready to make the bread. Can I use my cold starter to mix in with the warm water, etc? Or should I let the starter come to room temp before making the dough?

  4. Oh! Also, forgot to ask….in your book on pg 129, your recipe for sourdough calls for sprouted flour. Is that right? Can we use sprouted for sourdough? Here on the website the answer is no, so I’m confused. I probably missed something.
    Loving everything so far!

  5. You don’t knead the dough at all after the first rise before transferring to the bread pan? Can I use a glass bread pan?

  6. Can you use freshly milled wheat for sourdough? I’m guessing not to feed the started but what about to make the bread? I love milling but also love sourdough too.

  7. hi Donna, my bread tin is bigger so is it okay to do the recipe 1.5 or double it to make a bigger loaf or will that affect it in anyway? Also can I use spelt flour ? Finally can we add extra goodness to this recipe by adding in a couple of tablespoons ground flaxseeds or other things ? I have just ordered your book so can’t wait to get it. I live in Australia and love your blog and am going to aim to add more fermented foods to my family’s diet and learn to make them so thank you 🙂

    • Yes you can make the recipe larger and it will still work great. Yes, spelt flour will work well with sourdough.You can add all kinds of goodies and it is fun to experiment.

  8. Can you explain why you can’t use sprouted bread? I’m a newbie and on my 4th loaf but two e used sprouted wheat. Is that why it was so dense? Thanks for your help.

  9. Hi Donna! I’ve been using your sourdough starter and kefir grains for over a year now!! I’m so glad I found your site and have learned so much from you! And my tummy feels better too!
    I don’t use yeast anymore, and use the sourdough discard to make pizza dough. My mom has been making homemade (yeast) bread since I can remember and I could never figure out how she got her bread to be so soft and silky. Mine, even your sourdough recipe you sent me with the starter, always turned out dryish. Tasty, but I was looking for the texture mom’s bread got, and it didn’t seem to make a difference what recipe I was using. So I asked her the other day, and she said “knead for at least half an hour.” It works best if you have a mixer, but what a difference that makes in the texture!!!!
    Anyway, thanks again for all you do to bring this information to the world!!!!
    Blessings to you,

  10. Just wanted to say thanks for such an easy to understand post about sourdough & also for a great sounding simple bread recipe! I make one now very similar but it sits covered on the counter all night (12-18hrs) & then after shaping into a loaf another 2 hours before baking. What would be the advantage to the fridge fermentation process? Thank you!

  11. I’m a gut patient and developed gluten & sugar intolerance over the years. Now I avoid those 2 food types and use only certified organic foods and make everything from scratch.

    I make easy “sourdough” bread in my bread machine by using 12 oz of kefir to 3 cups organic flour (wheat or mixed blend with oats, rice, garbanzo, etc), 1/2 tsp salt & 1 tsp honey or maple syrup. Put on “dough” setting to mix & when cycle done, cover with cloth & rubber band & let rise for 24 hrs. Then take off cloth & put on bake cycle.

    After I ruined my sour dough starter I decided to try kefir & it worked great. I’ve also done it with yogurt.

    You can make different sweet type breads by adding cranberries, nuts, applesauce, shredded zucchini, etc, or herbs for herbed bread, or cheese for cheesy bread. Super simple and very healthy!

    I use a bread machine because it’s so easy with my arthritis. Some people don’t like them buts it’s saved me a ton of time, effort & money. I also don’t have a regular oven and live in a hot climate, and it doesn’t heat up whole house.

    I switched off of all wheat flour as I noticed the difference on my gut between wheat & non gluten flours even with the sourdough and kefir breads. But I have serious digestive issues, so someone else may tolerate wheat sourdough just fine.

    Just experiment til you find what works for you. I can’t tolerate kombucha or cultured foods but once a month. I can eat kefir and sourdough about 3 weeks out of a month, alternating. I have coconut products and tea everyday. So it just depends on your system and a lot of it is trial and error. But kefir saved my life and my grains are my best friends ; )

    This website will help you immensely and it’s a lot of fun trying all the recipes

  12. Okay, I know you are going to hate me for writing too much, but I am compelled to comment about the #%@&^$# CAPTCHA code! Am I the only reject who has trouble with it? I am overly verbose I know, but it is infuriating after spending a lot of thought and time on a post only to lose it all when your interpretation of the captcha doesn’t match what the system expects! Gaaaaaaaaaackk! Sometimes it is very obvious there is a space—or not, but not always, and then, poof! I have managed to learn to do a simple copy before posting…but woe if you forget! Just a heads up! COPY before posting! LOL! (I’m not normally an idiot, honest, but I am already on my 5th try to post this!)

      • I’m sorry it’s so frustrating and the reason I have this is because I get so much spam. I pay for a spam blocker each month and I have this also so I won’t get hundreds of spam every day. I can try again and take it off again and see if it still filters the spam. It’s frustrating for me to because I can’t answer questions when there is hundreds of spam to sift though everyday, it’s just too time consuming. I won’t always be able to answer every comment, email and fb post but as long as I can I try to help everyone as best as a I can and this helps me keep the filtering to a minimum. I’ve had 471,168 spam blocked with my blockers and captcha code. There is a reason for it just not always a perfect system. Looking for a better solution that will help everybody.

  13. We did a little “gluten challenge” in a group of about 20 people who insisted they had “gluten sensitivity”. (not actual diagnosed celiac issues!) Guess what? Over the course of six meetings, not a SINGLE person was able to determine with any regularity which of the home baked breads were entirely gluten free, nor which were high gluten! It was hilarious because we had reactions all over the board that were pretty extreme and entirely erroneous!
    I don’t doubt that some people may have issues with wheat in general, but personally, I think it is another media generated passing fad to plant suggestions, cause hysteria and make a buck! I am vegan and know plenty of others who are and have been, even throughout history, who utilize PURE gluten as a protein source without issue! However, too much *store bought bread* WILL cause problems for me, so there is more than gluten to the equation! I know all the selective hybridizing has not helped, and industry and processing further degrade what we end up with, so I try to utilize whole foods and stay as natural as possible at least. I buy my wheat and grains WHOLE and either grind or sprout it myself, and then use it to bake or cook with. You would be amazed at the HUGE difference it makes!!!
    I have even made bread with ONE ingredient only…. barely sprouted wheat! (Some have called it Essene bread) Ground in a food processor, formed into patties, and get this, baked on racks in the Florida sun! LOL! (Inside a box painted black, or even your closed car!) It’s an acquired taste and not your fluffy sandwich loaf for sure, but a dense, hearty flatbread.
    Hey, I live on a very sporadic income and prefer to enjoy the challenge rather than be a leech on the system or wallow in self pity okay? LOL! Wanna save money, ask me! I live simply, but it is so liberating and satisfying! And HEALTHY!
    I love your website Donna, we all need to get back to natural means of food preparation, and thank you for being such a helpful and sane voice in a crazy, confusing world!

    • Charzie – just thought I’d mention that I always wondered if I might have a sensitivity to gluten & for years attempted multiple “elimination” diets, with no obvious reactions upon adding it back in. Finally just a couple months ago I made a break through and figured out that when I was on gluten I would get about 2 migraines a month. When I stayed off gluten, I got none! It takes me about 3 or 4 consecutive days of eating bread to then get a migraine 2 weeks later. It must just build up in my body.
      Anyway, thought I would share that reactions to gluten aren’t always immediate…or even just involving intestinal distress.
      As a side note, my homemade sourdough made with organic kamut flour doesn’t seem to bother me as much. I have had a couple less intense headaches, but nothing like what I would get after eating regular bread & gluten products.

  14. I love sourdough and Injabe made several different recipes. I’m going to order some of your sourdough starter today. Every time you make a batch of sourdough do you just start over or is this the kind where you save a bit of it and add on for next time? Also what size of pan are you using? Thank you!

  15. Donna,
    Can you add dry milk to sourdough bread recipe? I use it in yeast bread and it gives
    a very nice soft interior. I just recently found out that this works in reg. yeast bread
    and love using it. I’ve never seen a sourdough recipe using it.

  16. You don’t have to have Celiac, IBS, Crohn’s etc to be sensitive to wheat. The wheat in our country is toxic to say the least as the DNA has been spliced and changed over 97 times over the last 100 years. This is such a sad statement (remember our education and propaganda about better living through chemistry?) and its been attributed to many of today’s health problems due to the inflammation and diseases like heart disease, thyroid disease, RA, osteoarthritis. It contributes to the inflammation in diabetes, several autoimmune diseases, hormone imbalances, and it is difficult for children to breakdown in their systems if they are ASD (autism, ADD, ADHD etc). Dr. Perlmutter in in his book, Grain Brain and in other books (plus what I’ve found in my work with patients) that wheat is just not as tolerable in the system as we’d like to think. However, once we reverse the inflammation and remove toxins I have found that a healthy form of wheat can be tolerated in small doses. Many of us can enjoy this great recipe and try it out with other grains that we can tolerate in our diets.

  17. Hi Donna. Thank you for posting this bread. I wanted to ask you about the white wheat flour. I’m confused about this wheat flour isn’t good for us because of gluten? How did it helps you eating this bread? I know I have a lot of questions to ask you. Did you buy white whole wheat flour or hard white spring wheat berries by Prairie Gold?
    May I ask where did you find this cute red pan? Is it cast iron pan? I would love to own one. 🙂
    Thank you for all you do for us.

    • You realize gluten is just the protein part of wheat, and unless you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it isn’t going to hurt you, right? I mean, eating highly processed stuff will make you sick, but whole grain wheat bread won’t, unless you have celiac.

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