It seems like everyone is making sourdough these days, and I honestly couldn’t be more excited about that.
Sourdough offers a lot of health benefits. It has a long fermentation time, enabling gluten to break down more fully. For those with gluten-sensitivities, sourdough bread is easier to digest. Additionally, the longer fermentation time allows for the release of nutrients such as iron, zinc, and magnesium, so our bodies can absorb them better.
Sourdough also tastes heavenly. It has a depth of flavor that you can’t quite match in quick breads. And as your sourdough starter ages, it will continue to develop a richer and stronger flavor. You can pair sourdough with a variety of foods, and it complements countless meals.
And sourdough is just plain fun to make.
I know sourdough does take some time. You’ll need at least a week to get your starter ready to bake, and you still have a few hours of rise time to deal with after that.
But if you have a little patience, though, this bread recipe is worth the wait.
It’s probably one of my favorite sourdough recipes I’ve ever tried. The crust is crunchy without breaking your teeth. The center is as soft as my favorite cottage bread recipe. And the flavor is simultaneously sour, savory, and sweet – so it goes well with just about anything.
If you’re ready to start baking this delicious bread, get out your apron and your mixing bowls and keep on reading.
Prep time: 15-20 Minutes
Rise time: 2 Hours to 2 Hours 30 Minutes
Cook time: 35 -40 Minutes
Total time: Approximately 3 Hours
Here’s what you’ll need to make this crusty sourdough bread:
- 312 Grams (1 1/4 Cups) Warm Water (110 to 115 Degrees Fahrenheit – 43 to 46 Degrees Celsius)
- 25 Grams (1 1/2 Tablespoons) Dry Active Yeast
- 226 Grams (1 Cup) Sourdough Starter
- 50 Grams (1/4 Cup) White Granulated Sugar
- 55 Grams (1/4 Cup) Vegetable Oil
- 2 Eggs
- 6 Grams (1 Teaspoon) Salt
- 780 Grams (6 1/2 Cups) All-Purpose Flour or Bread Flour*
*Bread flour gives your bread better chew and it holds it shape better during shaping and baking. If you don’t have bread flour at home, you can make a bread flour substitute with vital wheat gluten. For this particular recipe, I recommend the following mix:
- 740 Grams All-Purpose Flour
- 40 Grams Vital Wheat Gluten
Whisk these two ingredients together and you’re good to go!
Here’s what you’ll need in your kitchen to make this recipe:
- Small and Large Mixing Bowls
- Wooden Mixing Spoon
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Kitchen Scale
- Cambro Container with Lid
- Dough Cutter
- Two 9-inch by 5-inch pans
- Cooling Rack
- Oven Mitts
I provided some links to products on Amazon, just in case you didn’t have everything you needed.
Keep in mind that this recipe involves a healthy, well-maintained starter. If you don’t have a starter yet, you can make one from scratch when you follow these instructions.
If you already have a starter, grab your mixing bowls and stir together the water and yeast. Let it sit for 10 minutes until the grains dissolve and the yeast foams a little.
Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl of the standing mixer: sugar, oil, eggs, salt, and flour. Let mix until the dough pulls away from and cleans the sides of the bowl. If you’re mixing by hand, knead until ingredients are well incorporated and the dough becomes soft, smooth, and elastic.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and allow it to rise until double in size, about 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes.
Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly dusted surface and punch a little of the air out.
Use a pastry cutter, dough chopper, or sharp knife to divide the dough into two sections.
Now it’s time to shape your rounds into sandwich loaves! Start by flattening the dough into a rectangle. It doesn’t have to be perfect or pretty, since the dough will rise and puff up in the pan later.
Next, fold your dough about 2/3 of the way up the rectangle. It will look a bit like a lop-sided taco at this point.
Next, you’ll grab the top of the dough and fold it down until it meets the edge of your dough. Your dough might look more like a letter now.
Grab about an inch or so of your dough from the edges and fold it in toward the middle. It might be a bit difficult to work with at this stage, but again, it doesn’t have to look pretty right now as it will be on the bottom of your loaf.
Flip your dough over so the seams are on the bottom now. If your bread lost some of its shape, feel free to use your hands to gently cup the dough and reshape the edges.
Once you feel confident with your dough’s overall shape, transfer it to your lightly greased bread pan. Cover, and allow dough to rise a second time until it has puffed above the tops of the pans, about 45 minutes to an hour.
If you’re not sure whether your dough has finished rising, lightly poke the top. If the dough springs back quickly, let it rise for a bit longer. If it springs back slowly, it’s ready to go!
Or if it collapses, it’s over-proofed. You could punch it down and try again, or you could pop it in the oven anyway.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Fahrenheit) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Turn out your finished bread and allow it to cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing and serving. Your bread should sound slightly hollow when you thump the bottom. For a softer crust, brush butter onto the top and let it soak into the crust while it cools.
Slice and serve! This bread made some really delicious sandwiches. My husband loved it as part of a tuna melt.
Just the Basics
Crusty Sourdough Cottage Bread
- 312 Grams Warm Water – Between 110°- 115° F (1 1/4 Cups)
- 25 Grams Dry Active Yeast (1 1/2 Tablespoons)
- 226 Grams Sourdough Starter (1 Cup)
- 50 Grams White Granulated Sugar (1/4 Cup)
- 55 Grams Vegetable Oil (1/4 Cup)
- 2 Large Eggs
- 6 Grams Salt (1 Teaspoon)
- 780 Grams All-Purpose Flour (6 1/2 Cups)
- Combine yeast with water stir until grains dissolve. Let sit for 10 minutes until bubbly.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the yeast mixture with the flour, starter, sugar, eggs, and salt.
- Knead the dough for several minutes until everything is well incorporated. If you're using a standing mixer, mix on low until the dough pulls away from and cleans the sides of the bowl. The dough should feel smooth and elastic.
- Place dough in a lightly greased bowl or container. Cover and allow it to rise until double in size, about 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly greased surface and punch a little of the air out.
- Use a pastry cutter, dough chopper, or sharp knife to divide the dough into two sections.
- Fold each section into a sandwich loaf and place in two pans.
- Allow dough to rise a second time until it has risen slightly above the tops of the pans, about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit (190° Celsius) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
- Turn out your finished bread and allow it to cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing and serving.
Secrets to Success
This crusty sourdough cottage bread uses some dry active yeast to ensure a fast rise time, and it compensates a little for newly made starters.
However, if you want a stronger, tangier flavor in your sourdough, you’ll need a starter that’s been around for a while. I recommend waiting at least two or three weeks to develop a fuller flavor. As you maintain your starter, don’t pour off the hooch that develops on top. Instead, mix it into your starter as you feed it.
You can also make your bread more sour by using wheat flour rather than all-purpose. And if you feel like waiting a little longer, you could punch down your dough after the first rise and let it double in size again before putting the dough in the pan.
Keeping track of calories? Curious about fiber content? Here’s the nutritional information for this crusty sourdough cottage bread.
Keep in mind that I calculated this based on 12 slices of bread per loaf. You might have thicker slices (or thinner ones) and that will affect your calories per serving.
Did You Try It?
I love hearing how much people loved my recipes. If you liked this recipe, please tell me about it in the comments below. Feel free to share any tips, tricks, or pointers you might have as well.