Sourdough Bread for Beginners

Looking to start baking sourdough bread but not sure where to start? Here’s a guide for beginners with all the recipes and resources you need.

Sourdough bread

We know you’ve seen them: those beautiful sourdough bread loaves popping up all over Instagram. And this is a trend Alex and I can absolutely get behind! Baking sourdough bread is not just a satisfying life skill. It makes bread that’s loads cheaper, a little healthier, and a lot tastier than store-bought bread. But honestly: we mostly do it for the satisfaction. There’s nothing cooler than pulling a loaf out of the oven, with that intoxicating aroma, and knowing that you made it yourself.

Aside from being passionate sourdough bread bakers, Alex and I want to pass on the art. It took us 2 years to perfect the craft of baking sourdough bread. So we wanted to find a way to simplify it so that everyone could do it⁠—not just super motivated sourdough nerds like us! Here’s everything you need to know about sourdough to get started. We think (hope) that it’s just the right amount of information and motivation to start your baking career.

“Your steps are so helpful. I’ve tried to make sourdough through the years and it’s never worked…until now! Your directions combined with video helped things click.” -Claire

Ready to get started?

Sourdough Bread Beginner Guide: Table of Contents

For more: Our book club read this novel called Sourdough: it’s fun if you like both fiction and baking!

More bread recipes

Love to bake? Here are some of our favorite bread recipes, from yeast breads to quick breads to focaccia to pita.

Subscribe for free weekly recipes & more!

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

5 Comments

  • Reply
    Jim
    March 16, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    I followed the recipe and followed the instructions in the Sourdough Bread Checklist. Bread did not raise, it was very wet, did not hold shape. Was starter not good? I tried the float test, and it floated. But? What was wrong?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      March 16, 2020 at 2:51 pm

      Hi! Did you check the temperature of your proofing area? A warm temp is essential to getting the starter to work. Also, if you’re not using King Arthur brand flours, you may want to adjust the liquid down a little.

  • Reply
    Lynne
    April 26, 2020 at 1:47 am

    Hi, well I made it ?and despite that it did not rise so much….no crock pot and tried to adapt to other methods, happy with taste, crust crunch. I think it is definitely a process that you learn from and adapt to hone the perfect loaf and your checklist really help me to keep track of where I was up to. It’s great to do the research but actually making it is where you learn?. Would have included a photo but unable to do this here.

  • Reply
    Rachel L Kenison
    May 18, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    Tried your recipe over the weekend and it turned out perfect! Thank you for all the information and checklist.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      May 19, 2020 at 8:53 am

      You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed :)

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.