Chef John's Sourdough Bread


Turn your kitchen into a sourdough bread bakery with this easy recipe and my sourdough starter recipe. Making your own sourdough bread does take a while, but the amount of actual work is minimal — and the finished loaf is spectacular!

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
21 hrs
Total Time:
21 hrs 55 mins
1 loaf


  • 100 grams active sourdough starter

  • 394 grams bread flour

  • 250 grams water

  • 8 grams kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons rice flour, or as needed


  1. Place starter into a bowl. Add bread flour, water, and salt; mix until well blended and sticky. Cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 4 hours at 70 to 75 degrees F (21 to 24 degrees C).

  2. Uncover dough and use wet hands to fold it over onto itself three to four times. Cover again with foil and let ferment for 2 more hours.

  3. Generously dust a proofing basket (banneton) with rice flour.

  4. Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Shape into a ball with a smooth, unbroken surface, using just enough flour on the surface to keep it from sticking. Place dough into the prepared basket with the smooth side down. Pinch the rougher edges on the surface together toward the center to smooth them while maintaining a round ball shape.

  5. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours to slow the fermentation process.

  6. Remove the banneton from the refrigerator. Let sit in a warm spot until dough springs back slowly and retains a slight indentation when poked gently with a finger, about 3 to 5 hours.

  7. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  8. Dust surface of dough with flour. Gently invert the banneton over the center of the baking sheet and flip dough out onto the parchment paper. Gently brush off excess rice flour. Score top of dough about 1/8-inch deep with a sharp knife to create a shallow slit running across the center. Mist the entire surface lightly with water.

  9. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until beautifully browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer loaf to a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing.

Chef's Notes:

Plan ahead! My sourdough starter takes 10 days to make.

If you don't have a banneton, you can line a similarly sized bowl with a tightly woven cotton kitchen towel and generously coat it with rice flour. I've done that before, and it works exactly the same. The only difference is the wooden basket breathes, unlike a metal bowl, but I don't think that's a big deal.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

205 Calories
1g Fat
41g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 205
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 405mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 7g
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 78mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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