This easy sourdough artisan bread recipe is mixed together, kneaded in a stand mixer and left to rise with minimal hands-on time. The magic happens when it’s cooked in an enamel cast-iron pan, which gives it a perfect crispy crust and delicious soft interior.
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Ever since I first grew my first sourdough starter, I’ve wanted to be able to make a really good loaf of artisan sourdough bread like my favorite regular yeast easy artisan bread. Although I thought this sourdough bread loaf I made shortly after beginning to bake with sourdough was good, I realize now that the reason I thought it was so great was just because it didn’t look like the disaster from the previous week!
What I really wanted was a sourdough bread recipe that had a crispy crust and big holes inside, but that was still easy to make. One similar to my super easy artisan bread which bakes in an enameled cast iron pot.
NOTE: What I mean by ‘easy’ is a simple, everyday kind of sourdough bread recipe that uses cups to measure, few steps, and very little science involved. If you’d like to get really into sourdough – which can quickly become complicated (and frankly, overwhelming to me), I’ve found Northwest Sourdough to be very thorough and not too hard to follow for those wanting to dig a little deeper.
Easy Sourdough Artisan Bread Recipe
I searched for a couple years to find a technique that would produce a loaf of artisan sourdough bread that was all the things I desired. When I found a great recipe from Gina at Homejoys I knew right away that it could be adapted to be even easier, use my beloved enameled cast iron pot, and consistently turn out good loaves.
And it did! This is truly an easy sourdough bread recipe that anyone can make.
I want to note, also, that for me an easy bread is always made with a stand mixer, but this recipe can be made by hand – you will just have to work a bit harder.
Look at that crust! That’s bread-beauty right there, isn’t it? Blistered and cracked and bubbly.
Yeah, I can get all giddy about bread crust – kind of like when I dance in the kitchen when the eggs don’t stick in a cast iron pan. I really am about the simple things around here!
The sliced loaf pictured above was made with whole wheat bread flour (verses the previous loaf, which was made with whole wheat white flour), so the crust isn’t quite the same, but still passes the test. And the interior is full of holes, chewy, and with just a touch of sourness. Perfection.
Shop this recipe:
- This is a great quality, decently priced enameled cast iron dutch oven, similar to the one I use.
- Here’s a rising bucket that holds a lot and is easy to see when your starter is doubling.
- This is my favorite brand of white whole wheat flour (made from hard white wheat).
- And I use this brand for hard red wheat flour (‘regular’ whole wheat). My starter is fed with this.
Timing Tip for Sourdough Bread
The timing of sourdough bread was hard for me to figure out in the beginning, since it takes longer to rise than regular yeast breads. To have this artisan loaf ready for an evening dinner:
- Feed your sourdough starter the night before you want to bake.
- Start the sourdough artisan bread recipe the next morning.
- Let the dough rise until early afternoon before baking and cooling in time for dinner.
That said, I have been known to rush it when I’ve forgotten to feed the starter the night before (what- you’re shocked?). If you find yourself in that situation, you can feed the starter right when you get up in the morning and let it sit until it’s bubbly, about a couple of hours, and then proceed with the recipe.
Made this way, the bread doesn’t have quite the optimum time to cool, so you’ll have a warmer loaf with a bit more squished crumb – but we’ve sure never minded.