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. More of our top bread recipes are found on the Best Bread Recipes page!
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Ever since I grew my first sourdough starter and explored how to make sourdough bread, 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 with 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 wanted. 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 favorite enameled cast iron pot, and consistently turn out good loaves.
And it did! This is truly the easiest sourdough bread recipe that anyone can make.
I want to note, too, 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. This may be the best sourdough bread recipe!
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 sourdough bread recipe:
- This is a great quality, decently priced enameled cast iron dutch oven, similar to the one I use. Here’s another option for a bit less that’s very similar, too.
- 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.
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Timing Tip for How to Make 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, so I thought I’d give you a typical timeline to have a loaf for dinner.
To have this sourdough artisan bread 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 is 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.
Easy Sourdough Artisan Bread Recipe
- 3 cups flour white whole wheat, whole wheat, unbleached, or a combo
- 1 ¼ cups warm water*
- 3/4 cup active sourdough starter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- Mix all ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) just until combined and then let sit for 15 minutes.
- Using a dough hook, knead for 5 minutes. If making by hand, knead for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a medium-sized bowl, lightly coated with oil. Cover with plastic and let rise for 3 hours, turning and folding the dough once or twice.
- Remove dough, turn and fold again, and place it back in the bowl, seam-side up. Let rise for another 2 hours.
- After the second rise, place a square of parchment on a cookie sheet and gently shape the dough into a ball or oval (using lots of flour, as the dough is moist) and set on the parchment. Make sure there's a good coating of flour on the top, as this will make slicing the top later easier.
- Set an enameled, cast iron dutch oven into a cold oven and turn heat to 450 degrees (alternately, you can use a baking stone), and set the timer for 40 minutes.
- When the timer goes off, slash the top of the loaf with a serrated knife (in 2-3 places) and transfer it to the hot pot by holding the edges of the parchment (or stone).
- Replace the hot lid and bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking for another 13-15 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.
Looking for more sourdough bread recipes & ways to use your starter?
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