Easy sourdough

Easy sourdough bread

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(22 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 25 mins - 30 mins plus overnight fermenting and rising

More effort

Makes 1 loaf (cuts into 10-12 slices)

Don't be daunted by making a sourdough bread starter at home - this easy, overnight version makes a lovely loaf

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per slice (12)

  • kcal172
  • fat1g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs33g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre3g
  • protein6g
  • salt1.3g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


    For the starter

    • 100g strong white bread flour
    • 100g organic dark rye flour
    • ½ x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast

    For the main dough

    • 400g strong white bread flour
    • ½ x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast


    1. To make your starter, place all the ingredients in a bowl and add 250ml cold water. Mix together thoroughly with a spoon until you have a spongy mixture, then cover with cling film and leave at room temperature at least overnight, but up to 24 hrs if you have time.

    2. To make the bread dough, tip the ingredients into a clean bowl and add 1 tbsp fine salt, 200ml cold water and your starter. Bring all the ingredients together to a dough, adding a splash more water if too stiff, then tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for at least 10 mins until smooth, elastic and springy (this will take 5-7 mins in a mixer with a dough hook). Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave until doubled in size – about 1 hr at room temperature, 3 hrs in the fridge (see tips, below).

    3. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and gently shape into a round – you don’t want to knock too much air out of the dough. Dust a piece of baking parchment heavily with flour and sit the dough on top. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 1 hr until doubled in size.

    4. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Place a sturdy flat baking tray on the middle shelf of the oven and a smaller tray with sides underneath. Dust the dough with flour and slash with a utility knife. Slide the bread onto the hot tray on top and throw a few ice cubes (or pour some cold water) onto the tray below – this creates a burst of steam, which helps the bread form a nice crust. Bake for 25-30 mins until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Leave the bread to cool completely.

    You may also like

    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    Alix Evans's picture
    Alix Evans
    3rd Jul, 2019
    This recipe needs renaming oe removing! Sourdough bread NEVER EVER uses dried yeast!!
    4th Mar, 2018
    First time making sourdough and it won't be th last. Appreciated the instructions, detailed and easy to follow. Bread was lovely!
    6th Dec, 2017
    A great recipe which I have been using since it was first published. A double cheat since I mix the dough in a bread machine! Once mixed, I tip it out onto a floured surface, shape it, on to flour dusted non-stick baking parchment, let it double in size, slash the top and straight into the oven, onto a hot baking tray, parchment and all! A few variations including swapping about a quarter to a third of the second lot of white flour for wholemeal to give a more 'rustic' loaf. Flour nearly always 'organic' too and finally, coarse maize meal for dusting. Brilliant!
    12th Oct, 2017
    I thought this was an excellent recipe if like me you are pushed for time. Ive made a few sourdough starters but end up in a mess and constant feeding it Im too busy and becomes a chore. This recipe gave a lovely crumb plus I added a good scoop of butter. Smelt and tasted very nice. I like the idea of letting it rise in the fridge good as I was out with the children. Ideal for busy mums.
    10th Sep, 2016
    Forgot to rate it below.
    10th Sep, 2016
    First time I've ever made bread and love this! Would recommend as a not too tricky way to get a great loaf.
    20th Aug, 2015
    On the one hand it is a bit of a cheat to call this sourdough as it is using commercial yeast rather than the natural yeasts that you get in sourdough...but that is being a bit of a purist. The overnight or 24 hour sponge will allow the flavour of the bread to develop that typical sour tang that you get with sourdough, as the starter ferments over the longer period that normally do using commercial yeasts. Worth a try bit I think I'll stick with my sourdough starter, took long enough to get it going and now that I have I can guarantee excellent results every time.
    10th Sep, 2016
    Think that's why it's called "Cheat's Sourdough"! I left my starter for 24hrs and it worked really well. Don't think I'd have the patience to look after a natural yeast starter. I live in Hackney, where there's fantastic artisan Sourdough bread on every corner. Love it but making this recipe is a great and cheaper alternative and not too tricky.
    katenich08's picture
    13th May, 2015
    Didn't realise just how much of a cheat this recipe is, but makes a nice impressive loaf. Great taste and made fantastic toast. Will definitely make it again and rise the dough in the fridge to see if it makes it more like a proper sourdough.
    pajbse's picture
    25th Apr, 2015
    No this isn't sourdough. This is just a usual bread recipe with a bit of rye flour in the starter. Using a 24 hour starter improves the crumb. I wouldn't bother with extra yeast on the second day. My bread works fine with the yeast that has developed over night. Incidentally the recipe here forgets to tell you to add the second day ingredients into the bowl of starter. After making the starter this recipe then doesn't mention it again!


    4th Apr, 2020
    Hi, I can't get my hands on the rye flour for the starter. Are there any alternatives you would suggest here? Thanks!
    Esther_Deputyfoodeditor's picture
    6th Apr, 2020
    Hello! Esther from the food team here. You could make it with just strong bread flour (so 200g in total) or replace the rye with spelt or strong wholemeal. Thanks for your question!
    13th Jul, 2018
    Is the recipe supposed to be 1 teaspoon of salt rather than the tablespoon described in the ingredients?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    23rd Jul, 2018
    Thanks for your question. 1 tbsp salt is the correct amount. It adds flavour, and aids both colour and rise.
    5th Jan, 2017
    How would you feed this starter? I get the equal portions part, but because of the rye does it need to be fed more often? Does it need to be fed with strong flour or rye?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    9th Jan, 2017
    Thanks for your feedback. We've called this recipe a 'cheat's sourdough' because you don't need to feed the starter. Simply follow the recipe as is. It works! :-)
    15th Aug, 2016
    How do you use the pre-fermented base that you keep in the fridge?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    9th Jan, 2017
    Thanks for your question. In step one you're creating the fermented base which you keep at room temperature. You then add this in step 2 where it says to add the starter. Hope that's clearer now.
    21st Aug, 2015
    The recipe states 1 tbsp (tablespoon) of salt. That seems a lot for this size loaf, is that correct?
    2nd May, 2015
    When it says to slide the loaf onto the hot tray do you slide it on with or without the baking parchment?


    Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.