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A Southern mama of two well dress gals, with a home that's always a bit of a mess. 

Meet Ellen

Children's Style

As a self-proclaimed carbohydrate enthusiast, I love bread. Like, all bread. Truthfully, I never really have considered making my own. I shared last week that I am cooking more with the kids, and homemade bread seemed like the perfect thing to add to our cooking routine. We go through a crazy amount of bread in this house, so why not make it at home and a bit healthier? Keep reading as I document my first loaf of sourdough bread. 

This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click on these links and make a purchase. 
overhead image of fresh sourdough bread on parchment paper and a wire cooling rack

My first loaf fresh out of the oven

Why Sourdough?

When I first started thinking about baking bread, I planned to grab some packets of dry yeast and whip bread up on a whim, with no planning ahead necessary. But then I thought a bit more about why I’m baking bread and reading about the benefits of sourdough bread.

Did you know sourdough bread has a lower glycemic index than white bread? Sourdough is made with a live fermented culture, and this fermentation process may make it easier to digest and makes the nutrients easier for our body to process. Pretty cool, right?

We won’t even go into how beautiful a fresh artisan sourdough loaf is and how this photographer swoons over beautiful bread photos. Nah, not important at all.

This last point is my favorite – no bread machines, no fancy mixer, or tools needed. You truly can get away with just a few things that you likely already have in the most basic kitchen.

Supplies for Baking Sourdough

overhead image of cookbook, linen kitchen towel, glass jar, and sourdough starter culture

You can get as much or as little as you’d like in terms of supplies for baking sourdough. I’m extra, so I ordered several things to make the process a bit easier, but really, that isn’t necessary! The basic tools you need are a big bowl, kitchen scale, and a dutch oven.

I picked up a few ‘nice to have’ tools, but they aren’t really necessary – a banneton basket, bees wrap, and dough whisk.

Oh, and of course Google is free, but I love a good cookbook, so I grabbed this one that was recommended by my friend Mary on her Instagram.

Sourdough Starter

The part that seems most intimidating to the new sourdough baker is procuring a starter culture and maintaining it.

I did a bit of research and ended up ordering a sourdough starter culture by Cultures for Health. It came with step-by-step directions for activating the dehydrated culture. It was super easy for me as a beginner bread baker!

Other options to get your hands on a sourdough starter are to get some from a fellow baker or simply combine flour and water to let the wild yeast present do its thing!

Getting the Kids Involved

There are so many ways to get the kids involved in this process!

Kids can help feed the sourdough starter each day and take turns covering it with a towel and placing it in a warm spot.

Next, while preparing the dough, ask your child to watch the numbers on the scale. ‘Tell me to stop when it says five zero zero!”

Of course, kids love the messy mixing process! All of us got our hands in the bowl to mix the flour and water together.

Lastly, after the bulk rise, they can carefully help fold and shape the dough. Flour dusting is definitely a favorite too! In fact, I think my entire kitchen is still covered in flour dust LOL.

Sourdough Recipe

I’m sharing a basic sourdough recipe similar to the one found in Artisan Sourdough Made SimpleAs I keep learning about sourdough and personalize this a bit, I will update!

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overhead image of fresh sourdough bread on parchment paper and a wire cooling rack

Simple Sourdough

  • Author: Ellen
  • Total Time: 13 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: one loaf


A basic sourdough recipe, perfect for your first loaf!


  • 50 grams active sourdough starter
  • 350 grams water
  • 500 grams all purpose flour
  • 10 grams sea salt


  1. Combine room temperature water and the sourdough starter in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until the sourdough starter is dissolved in the water.
  2. Add the flour to the bowl of water and starter. Using a wooden spoon, start incorporating the flour into the water mixture.
  3. Once you don’t see water, use your hands to squeeze the dough until it is a sticky shaggy dough blob. Scrape as much of the sticky dough on your hands off and back into the bowl
  4. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  5. With a wet hand and a scraper, work your way around the exterior of the dough blob, gently stretch the dough up, shake a bit, and fold over almost to the opposite side of the bowl.
  6. Turn your bowl a quarter turn, and repeat this stretching and folding process until you get back to the beginning.
  7. Cover with a damp linen towel or bees wrap and allow to rise overnight (10 to 12 hours). It should double in size and look airy.
  8. In the morning, preheat your oven to 450F degrees and place the dutch oven into heat up.
  9. Use a scraper or your hands to dump the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface.
  10. Gently repeat the stretch and fold process, this time bringing the stretched dough to the center instead of to the opposite side. Repeat this around the dough until you have gone all the way around.
  11. Flip the dough ball over and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  12. Gently shape the dough into a ball then place it seam side up in a floured banneton basket or clean bowl. Allow to rise for 30 minutes to an hour.
  13. Turn the dough out of the basket or bowl onto a sheet of parchment paper. Score the top of your dough ball, then drop into the dutch oven.
  14. Bake with the top on for 30 minutes. Remove the top and bake for 20-ish more minutes.
  15. Allow to cool for at least an hour on a wire rack, then enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Rest Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: bread


Additional Resources:


Sourdough Supplies Amazon List

Caraway Home Dutch Oven

Blog Posts:

Our Kin and Home

Farmhouse on Boone

The Clever Carrot

You Tube:

Farmhouse on Boone

Pro Home Cooks

Brian Lagerstrom

I hope to update y’all in a few months with some new and exciting sourdough recipes! Have you tried making sourdough before? Be sure to check out all my food posts here.

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