Make traditional sourdough with a fraction of the effort by using your bread machine! This sourdough bread machine loaf has five simple ingredients including active starter, salt, water, flour, and honey. Unlike many other sourdough bread machine recipes, there is no commercial yeast required to rise your sourdough loaf in the bread machine.
Why Make Sourdough In Your Bread Machine?
We love a good loaf of sourdough in my house; however, time is not always on our side. I enjoy the stretch and fold process as much as the next sourdough connoisseur but when faced with limited time and wonky schedules, I use my bread maker to do all of the mixing and rising. The act of stretching and folding helps to develop gluten in the dough. The kneading action on your bread machine will have a similar affect and your sourdough in a much more hands-off fashion. This is a great recipe for the busy cook. Simply set it and forget it until it is time for the final shaping and transfer to your dutch oven for the final bake. No added yeast = a more sour flavour. Your bread machine gives the dough a warm place to rise so that the sourdough cultures can do their job.
Experiment with your favourite sourdough recipe in the bread machine- it also handles higher hydration recipes that would otherwise be difficult to stretch and fold. Don’t be afraid to try different flour including whole wheat flour, rye flour, and gluten-free flour. This sourdough bread machine recipe without yeast is adapted from Ally at Crave the Good’s Small Loaf Sourdough Recipe. I have also used this Whole Grain Sourdough Bread Recipe with great success! If you are looking for an easy sourdough bread recipe, look no further!
Active Fed Sourdough Starter- Feed your starter with 50 grams starter, 50 grams filtered water, 50 grams all purpose flour. Depending on your baking schedule, you may want to do this as soon as you wake in the morning or late at night before you turn in.
Flour- For this recipe opt to use bread flour for optimal protein percentages and the best final crumb and texture.
Honey- A little bit of honey goes a long way in helping your sourdough rise and it lends to a more delicate crumb. If you prefer, you can leave the honey out.
Salt- Regular sea salt or kosher salt will work great. Choose a fine grain salt to ensure that it mixes in well.
Water- Always choose filtered water for your sourdough.
Bread Machine- You can use almost any bread machine to make this recipe as long as you are familiar with the mix and rise times. I have a Breville Custom Loaf bread machine and have nothing but good things to say about it! It has a large bread pan to accommodate loaf sizes. You can customize almost everything on it including rise times, mix times, rise temperature, crust darkness, loaf size and more. I have had it for about 8 years and its made perfect bread every time- definitely recommend!
Food Scale- Food scales are essential when baking sourdough bread. Choose a compact model that is easy to wipe down and to stow away in a nearby cabinet or drawer.
Tips + Tricks
Refresh your starter. If you haven’t baked sourdough in a while and your starter has gotten lost in the fridge behind other jars, take a few days to bring your starter back to working condition by feeding and discarding every 12-24 hours. Fresh, active sourdough starter will help your bread rise.
Score your bread machine sourdough boulle fresh out of the fridge for the easiest handling. Everyone loves a fancy scoring technique- make it easier on yourself and score it after it has been chilled.
Leaving your loaf ferment in the fridge overnight before baking— an extra 12-18 hours will give you a more sour flavour.
Check out the instructions on this Whole Grain Sourdough (step 8) to bake a softer sourdough sandwich bread.
Sample Baker’s Schedule
- 7am Feed the sourdough starter, cover, and leave in a warm spot to double
- 11:00am Place all ingredients into your bread machine in the order listed. Place on regular loaf setting or desired setting
- 1:30pm Remove the sourdough before the baking cycle begins, do final shaping turn upside down and place in a proofing basket or banneton for 4-6 hours in a warm spot.
- 6:30pm Place your dutch oven in the oven and preheat at 450°F. Once preheated, score your sourdough, lower it into the dutch oven, and cover it with the lid. Bake for 30 minutes covered, uncover and bake for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool for 15 minutes before enjoying with your favourite spread.
How to Navigate Your Own Bread Machine to Prepare Sourdough
Before starting, it is important to familiarize yourself with your bread machine manual and settings to choose which setting would be best for this process. A google search with the make and model of your bread machine will likely show you a digital copy of your manual if you have misplaced the paper copy. This site also has a list of manuals for reference.
For the most part, basic bread machines will have a regular loaf, quick loaf, and a dough cycle. My Breville Custom Loaf machine specifially has a “Crusty Loaf” setting that I use. Choose the regular loaf setting or desired setting to get your sourdough all the way through the initial autolyse cycle, a few knead cycles, and ready for bulk ferment. It is important to know when your bread machine will start baking and to remove the dough before this for the final shape and bulk ferment portion of the recipe. After a few loaves, you will have this down to a science- no more babysitting your sourdough!!
Exactly How to Make Sourdough With Your Bread Machine
Feed The Starter
Step 1. Feed your starter either as soon as you wake up or right before bed- depending on your desired schedule. If you feed in the morning your starter will be ready to use around noon- if you feed late the evening, it will be ready first thing in the morning.
Prepare Sourdough in Bread Machine
Step 2. Once your starter has doubled, place all ingredients into your bread machine pan with the paddle in place. the following order: 90 grams sourdough starter, 330 grams water, 2 teaspoons honey, 495 grams all purpose bread flour, 2 teaspoons fine sea salt.
Step 3. Start your machine and allow it to run through a regular loaf cycle (or crusty loaf if you have the Breville Custom Loaf) and take it out just before baking begins.
Shape + Bulk Ferment
Step 4. Empty the sourdough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a batard (oval loaf) or boule (round loaf).
Transfer your sourdough onto a lightly floured surface smooth side down. Gently press your dough out into a 12″x12″ (ish) square with your finger tips. Fold in thirds (envelope fold). Next, take the corners and gently fold them into the center. You should have somewhat of a ball shape. Turn it over and let it sit for 15 minutes to relax the gluten before final shaping (optional step). Put the seam side down of your pre-shaped sourdough ball and tuck and drag the dough towards your body, spin, and repeat. Continue this tucking and dragging process until the dough is nice and round, smooth, and has no tears or bulges. There should be good surface tension once you are done.
Step 5. Turn your dough over, sprinkle with rice salt, and place it in your proofing basket (banneton) or cheese cloth lined bowl with the seam side up. I like to put a little bit of rice flour in my banneton as well to ensure that it comes out nice and clean. At this point you can do your bulk ferment in a warm spot in your kitchen for around 3-5 hours to allow the dough to rise- close to double or (my personal favourite), wrap your boule in plastic wrap or a bag and place it in the fridge overnight. I use large bread bags to slip overtop of my basket. It is much easier to score your sourdough fresh out of the fridge than when it is at room temperature.
Step 6. Place your cast iron dutch oven into your oven and preheat it at 450°F (232°C). Uncover the uncooked sourdough boule, turn it onto a large square of parchment paper and score it with a sharp knife or razor blade.
Step 7. Using your parchment paper as a sling, lower the bread into your hot dutch oven. Place the lid on and cook it in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake uncovered for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the sourdough is caramel in colour.
Printable Sourdough Bread Machine Recipe Card
- 50 grams active, fed sourdough starter
- 50 grams filtered water
- 50 grams all purpose bread flour
- 90 grams active, fed sourdough starter
- 330 grams filtered water
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 495 grams all-purpose bread flour
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Feed your starter either as soon as you wake up or right before bed- depending on your desired schedule. If you feed in the morning your starter will be ready to use around noon- if you feed late the evening, it will be ready first thing in the morning.
- Once your starter has doubled, place all ingredients into your bread machine pan with the paddle in place. the following order: 90 grams sourdough starter, 330 grams water, 2 teaspoons honey, 495 grams all purpose bread flour, 2 teaspoons fine sea salt.
- Start your machine and allow it to run through a regular loaf cycle (or crusty loaf if you have the Breville Custom Loaf) and take it out just before baking begins.
- Empty the sourdough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a batard (oval loaf) or boule (round loaf).
- Turn your dough over and place it in your proofing basket (banneton) or cheese cloth lined bowl with the seam side up. At this point you can do your bulk ferment in a warm spot in your kitchen for around 3-5 hours or (my personal favourite), wrap your boule and place it in the fridge overnight. I use large bread bags to slip overtop of my basket. It is much easier to score your sourdough fresh out of the fridge than when it is at room temperature.
- Place your cast iron dutch oven into your oven and preheat it at 450°F (232°C). Uncover the uncooked sourdough boulle, turn it onto a large square of parchment paper and score it with a sharp knife or razor blade.
- Using your parchment paper as a sling, lower the bread into your hot dutch oven. Place the lid on and cook it in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake uncovered for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the sourdough is caramel in color.
*I prefer to do my final ferment in the fridge overnight and score and bake in the morning. Perfect for morning toast or lunch sandwiches!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 283Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 533mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 9g
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Batch + Storage
This recipe yields around a 2lb loaf of bread. Perfect for sharing with family and friends!
Sourdough bread lasts longer than other homemade conventional yeast breads because of the fermentation that occurs when you use your starter. The lactobacillus bacteria and higher acid content ward off mould growth and keep your loaf fresh for longer.
Store your cooled sourdough in an airtight bread bag at room temperature. I stow mine away in a bread tin but it can be kept on the counter as well! It can be kept for up to a week and a half.
If you want to freeze it, wrap the bread machine tightly with saran wrap and place it in a ziplock bag with all of the air squeezed out of the bag. In the freezer, the sourdough will last up to 6 months.
How to Enjoy This Delicious Sourdough Bread Recipe
Fresh: Slather with butter, cream cheese or your favourite topping and enjoy this loaf fresh.
Toasted: This bread machine sourdough tastes amazing the next day toasted with peanut butter and honey or your favourite toppings.
Grilled: We love to sandwich some cheese between two slices of this sourdough and make an out of this world grilled cheese sandwich- it tastes amazing paired with Homemade Canned Tomato Soup or Dill Pickle Soup with Shredded Chicken.
Sliced Small for Dipping: Cube your bread and arrange it on a tray to dip in brie or other savoury dips.
Baked As Croutons: Cube the sourdough loaf and toss with olive oil and seasoning salt for delicious homemade sourdough croutons.
In French Toast: Swap out regular bread for this this bread machine sourdough loaf and use it like you would in your favourite french toast recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
While there is no commercial yeast in this bread machine sourdough recipe, there is wild yeast from your active starter that helps the dough rise and give it a sour flavour. The yeast combines with lactic acid bacteria to create your bubbly starter. A sourdough starter is much like a kombucha SCOBY- it is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. You can read about the health benefits of sourdough here.
Using your bread machine to make sourdough sufficiently develops gluten, saves hands-on time, is helpful for those who have a hard time stretching and folding due to medical conditions, is helpful when using high hydration recipes, easily cleans up, and makes the overall process a lot easier for people with busy schedules.
Simple put, a boule is a round loaf if bread, made by shaping it into a ball.
A batard is an oval loaf of bread, closely resembling a store bought loaf of bread.
A banneton will help keep your loaf’s shape while allowing airflow to the dough. It is not 100% necessary for baking sourdough! Simply line a bowl with cheesecloth that is similar to the size of your dutch oven and cover with a tea towel to rise. I have used strainers, plastic fast food trays, and regular bowls.
There are ways to get around having a dutch oven to bake your sourdough! Check out this post to look into your options.