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+ servings
loaf of sourdough bread with pretty score, top down view

Basic All-Purpose Flour Sourdough Bread (soft crumb!)

A basic sourdough bread recipe made with 100% all-purpose flour, naturally leavened with sourdough starter. It has a soft and light crumb, with golden crust. Perfect recipe for when you don't have bread flour.
4.67 from 72 votes
Prep Time :5 minutes
Cook Time :45 minutes
Additional Time :12 hours
Total Time :12 hours 50 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 45 grams active sourdough starter at its peak
  • 275 grams room temp water if you are using an all-purpose flour that has one ingredient on the package hard wheat (Bob's Red Mill AP flour is an example). OR 290 grams if you are using an all-purpose flour with malted barley flour added (King Arthur and Trader Joe's AP flour are examples).*
  • 400 grams unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 7 grams fine sea salt


  • Add starter and water to a bowl. Whisk thoroughly until combined, with a fork. Add flour, and mix together first with the fork to start to incorporate, then with your hands until a shaggy dough is formed, and the bits of flour left just disappear. Sprinkle the salt on top and do not mix in, just leave it on top. Cover with a damp cloth.
  • Autolyse: let dough sit for one hour, covered and undisturbed.
  • Bulk ferment: Now you will knead the salt that is sitting on top, into the dough for about 1 min 15 seconds. There is no precise way to do this, just think of working the dough through your hands and up against the bowl, push and pull. You will start to feel the dough relax a bit around 1 minute. Continue for about 15 or 30 seconds more. Then leave the dough alone, covered, for 30 minutes. This counts as what would be your first set of stretch and folds.
  • After those 30 minutes pass, perform a stretch and fold. Repeat 2 more times.
  • Now you will let sit, undisturbed and covered with a damp cloth, for about 8 hours at 70 degrees F. If the temperature in your home is above 70, this will take less time, vice versa. You will know it is finished with its bulk ferment when the dough has risen about double, is smooth and puffy on top, with a few bubbles. It will not be as jiggly as some breads that use more water.
  • At this point, lightly dust your work surface with flour. Put dough onto the work surface, and pre-shape. This video will show you what that means. Let sit for 15 minutes on your work surface.
  • Then shape your dough, using this method as a guide.
  • Place dough into your flour dusted banneton, (or flour dusted linen lined banneton) seam side up. (Optional, you can wait 15 minutes after placing it in banneton, and pinch the perimeters of the dough into the center to hold the shape even more, called stitching.) The dough will now go through its final rise. You can do this on the counter, which will take about 2 hours at 70 degrees F for the dough to puff up and be jiggly. It will not double. OR you can do the final rise overnight in the refrigerator, with the banneton covered in a plastic bag or with a very damp cloth. You need this for holding moisture in.
  • Time to bake. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees F, with your dutch oven (without cover), preheating inside the oven. When the oven is preheated, flip your dough out gently onto parchment paper and score your dough. If you did the final rise in the refrigerator, take it straight from fridge to score to dutch oven, cold.
  • Then put dough into the dutch oven on the parchment, and cover. Turn oven down to 450 degrees F and slide dutch oven in. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove cover.
  • Turn heat down to 430 degrees F, and bake for 25 more minutes, until crust is golden brown and crackly. Remove from oven, and remove bread from dutch oven and place onto a cooling rack.
  • Wait AT LEAST one hour to cool otherwise, the interior will be gummy.


*Look at the ingredient list on the back of your bag of all-purpose flour to see if yours is just one ingredient, hard wheat, or if it has malted barley flour added.