First Leaven Sourdough Recipe

Leaven Timeline 7:10

The First Sourdough Recipe used a combination of the wild yeast in the sourdough starter and some commercial yeast. This recipe is good for when your starter is not mature yet. The sourdough is acting mainly as a poolish or pre-ferment to give more taste and flavour to the loaf. Now my starter, Fido, is getting very feisty and bold. Twelve hours after a feeding, it has doubled in size and is very frothy. Another difference is time. This recipe takes 7+ hours while adding some commercial yeast lowers the time to 3 1/2 hours.

Now it is time to make our first bread using only the starter as the leavening agent (rising agent.) Commercial yeasts are fast. They is why they are popular in commercial baking. Sourdough starter is much slower so the ferment and proofing times are measured in hours not minutes. Also you can not predict these times as all starters are different. We will rely more on dough appearance, size and the ripe test.

I love the look of this loaf. It is the olive oil wash.

Recently I decided to rework this recipe. First I prefer pulling 1 cup of sourdough starter. I also made the latest batch with my favourite pan, the USA Pan Hearth Pan.

First Leaven Sourdough Recipe
Active time
Bake time
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Nice recipe for your first sourdough bread that relies on the starter for all leavening (rising) agent. No commercial yeast is used.
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Leaven Sourdough
Serves: One loaf
  • Sourdough Starter - 1 cup (300 g)
  • Flour - 3½ cups (455g)
  • Fine Sea Salt - 1½ tsp (9 g)
  • Warm Water - ¾ cup (175 g) (~95oF/35oC)
  • Olive Oil - 2 TBSP (27g)
  • Olive Oil - 1 TBSP (14g)
  • (9") Pie Pan OR
  • (12x5.5) Hearth Pan
  1. Measure starter into mixer bowl.
  2. Measure flour and salt into a large bowl and stir.
  3. Measure water and olive oil to a measuring cup.
  4. Mix flour/salt and water/olive oil into mixer bowl, alternating between dry and wet. Start with beater on your mixer - not hook. When the mixer begins to labour, switch to dough hook.
  5. Knead 6 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough may seems dry at first. Give it time.
  6. Place in a large bowl sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. I use the one I measured the flour in.
  7. Cling wrap
  8. Ferment 3 - 6 hours Ferment Ripe Test

  9. Punch dough down. Form on a pie plate or hearth pan. Spritz some water on the dough to help prevent drying. Cover with the bowl you fermented in. If using a hearth pan, spray cling wrap and dough top with nonstick spray. Lay clink wrap on. Don't connect the sides
  10. Proof 2 hours Proof Ripe Test

  11. Preheat oven 15 min to 400°F/200°C/Gas 6
  12. Wash dough with olive oil. Score loaf.
  13. Bake for 35 minutes
or until a thermometer inserted into the center registers at least 190°F/88°C.
  14. Cool on a wire rack.

Baker Rich with starter and Leaven Sourdough Bread

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Wilton 9" Pie Pan

Wilton - 9x1.25 round pie pan - 1 L - 4 ½ cups

Pie pans are nice as they don't give a pan look to the resulting loaf. The slope of the side is gradual enough to be missed. Pie pans are what got me into using non-bread pans. A one or one and one-half pound loaf fits nicely in one.
Hearth Pan

USA Pan Hearth Pan

USA Pan 12x5.5x2.25 Hearth Bread Pan - 2.4L - 10.1 cups

This hearth pan is for larger artisan style loaves. I like it as the structure helps support the form of a traditional load while using a lower cost flour such as all purpose.

Ferment Ripe Test

Proof Ripe Test