The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

sour dough bread in bread machine

mbass7mile's picture

sour dough bread in bread machine

Any suggestions as to how to make sourdough in the bread machine?  Any recipes?


Ambimom's picture

I haven't used a bread machine in a long time, but I don't see why you couldn't add your sourdough starter to the mix instead of yeast.  In general a cup of starter should be about right for a bread machine-sized loaf.  Make sure it's very active and well-fed before you put it in the machine.  The machine must come with a standard white loaf recipe.  Use that recipe.

mrfrost's picture

Be careful. Sourdough rising cycles are pretty different than commercial yeast cycles. Automatic bread machine cycles are based on the very high activity properties of instant yeast. Of course, this applies only if you will be baking in the machine.

If you will be baking in the machine(automatically), you may need to add instant yeast also.

The machine will mix, knead and proof the dough in a matter of 90 minutes or so. Can a sourdough only recipe be managed in such time? Of course, if the machine is programmable, it is more easily accomplished.

davidg618's picture

it's simple, if you have a "Dough" cycle option.

Here's the link:

Bread Machine Sourdough Light Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf.

And here is the base recipe we use.

1 and 3/4 cup buttermilk (429g)

1/2 cup water (118g)

2 tbls honey (≈30g)

2 tbls vegetable oil (≈28g)

4 and 1/4 cup unbleached white bread flour (510g)

2 and 3/4 whole-wheat flour (315g)

2 tsp salt

2 tsp instant rise yeast

On dough cycle we let it rise in the machine for 1 and 1/2 hour. In the Zo, that's 30 minutes longer than the rise step. Then we remove it, deflate it gently, and let it rise a second time in an oiled bowl, covered, until it doubles in bulk. This seems to increase its flavor significantly. Then we turn it onto a floured board, divide it into three equal pieces, shape and pan it. We let it proof until it responds to the poke test. If your not familiar with that simply poke a loaf, with one finger. If the dough springs back filling or nearly filling the hole it hasn't proofed long enough. If it springs back only a little, leaving an indentation it's ready to bake.

We also make an all-white version using 6 cups of white flour only.

To do a sourdough version, decide how much starter you want to use, calculate how much flour and water it will contribute to the final dough, and subtract those amounts from the base recipe flour and water amounts.

Example: Assume your starter is 100% hydrated, and you want to use 240g of starter. It contributes 120g of flour and 120g of water. So change your base recipe to contain:

0g of water (the 2g difference between 118g and 120g is insignificant.)

390g of white bread flour (assuming your starter is fed with the same flour.)

Omit the yeast.

Everything else remains the same.

You may have to adjust proofing times depending on how active your starter is.

David G


mbass7mile's picture

Thank you sooooo much. I can't wait to try it.  The link is great too.


Martyn's picture

My method was not very scientific, but I have made sourdough loaves in the bread machine. I used a cup of starter in the basic recipe, reducing water and flour to account for that in the starter. Set the machine to mix dough only, but after the cycle finishes leave the dough in the machine until it has risen to where you think is ideal (I left mine another 2 hours or so in the machine). Then hit the bake button.

As far as bread goes, it was ok; I still need to experiment. But this method doesn't produce the same results as the regular method. It's good if you're too busy to bake properly IMO.

ahenson's picture

I just made a simple sourdough loaf (second in my machine...second loaf of bread I have made ever!) and it was super easy. The flavor wasn't as tangy as I like, but it was a pre-made dry mix I bought at the grocery store, so it didn't use starter. I made it in a West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise, setting it to the Super Rapid cycle with the extra 1 tsp. yeast required for the two hour cycle. Turned out great! Not *the* greatest sourdough bread, but good and simple enough for a beginner.

Earl's picture

I’m just a home cook that likes to make bread, great tasting if I can manage. I’ve been back into sourdough for a few months; starter is Carl Griffith’s 1847 reconstituted from some I’d dried a few years back. I’ve been using my bread machine to make the dough. It’s just basic sourdough, water, salt, starter and flour. Best sandwich bread I’ve ever made.

1 cup bottled water

1 teaspoon salt [I use Himalayan pink sea salt]

1 cup sourdough 100 % hydration

3 cups bread flour [I use Bouncer]

Use dough cycle [mine takes one and a half hours]

Put dough into an oiled one gallon ziploc bag and refrigerate over night.

The next day allow the dough come to room temp for a hour or so.

Place dough on surface that has been oiled, spray dough with oil, spread dough out gently and fold a few times. Dough will tighten up.

Shape in a boule or whatever.

I place the boule in a round casserole dish that had parchment paper pressed into it and paper oiled with Pam type spray. Cover with oiled cling wrap and let rise in warm place. Mine takes about 4-5 hours to rise. Leave boule in the casserole dish. I slashed the top with a plus sign.

Bake covered on a pizza stone at 450 F for 15 minutes. As a cover I use the bottom from an old pressure cooker that is 6 inches deep. Remove cover and bake at 350 F until browned to your satisfaction. I went only 15 minutes [30 total] as I didn’t want a real dark crust for the sandwiches. The crumb is moist and fine textured with great taste and slices well with a bow knife.

Earl's picture

I made this bread with bread machine dough using SourdoLady's Deluxe Sourdough Bread recipe with minor changes.

Deluxe Sourdough Bread

made with Bread Machine Dough

[Original recipe from SourdoLady]


1 1/4 cups proofed starter [100% hydration]

1 cup water

3 T. dry powdered milk

1/4 cup instant potato flakes

2 cups bread flour

1/2 cup Prairie Gold white whole wheat flour

1 ½ cups Pillsbury All Purpose Unbleached flour

2 T. sugar

3 T. oil

2 tsp. salt


Loaded into bread machine using dough cycle. Dough cycle lasted 1:40 minutes. Removed dough from dough pan, stretched and folded a few times while shaping into a batard. Put dough into Brottopf baker [a ceramic baking dish with lid made in Italy—it's also a bread keeper] in which the bread would be baked and then it went into the fridge overnight for a cold proof. Removed from fridge at 8 A.M. At 9 A.M. put into oven, preheated to 100F. At 12:00 dough had doubled in size, 4 hours after removing from fridge. Baked, covered with Brottopf lid, at 450F for 20 minutes, removed lid, baked for 10 more minutes then turned oven down to 350 for 10 more minutes.


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