The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Recipe in a Bread Machine?

Kate's picture

Sourdough Recipe in a Bread Machine?

I have been baking with my sourdough starter for over a year now and I've always kneaded the dough in the Kitchen Aid and baked it in the oven, but now with two babies there are times when I'd like to spend less time making a regular loaf so I got a bread machine. And now I'm not sure how to make the move from oven to machine. My standard recipe is 16oz flour, 1.5 cups water, 1.5 tsp salt, 4oz starter. Usually after kneading I let this rise for 8 hours, shape it then bake it. However, it doesn't seem possible to let something rise for 8 hours in the machine...

Does anyone make sourdough in a bread machine and have any tips for me? Am I going to need to use commercial yeast when I use the machine and save my sourdough baking for the oven?



Jeffrey's picture

hi Kate 


We haven't tried it, but ours has a pause button, it won't be the same as loading it up and going to bed.  A couple of times we used that thing to knead the bread.  We made a few loaves of bread in it, but never sourdough.  It never did get much use around here.  My wife's brother and sister, love those things, they don't understand why we don't use it.





andrew_l's picture

works - on a Panasoninc machine at least. You can make the dough as usual, fold proof as usual, then place in the bread machine tin (without the paddle) and wait until it has doubled in size then switch on the machine to the bake cycle.Or you can use the "knead only" cycle (called dough cycle in some I believe) and it will do all of that bit for you. Then leave it to proof and use the bake only cycle at the stage when you regard the dough to be ready to bake.I can't think of a way around it which means you can just dump the ingredients in and forget it - it will still require some degree of involvement as far as I can see!

bottleny's picture

Depending on your bread machine (whether it's programmable or can be pause etc), as the previous posts have explained.

However, I had used biga in bread machine and the result was better than that using yeast only. I made the long biga mentioned in The Artisan at night, and in the morning I divided it into small pieces with the rest ingredients. Then I set the finished time to 7:30pm, the time when I arrived home.

I never tried with soudough starter but I guess it's not suitable because the fermentation time in most bread machines isn't long enough for starter. A little bit yeast would be better. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

lights.  Set the timer to run the bread machine when you want it.  You can make the pause as long or as many as you like.  It will take some experimenting but hey!   Also works for refrigerators with broken thermostats until a replacement can be arranged.   Mini Oven

Kate's picture

Thanks for your responses, I appreciate it. My machine does not have a pause button, but it does have a dough cycle and a bake cycle, so I could do the dough cycle in the morning and the bake cycle when the dough has doubled. Not quite the same as tossing the ingredients in and taking a nap, but hey, it's sourdough, it can't be that easy.


I am really digging the bread machine for regular commercial yeast sandwich loaves, though. I made a loaf with some whole wheat flour and walnuts, sunflower seeds, pine nuts and poppy seeds and it was so light and tasty - I was quite surprised actually, at how easy it was and how good the resulting bread was! I have a feeling that most of my sourdough baking will remain a Kitchen Aid/oven thing, but this is a great way to have fresh sandwich loaves without having to put in the time! I'm going to take the plunge, though, and try a sourdough loaf soon and I'll report back how it goes...



KipperCat's picture

I'll look forward to hearing how it goes.  I'm toying with the idea of getting a bread machine again, since I could pick up one so cheaply on Craigs List.  A bread machine uses so much less energy than an oven - not to mention the baker's energy.