Years ago, when I started making sourdough bread, I envisioned beautiful round loaves, dusted in white rice flour and decorated with intricate floral patterns slashed into the surface and baked to perfection.
You know the ones I’m talking about.
That classic sourdough bread makes you think, “Man, I could totally learn how to bake that. If this chick from Instagram is baking bread like this every week, I can learn how to do it too.”
And you’re right! Sourdough boules are a learning curve, but as far as recipes go, they are not that complicated.
However, if you’re like me, you learned quickly that while baking sourdough boules is a fun skill, it’s not something you want to commit to every week. You need something quick, simple, and delicious.
If you want to keep sourdough as the main bread in your home – and there are a lot of reasons for this, ranging from gut health to real food goals to food sensitivities, just to name a few – you’ll want to add my recipe to your repertoire.
My sourdough flatbread recipe is literally the easiest sourdough bread you can possibly make. It is delicious, long fermented (no commercial yeast), crusty, salty goodness that’s begging for a swirl of olive oil or dab of butter. Basically, it is everything I want in an easy sourdough bread recipe.
Easiest Sourdough Bread
The trick here is to make a focaccia flatbread style loaf instead of classic round boule or loaf pan bread. Any kind of bread is a tricky beast, but especially sourdough, and while there is an art to it, sometimes I don’t want to make art.
I just want to feed my kids some nourishing bread that they love and that only took me 20 minutes of active work and minimal brain power.
That’s what this easy sourdough bread is.
What Is an Easy Recipe for Sourdough Bread
While I have mastered all kinds of sourdough bread recipes, this one is my favorite for many reasons. But mainly this one.
The instructions are literally:
While this flatbread is humble and lacking in floral carvings like its fancier sourdough neighbors, it’s still one of my more popular recipes. I bring to all kinds of events when I need to contribute a snack to share, and it goes FAST.
Sometimes I serve it with dip. Sometimes I just bring a little olive oil and seasonings. Sometimes I just slice it and put it on a plate. Usually, all that is left is the dip and some crumbs.
Focaccia Style Sourdough Bread Recipe
You can leave the flatbread plain with just a drizzle of olive oil – which is what I usually do, because my family is boring and prefers straight-up bread to high-brow focaccia seasonings – or you can have a lot of fun with it and top it with anything you would use for focaccia bread – salt flakes, fresh herbs, parmesan cheese, etc.
Basic Sourdough Bread Recipe
For this recipe, you will need four ingredients.
You can make your own, or you can order one from sites like Etsy or Cultures for Health. I prefer to get mine from friends or order them online (yes, I have been through a few, including home-grown starters capturing the wild yeast in my own kitchen).
It takes a while to grow a starter nice and strong, and jumping in with a premade starter made the learning curve so much faster and more rewarding.
I use all kinds of whole grains in my sourdough baked goods, but I prefer to feed my starter with unbleached white flour. I’ve tried several different flours, but this is simple and keeps the starter happy and bubbly.
Everyone has their ideal hydration for their sourdough starter and different recipes work better with different amounts of flour and water in the starter. For this recipe, I keep it very simple. About 12 hours before I make the bread, I feed 1-2 tbsp of starter with 80 grams each of flour and water.
If you want to know my favorite sourdough starter cheat codes, check out my sourdough page here!
You can find Katie’s post on the benefits of sourdough.
For this recipe, I use half spelt flour and half unbleached white flour in the dough. You can use whole wheat flour in place of the spelt four with similar results. If you choose to use all whole grain flour (either wheat or spelt or a combination), you can use the same instructions, but the result will be denser bread. That’s kind of the deal when baking with all whole grains.
Personally, I grew up eating all whole grain bread, so I love the flavor and texture, But if you’re used to conventional bread and flour, you might need some time to get used to working with it and even developing a taste for it.
We use filtered water for feeding and baking with sourdough bread. It doesn’t have to be fancy – just your basic water filter will work, either as a pitcher or fridge filter. You just want something that filters most of the chlorine out of your tap water.
Ideally, keep the water at room temperature, but it’s not the end of the world if it’s cold from the fridge.
Of course, I’m going to recommend Real Salt, but you can use any salt you have on hand for this bread.
There is one product that will help simplify this recipe: parchment paper. It is not necessary, but this is a wet bread dough, and the parchment paper helps keep it from sticking to my pans. Personally, I keep used parchment paper (only from baking bread – not from cooking any kind of meat or dairy) in my freezer and reuse it several times before throwing it out.
Great Beginner Sourdough Recipe
If you are new to sourdough, this is the perfect recipe to start with! Because sourdough is a learning curve, it’s nice to get a quick win in the beginning. And while you are perfecting those beautiful round loaves, you can keep serving your family this easy sourdough bread.
Go Here for More Sourdough Recipes:
- Steph’s sourdough discard pancakes
- Sourdough muffins
- Whole-grain pizza dough
- Sourdough crackers
- Honey whole wheat sourdough bread
This easy sourdough recipe is a crowd pleaser in my house and it’s the simplest sourdough recipe I’ve found!
- 2 c. spelt flour, (250 g)
- 2 c. whole wheat flour or unbleached white flour, (250 g)
- 1 3/4 c. water, (400 g)
- 1/3 c. sourdough starter, (75 g)
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase), (10 g)
- A generous drizzle of olive oil (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!), for baking, (or avocado oil)
- The morning before (about 12 hrs) you want to start the bread, feed your sourdough starter. Use 1 tbsp of starter and feed it 1/3 cup (40 grams) white unbleached flour and 3 tablespoons (40 grams) water. Cover it and let it sit on the counter overnight.
- By evening, the sourdough starter should have at least doubled in height. In a large non-metallic bowl, add the water and then the flour. Pour 1/3 cup of the starter in one side of the bowl, and pour the in the other side, to keep them separate until you stir it all together.
- Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, scrape the dough away from the walls of the bowl and fold it in on itself. Mix this way until the dough is a straggly mess and not quite uniform. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, finish folding the dough over (I usually use my clean hands) until the dough is uniform.
- Cover the bowl and let it sit overnight on the counter.
- The next morning, place parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Drizzle it generously with oil. With your oiled hands, scoop the dough out of the bowl and pour it onto the pan, doing your best not to tear the dough. Gently spread the dough evenly across the baking sheet, until it is somewhat round or rectangular shaped, using the tips of your fingers or knuckles to form little dimples in the dough.
- Preheat the oven to 450 F.
- Bake for 30 minutes on the center rack of the oven.
- Remove bread from the oven and let it cool for at least 30 minutes. Slice and serve. You can also cut it in half crosswise and make flatbread sandwiches.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 228
- Sugar: 0g
- Sodium: 367mg
- Fat: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 48g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 7g
Keywords: easy bread, fermenting, focaccia
What are your best beginner sourdough tips?