Sourdough Bread


Baking sourdough bread is intimidating. That’s just the truth. However, I’ve found that the more I make it, the easier it gets, and the more fun I have. I’ve probably only baked about 10 batches of sourdough bread in my life, but I wanted to share what I’m learning with you. It is truly so fun and satisfying to bake your own bread, and I just want people to give it a try.

First of all, it’s important to have grace for yourself in the process of making sourdough. There’s so many things that can influence how your bread turns out: temperature, humidity, the activity of your starter, the type of flour you use, etc. No two loaves have ever really looked the same for me. Some are super fluffy and aerated, some are a little more squatty and dense, and some are in between. What they all have in common is that I made them, and I, my family, and friends enjoyed eating every bit of them. Just embrace your loaves however they turn out :)

Second of all, there’s so many different ways to make sourdough out there that it can be overwhelming. Also, a lot of them take so much time and have really long, complicated recipes. I started making sourdough using the “Tartine Basic Country Bread Recipe”, but I’ve played around with it a lot and formulated my own version. I love this recipe because it can be done on pretty much any day off (whereas some take longer), and it’s really simple compared to some other recipes I’ve found online.

Hopefully you can get a sourdough starter from a friend, but if not, you can attempt to make your own (I have tried... and failed... it takes quite a while), or buy one online! Whatever you choose to do, make sure that your starter is bubbly and alive when you start the bread-making process.

Also, USE GOOD FLOUR. It makes such a difference. If you have access to freshly milled flour, then definitely use that. Normally I buy organic bread flour and organic sprouted whole grain flour from Whole Foods or another health foods store. I believe that it really makes a difference in the final product.

This recipe in particular is 80% white flour and 20% whole grain flour. I love making 100% whole grain sourdough, but I use a slightly different process for that which I will be sharing eventually! However, you could easily substitute the bread flour in this recipe for sprouted whole wheat. It will produce a much more dense bread, but still delicious. If you're new to making sourdough, it is easier to start with white flour :)

Here we go!!!



  • 2 Tbs. very active starter
  • 200 g. warm water
  • 100 g. all purpose flour
  • 100 g. whole wheat flour

Final Dough:

  • 200 g. levain
  • 700 g. warm water
  • 800 g. bread flour
  • 200 g. whole wheat flour
  • 20 g. salt



The night before mixing the dough, prepare the levain. Mix the starter, water, and flours together in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight.

Levain after sitting overnight, about 12 hours

Levain after sitting overnight, about 12 hours



NOTE: If I'm planning on baking the bread the same day, I start this in the morning. If I'm planning on letting the dough sit in the fridge overnight, this can be done in the afternoon.

In a large bowl, mix together 200 g. of the starter and 650 g. of warm water until the starter is somewhat dissolved. Add 800 g. of bread flour and 200 g. of whole wheat flour. Mix with your hands until well combined. Cover, and let rest in a warm spot for 30-45 minutes. 

After initially mixing the dough together.

After initially mixing the dough together.



After the dough has sat for 30-45 minutes, sprinkle with 20 g. sea salt and the remaining 50 g. of water to help the salt dissolve. Incorporate the salt and water into the dough by stretching and folding. In order to stretch and fold the dough, scrape all the dough from the bottom of the bowl so that you can incorporate everything into the stretch and fold. Lift up the dough from one side, allowing it to stretch upward, then fold the dough in half. Repeat about 5-6 times, rotating sides. 

Before mixing in the salt and water.

Before mixing in the salt and water.

After mixing in the salt and stretching and folding a few times.

After mixing in the salt and stretching and folding a few times.


Let the dough sit, covered with a towel, for 3 hours. Every 30 minutes, using wet hands, stretch and fold the dough 4 times. You should perform 4 total sets of stretches and folds, spaced roughly 30 minutes apart, then let the dough sit for the remainder of the 3 hours. As you perform sets of stretches and folds, the dough should feel progressively more buoyant and aerated. The dough will go from feeling very sticky and loose to more smooth and tight. 

After the last set of stretches and folds.

After the last set of stretches and folds.

After 3 total hours of bulk fermentation.

After 3 total hours of bulk fermentation.


After bulk fermentation, gently scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a work surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Cut the dough in half. Take a piece of dough and flip onto the floured side. Create a boule by pulling the edges of the dough toward the middle and pinching the ends together in the center of the dough. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Flip back over so the seam side is down. Take a dough scraper, place underneath the dough boule, and gently push away from you then toward you, tucking the bottom under, making the top of the boule tighter.  Cover the boules, and let rest for 15-20 minutes.



While the dough is resting, prepare the proofing baskets. I have bannetons, but you can easily use a dish towel resting in a bowl. Sprinkle the proofing basket or dish towel generously with flour.


Sprinkle the dough boules with flour, and reshape, following the process used before. Once shaped, place in the proofing baskets seam side up. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 3-4 hours. At this point, you can choose to put the dough in the fridge to let it rise overnight. This will produce a more sour flavor. I usually choose to let it rise for 3-4 hours and bake it the same day. 

Reshape the dough boules.

Reshape the dough boules.

After the 3-4 hour rise.

After the 3-4 hour rise.

Place in the proofing baskets/bowl with a dish towel.

Place in the proofing baskets/bowl with a dish towel.

Dough should be significantly puffier than before and have some large bubbles in it.

Dough should be significantly puffier than before and have some large bubbles in it.


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F, and place your dutch oven inside while it's heating up. Once heated to 500, remove the dutch oven, and turn the heat down to 450. Grease the inside of the dutch oven and sprinkle with flour. Turn the loaf upside down from the proofing basket directly into the dutch oven. Take a sharp knife and cut a large cross on top of the dough. Spray the top of the dough boule with a spray bottle or sprinkle with a few droplets of water using your hands (this will help create steam inside the dutch oven, allowing the bread to rise). Put the lid on the dutch oven, and bake for 30 minutes. It's very important NOT to remove the lid during this time. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown on top. 



GF Apple Carrot Pecan Muffins


I'm currently working at a coffee shop. It's not necessarily what I expected I would be doing post-graduation. There have been many days where I've questioned the purpose of my life while wiping coffee-stained hands onto my blue jeans, picking up yet another pitcher of milk, and watching the bubbles rise and then disappear into the white whirlpool. Michael wants his daily medium latte, and I get to be the one that pours foamy milk into caramel-colored espresso, form a decent rosetta, and hand it over with a smile.

I know that I won't be here forever. I'm finishing school and a new wedding photography season is coming up. Even though it's short-lived, I don't want to look back on this time as a waste. How can I make these countless interactions and mindless tasks mean more? I'm so much more than what I do, and I want that to be apparent in the way that I live. 

Career, vocation, purpose... It's a lifelong journey. I will admit that I used to think it was an educational one. You get your degree, figure out who you want to be, and the rest just sort of... well... happens? Fortunately, I'm learning that's most definitely not the way it is. If it was, we wouldn't be nearly as strong or our stories nearly as interesting. 

I'm trying to take what I have and where I am, and let it teach me something. Something that is not merely wasted time. Something that will be valuable to who I am now and where I am going. How will we get anywhere if we don't learn from the seemingly insignificant spaces in between the big moments?

I guess the reason I started talking about all of this is because of apple carrot pecan muffins. The chef at the coffeeshop makes them, and this recipe was inspired slightly by her brilliance. I don't know what she puts in hers besides apples, carrots, and pecans, but I wanted to make my own healthy version.


I used gluten free flours, and they are only sweetened with a banana and a small amount of maple syrup. These muffins are guilt-free and full of good things for you. The absolute best part is that they actually. taste. amazing. They're not dry, bland healthy muffins. They are moist, sweet, and flavorful healthy muffins. You have got to try them.



  • 1 1/4 c. oats, blended or food processed into flour
  • 3/4 c. coconut flour (you can sub any regular or gluten free flour for the coconut flour and almond meal)
  • 1/4 c. almond meal
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  • 1 apple
  • 2-3 large carrots
  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1/2 c. oil (I used 1/2 coconut and 1/2 avocado oil)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. almond milk (or any other milk/milk alternative)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the apple and then carrots until finely chopped. Place in a large bowl. Add the mashed banana, egg, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, and almond milk. Stir until well combined
  3. In a separate bowl (or the same bowl), add the flours, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and pecans. Stir until well combined.
  4. Scoop into a greased muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Enjoy plain, with butter, or with a smear of almond butter :)