My Secret Sourdough Bread Recipe (Low FODMAP) – Baking Artisan Sourdough Bread

My Secret Sourdough Bread Recipe (Low FODMAP) - Baking Artisan Sourdough Bread At Home

The long-awaited secret sourdough bread recipe is here! This bread is consistently good every single time and it tastes so much better than any sourdough bread you could buy from a bakery.

It took me so long to finish making the video that it almost felt like I was hiding the recipe as a secret away from you. The truth is I had to film close to a hundred clips on 5 different baking sessions because things just kept going wrong. It seemed like this bread making video was cursed! Sometimes I questioned myself if perhaps it simply wasn’t meant to be? It was pure creative torture!

I was saying to Luca that making the sourdough bread video was like childbirth. I’ve never experienced it, so I might be completely wrong but so many women say that they swear they’ll never do it again during labour but as soon as the baby is in their arms, they want to do it all over again. While I was putting the video together, I swore to never ever do something as complicated again because it seemed like I was investing all of my energy into it and I was afraid to burn out. But guess what? As soon as it was finished, I watched it and thought, “Actually, it didn’t come out bad! Let’s do it all over again with another complicated project!”. 🙂

I’m so amazed to see this resilience and optimism in myself that I thought had been lost forever. Thanks to the amazing Hal Elrod and The Miracle Morning for giving me my life back.

Don’t Have Time for Sourdough Bread Making?

I’m sure you’re thinking right now, “Yes, but I don’t have time to make sourdough bread at home”. Well, I agree that making it requires good time management and planning. However, it isn’t labour-intensive at all. All it takes me is 30 minutes of actual labour and then lots of checking and waiting.

If you’re working full-time outside your home, you can always make sourdough bread over the weekend for the whole week and then freeze it (sourdough freezes very well) or just find a schedule that works for you during working days. You can also retard the fermentation in the fridge to adjust the process to your own schedule.

Once you get the hang of it, sourdough bread making can be a very flexible process.

Six Things that You’ll Need to Make Sourdough Bread (Some Aren’t Strictly Necessary)

Best Sourdough Bread Recipe (Low FODMAP) - Baking Artisan Sourdough Bread At Home

  1. A large mixing bowl (preferably clear so you can see what’s happening) – I use a plastic one because it’s light and super easy to wash. Just make sure it’s large enough to contain your sourdough once it doubles. A salad bowl won’t work because it needs to have a round bottom to make mixing and kneading easier.
  2. A Dutch whisk (also called dough whisk) – it’s not strictly necessary, but it’s a great tool to have for mixing the sourdough starter and the initial dough for the autolyse step. You can always use your hands but if you start making bread regularly, you’ll notice your hands getting dry from all that acidity in the sourdough. I absolutely love my dough whisk and would never go back to using my precious hands. It’s also super useful for mixing cookie dough.
  3. A Dutch oven (3.5-5 quarts) – this is a MUST. If you’ve ever tried making bread without a Dutch oven, try it this way and you’ll never go back. A Dutch oven works like a professional steam oven because it traps humidity from the dough and creates the same kind of steam-effect. This creates a perfect crunchy crust and a super moist, chewy sponge. I paid around 45 euros for mine at Ikea and it’s something I will use forever not only for bread, but also for stews, chicken broth, soups, etc. I wouldn’t start making bread without a Dutch oven. It’s really a necessity and one of the best investments ever.
  4. A couple of bannetons – they aren’t strictly necessary at the very beginning, but if you’re serious about bread-making, consider investing in them. They will take your bread to a professional level in terms of looks and shape. I wouldn’t imagine making sourdough bread without banettons now. They will also last you forever.
  5. A sourdough starter – you can either make your own or buy it on eBay. I have a couple of them: Diego and Barnaby. Yes, you’re supposed to name them to give them a soul! You’re going to feed your starter for decades (or all of your life), so you might as well start treating it as a living being or another pet. Diego is made by me from scratch and it’s delicious. It’s actually my favourite because of incredible growth and mellow flavour. Barnaby is a 15-year-old sourdough starter I got from eBay. It’s slightly more pungent (the older the starter, the stronger the flavour) and has a deeper flavour. I love them both and alternate between the two each time I make bread. Read here how to start your own sourdough starter in just 5-7 days.
  6. Kitchen scales – if you’re serious about bread making, if you want to get consistent results every time you make bread, and if you want to confidently experiment with different flours and proportions, you’ll need to get used to using weight measurements rather than cup measurements.

Ingredients for my Secret Sourdough Bread

I read a lot of books about sourdough bread making before I finally got it right and I took some inspiration from a lot of them to create my own perfect method that suits my schedule and room temperature. This particular recipe is adapted from Ken Forkish’s “Flour Water Salt Yeast”. The amounts in his recipe didn’t work for me at all and I had to adjust all of the quantities, timings, etc. I’m so happy to finally have refined Vita’s Secret Sourdough Bread Recipe!


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 704g organic white wheat flour
  • 326g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 684g water
  • 214g sourdough starter (it must be fed and fully risen, don’t wait until it starts going down because it will be more sour, unless you really like more sour bread – for me it takes around 8 hours to reach that point)
  • 23g sea salt or Himalayan salt

Feel free to use all spelt or all wheat. This is just the combination that works for me because white spelt flour is really expensive and wholegrain spelt flour is reasonably affordable, so I use it to tap into some of that ancient wheat goodness.

I always use organic wheat flour because regular wheat is heavily sprayed with Roundup and it’s not something I want to consume. Organic wheat flour is still very cheap, so it doesn’t make that much of a difference price-wise, but makes a huge difference for my health.

Step 1: Autolyse

Add both flours to the mixing bowl and mix/rake with your fingers to mix the two flours together and to break up any clumps of flour. There’s nothing more annoying than finding clumps of flour inside your bread. Yuk! 🙂

Add the water. I use water at room temperature because there are 26°C (79°F) in my apartment. But if your house is cooler than 21°C (70°f), you can use warm water at around 30-32°C (86-90°F) to encourage fermentation.

Mix this initial dough with a Dutch whisk or using your hands until all the flour is incorporated. Next, leave the dough to autolyse for 30 minutes. Autolyse is a fancy term but the meaning is very simple: it’s allowing the flour to absorb all the water. This will make kneading much easier and quicker.

Step 2: Kneading

Add the sourdough starter on top of your dough and sprinkle the salt all over. I always knead my sourdough bread alternating between two methods: the pincer method and the stretch & fold method. I learned about these from Ken Forkish’s brilliant book.

Always keep a bowl of water next to you and wet your hands before kneading to minimise sticking. That’s the only way to work with a reasonably high hydration bread. Whenever you feel it sticking again, dip your working hand in the water, shake off the excess, and keep kneading.

Pincing is sort of like pinching the dough all over with your fingers. It’s very effective.

Stretching & folding involves resting around half of the dough on your palm and then stretching it until you reach its resistance point. Don’t go further or you’ll break the gluten strands that you’re working so hard to build. Once you feel strong resistance from the dough, fold it onto itself and then stretch the remaining three sides in the same way.

I always do a few pinches and then four stretch & folds, then repeat again until the dough becomes really supple and elastic. There should be no more feeling of a hard ball in the middle anymore. It should all be uniformly elastic.

Kneading should take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how experienced and fast you are. For me personally it takes around 5 minutes. The first 2-3 times are going to be a little hard, but once you get the hang of it, it’s going to become like a session of meditation. I cherish my mornings with a bowl of sourdough. It’s incredibly relaxing and never fails to leave me with a smile on my face.

Next, you’ll need to do four stretch & folds within around 90-120 minutes. The first three stretch & folds should be done during the first hour and then the fourth one can be done anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes later.

Here’s an easy stretch & fold schedule that you can follow:

  • Once you finish kneading the dough, cover the dough and wait for 20 minutes.
  • Do the first stretch & fold.
  • Wait for 20 minutes.
  • Do the second stretch & fold.
  • Wait for 20 minutes.
  • Do the third stretch & fold.
  • Wait for 30-60 minutes.
  • Do the fourth stretch & fold.

Place the bowl in a plastic bag or cover with cling film to prevent drying.

Step 3: Bulk Fermentation

Depending on the room temperature where you live, there are two options.

Option 1: if it’s more than 23°C (73°F) in your house, you’ll want to retard the bulk fermentation in the fridge to develop the flavour and ferment the dough more slowly. This will also make the dough less sour. Once you finish the fourth stretch & fold, leave the dough on the counter for other 90-120 minutes and then place it in the fridge for a few more hours or overnight. How to know when it’s time to place it in the fridge? The dough will have grown around 20-30% from the original size and there will be little bubbles visible across the sides of the bowl. The dough will be ready to come out of the fridge when it has doubled or nearly doubled in size.

Option 2: this option is for those who have 23°C (73°F) or less at home. In this case, you won’t need to keep the dough in the fridge. Just ferment it on the counter for anywhere between 10 to 12 hours, depending on the temperature. When it doubles or nearly doubles in size, it’s ready!

In my case, it’s 26-27°C (79-81°F) in my apartment at the moment (yes, I know, that’s hot!). I’m placing the dough in the fridge 90 minutes after the last stretch & fold. Around 5-6 hours later, the sourdough is ready for shaping.

Step 4: Shaping

Sprinkle some flour on your work surface. Get the dough out of the fridge and admire how much it’s grown! Now sprinkle some flour around the edges of the dough (where the bowl meets the dough). This will make the removal much easier. Flour your hands and gently ease the dough gently out onto the work surface. Handle it carefully not to break the gluten strands that have developed. This is what will give your bread that beautiful shape.

Flour your hands again and stretch the bread a tiny bit to form a sort of rectangle.This will make it easier for you to divide it to two equal parts (remember you’re making two loaves).

Sprinkle some flour along the line in the middle where you’re going to divide the dough. Cut using a dough cutter (they cost very little on Amazon) or a knife.

Shaping the bread is really easy when you know what exactly needs to be done. Watch my video to see the method in action. No words will do it justice, but for those who really don’t like videos, I’ll try to explain it briefly.

Firstly, you’ll need to repeat the same stretch & fold trick on all four sides. It’s going to look like a tight parcel once you’re done. The next step is pulling the dough towards you on the counter. Wrap your palms around it and pull towards yourself while pushing with fingers at the bottom to create tension on the surface of the bread. Do it on all four sides.

That’s it! You should have a beautiful round loaf by now. Repeat the same process with the second part of the dough.

Grab your bannetons, sprinkle generously with white flour, rub it in well into the sides and the bottom, place the two loaves inside (seam side down), and place the bannetons in plastic bags to prevent drying. Rub a little oil on the bag to make sure the surface of the bread doesn’t stick once the dough has doubled in size.

Step 5: Second Proofing

Leave the bannetons out on the worktop for around 4 hours if the dough wasn’t refrigerated before shaping. In my case, with the dough refrigerated and room temperature of  26°C (79°F), I proof it for around 3-4 hours. There are no exact timings in sourdough bread making because there are so many factors involved. Just watch what your bread is doing. Once it has doubled in size, it’s ready to go into the oven.

A great way to find out if your bread has perfectly proofed is poking the dough gently with a damp finger. If it’s perfectly proofed, it will spring back up slowly. If it needs more time, it will spring back up instantly, like a spring. If it’s over-proofed, it won’t spring back at all, and the hole will remain.

Step 6: Baking

30-40 minutes before the end of your second fermentation, preheat the oven with the Dutch oven inside to 250°C (482°F). You need all this time to make sure that all the walls are saturated with heat and the temperature won’t drop as much when you open the door.

Once the oven is ready, get some parchment paper and sprinkle some flour on it. Take the Dutch oven out of the oven and remove the lid. Now it’s time to reveal the beautiful shape of your sourdough bread!

Place the banneton upside down on top of the parchment paper and carefully release the bread onto the paper. Place the parchment paper with the bread inside the Dutch oven, cover the lid, and place it back in the oven.

Reduce the temperature to 245°C (473°F) and bake for 35 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake for 10 more minutes or until the crust is a deep golden-brown colour.


Voila! Your artisan bread is ready

Bake the second loaf in the same way.

Always wait for at least 30 minutes before slicing into the bread. While it’s hot, the cooking process continues on the inside and you really shouldn’t interfere with it. Plus, if you slice it while it’s very hot, some of the humidity will be able to escape through the hole in the crust, which will make the bread much drier.

Here’s what it looks like sliced:


Just look at these exquisite holes!


This is how you can distinguish sourdough bred from regular bread: sourdough bread will always have these irregular large holes, regular bread will be more uniform.

And this is my favorite snack in the entire world: homemade sourdough bread with butter. Yummmmm!


If you’d like to watch a video tutorial where I show you how I make my secret sourdough bread, here it is:

Have problems digesting regular bread?

This sourdough bread is low FODMAP, which is brilliant for any of us with fructose or FODMAP malabsorption. According to Monash FODMAP app, you can safely eat two slices of this bread without any consequences.

As sourdough bread is properly fermented, it’s extremely easy to digest and all its nutrients are highly available. Sourdough bread is truly a nutritional powerhouse.

I really hope you’ll give this recipe a try and if you do, I’d be over the moon if you shared a picture of your sourdough bread with me. You can either send it to me on Facebook or tag me on Instagram (@vitalivesfree).

And don’t expect it to be perfect right from the start. I can’t even tell you how many loaves I had to throw away because they were complete failures. Don’t give up. Keep experimenting. Listen to your intuition, and you’ll soon start making the most amazing sourdough bread consistently.

The best things in life take patience and effort, but the rewards are out of this world. Making sourdough bread is one of those things!

Have fun bread-making!

Simply yours,
Vita xx

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  1. Trying this recipe right now! I’ve also had a lot of success with formulas very similar to Ken Forkish, but I need to try going low FODMAP. One thing puzzles me with 100% levain/starter recipes like this. They use proportionately less starter than almost the same (hybrid) formula with a scant (ex. approx. 2 grams) of commercial yeast. How/why is it that you wouldn’t *up* the amount of starter to compensate for omitting the yeast? Thanks so much for the video.

    • Hi Eric, I think it’s because 100% levain breads are fermented for a very long time and so the tiny amount of starter has time to multiply, while the hybrid breads aren’t fermented for that long. Or perhaps it’s because commercial yeast interferes with the natural sourdough yeast and so we need more of it in hybrid recipes? These are just my thoughts. xx

      • Commercial yeast doesn’t interfere with sourdough starter. It just adds to it. The hybrid recipe Eric is referring to may well be going for a quick rise – most people want to bake bread in the timeframe of regular yeasted breads, rather than wait for day(s). Alternatively, the author may not completely trust a starter to give a strong rise, and uses the yeast as a crutch to ensure a strong rise. Or they may only be using the starter for flavor, rather than for leavening. Like the sourdough pancakes recipe I have, which uses a large amount of starter, but also baking powder. The starter is really only there to lend its tangy flavor.

  2. Kathy Stahl says

    Hi, I made your sourdough recipe yesterday and it turned out just great! I will definitely make it again. The recipe states white wheat flour and I think I am hearing white spelt on the video. Which is it?

    • Hi Kathy, I use 70% white wheat flour and 30% wholegrain spelt. I’d use 100% spelt, but white spelt is quite expensive here, so I use white wheat flour instead just to bring down the cost, but you can use either interchangeably. xx

  3. Excellent recipe and instructions.
    Thank You

  4. I’ve had small success with sourdough, until I came across this! Your video was MAJOR help! Thank you so much for taking the time to do that!

  5. Hi Vita,
    This is the most comprehensive video and instruction I have found. Thank you! I been playing around with sourdough with uneven results. My question is. Why do you use spelt flour?

    • Hi Susan, so glad you enjoyed my instructions! I use spelt flour because it’s an ancient variety of wheat, so much less hybridised than modern wheat. I love its sightly nutty taste, too. However, I use wheat just as much as spelt. I love them both. xx

  6. I really love your explanation. I do have a couple of questions. First, are you including the autolyze step because you used part spelt. I know spelt takes a little longer to absorb water. I intend to make this with organic unbleached wheat flour. Should I skip this step? Secondly, if using the budget method of colander and kitchen towel, will that dry out the bread? Also, will the dough stick to the towel. Thanks in advance for answering my questions.

    • Hi Emily, glad you enjoyed my recipe! Autolyse step is always used in sourdough bread making, regardless of which flour you’re using. I don’t find that spelt takes longer to absorb water but it does absorb more water, so the ratio might have to be adjusted a little. With wheat flour you’ll need less water. Using a colander and kitchen towel shouldn’t really dry the bread out if you put in a plastic bag like you would do with a banneton. The dough won’t stick if you sprinkle a generous amount of flour on the towel. It’s best to uee a 50/50 mixure of white wheat flour and rice flour, but white flour alone would do, too. xx

  7. Hi Vita
    Everyone keeps saying that white wheat is just as bad as white sugar. All books about healthy eating suggest that we should use Buckwheat, Brown Rice or Wholegrain flour instead. I love baking but stopped doing it as the pastry with other flours just doesn’t taste the same. What are your thoughts about white flour?

    • I don’t think so at all. I don’t eat 100% white wheat often (I like mixing a bit of wholegrain flour into my bread, pancakes, cookies, etc.). But I’m definitely not a fan of 100% wholegrain products. They’re very rough for your digestive tract and most nutrients are bound with phytic acid, so you really get pretty similar amounts from white flour with some wholegrain flour. Even the traditional cultures that Weston A. Price studied were removing about 30-40% of the weight of freshly ground flour, which is basically a big chunk of germ and bran. xx

  8. I tried making this bread. Problem one I don’t think it had enough water. It seemed a little dry. Otherwise ….Everything went well until the overnight proofing. Must have met its peak during the night as it was partially fallen This morning. Therefore it didn’t rise after shaping the way it should. After six hours I poked it and the hole remained. Any suggestions? outstanding video by the way.

    • Yes, overproofing will create a brick instead of bread. It’s always better to underproof a little than overproof. If you’re using strong bread flour, you might need more water, so just adjust the quantity until you get the right consistency. As it’s almost summer now and temperatures are rising, overnight bulking is too much. For example, over here I have 24 degrees C and I do the bulk fermentation for around 6 hours hours, then I shape the loaves and retard in the fridge for 12 hours until the next morning. I bake it as soon as I get up. Just play around with the timings but keep in mind that it’s always better to underproof than overproof. Start shaping the bread when it reaches growth of 20-30% and you’ll get even better results. In fact, I’m going to make an updated sourdough recipe video soon with the new method I’m using. Good luck! xx

  9. Kerry-Ann Laube says

    Oh my this recipe is amazing!! I haven’t eaten proper bread in over a year since developing having to follow a low FODMAP diet. This recipe worked perfect and tasted amazing! It will certainly be a regular thing in our house that i’ll happily be eating 🙂

  10. Hi! I’m just finishing the stretch and fold part of the recipe! I was wondering why the time to ferment is shorter (5-6 hours) in the refrigerator rather then the 10-12 hours if left our on the counter? In making other types of yeast bread, I try to leave the bread in the warmer areas to encourage rising. So I was confused when the time in the cooler environment (refrigerator) was shorter then the warmer environment (counter top). My home’s temp at 21c is close to the place you suggest it could go in the fridge. This is my second attempt at sourdough, the first one tasted good but was a tough and hard like a brick 🙁 so I wonder if leaving it on the counter isn’t good in my area. Thank you for your help!

    • Hi Christy, the fridge fermentation is much shorter because it’s for hot room temperature. The fermentation would already be going full force after the four stetch and folds. Putting it in the fridge would slow it down (if you didn’t put it in the fridge, you would only need 3-4 more hours at room temperature to complete the fermentation. Also 21 degrees is significantly colder than 23. You’d be surprised how much more time just a two degree difference in temperature would need. For 21 degrees, bulk fermentation will probably need around 8-10 hours at room temperature, so overnight could be a good idea. A hard and flat bread is usually due to overproofing. Remember, it’s better to underproof a little bit than overproof. By the way, I’m going to publish a new sourdough recipe this evening, so perhaps you’ll get more insights from it. This one is going to be a fail-proof recipe. Happy baking! <3

  11. Hi Vita,

    Can you mix the bread in a stand mixer?

    Also, can I just leave the bread to proof on the counter, why do we need to put in the fridge?


    • Hi Noha, this particular bread can’t be made in the stand mixer because it will get over-mixed. This method is based on very little kneading, and the bread creates its texture all by itself through occasional stretch & folds. You can never achieve the same effect using a mixer. Your hands are your best tools! You don’t have to put the bread in the fridge if it isn’t hot in your house or if your schedule doesn’t require it. Retardation in the fridge only helps you make the process longer, so you can adjust it to your schedule or to make it long enough during hot summer months. Hope this helps. xx

  12. Great recipe and details! Any chance we can use a gluten free flour mix in this recipe to make a gluten free SD bread?

    • Gluten free flour won’t behave in the same way and you’ll need lots of additives to make it behave somewhat similarly. I have absolutely no experience in baking gluten free bread, so I really can’t answer this question for you. Sorry! <3

  13. Sylvie Lemay says

    Hi Vita, I’ll start by saying WOW your video & recipe instructions are the best, thank you, thank you, thank you.
    I’ve been making bread for several years but was always a little intimidated making sourdough bread until now. I tried other recipes but it wasn’t until I found yours that everything started making sense. I just made your recipe this morning & we love it, definitely my sourdough recipe.
    Once again thank you for sharing your knowledge & taking the time & patience for making such a great video.
    Sylvie from Quebec, Canada

  14. Paula Hessenberger says

    Hi Vita …I have had alot of success with your recipe and clear video. I would like to use a rye flour mixture …what proportions do you suggest . Also if you wanted to addd some seeds rg. anis, fennel, caraway …do you have a suggestion and at what stage would you add them ?

    • Hi Paula, it’s really up to you how much rye you should add, but for a very mild flavour, you could start with 10-20% rye flour. Just bear in mind that rye ferments much faster, so you’ll need to adjust the timings. For seeds, you can add them when you’re adding the salt, so just before the first real kneading. So glad you’re having success with my recipe! <3

  15. Mike Shearer says

    I’ve been making sour dough with my starter for a number of years with some success. I liked your fold method, it reminded me of an English muffin recipe that I use that also folds. So after seeing your video I gave it a try with sour dough. I used my own recipe for the dough which is 2 3/4 cups bread flour 1/4 cup dark rye, 1 cup flour, and for the sour dough I made poolish overnight. (1/4 cup starter, 2/4 cup water, 3/4 cup flour). The fold method really helped the dough gain body and then I let it ferment in the refrigerator, about 18 hrs. I have read that bread needs a long ferment otherwise the flavor doesn’t come together. A Professional chief said we tend to eat dough tasting bread because we don’t ferment long enough. The second Proof took just about 4 hours and then into the oven. Unfortunately the bread fell a bit taking it out of the basket! So, I followed your technique and enjoyed the video. The bread just came out of the oven and looks like oven spring brought it back up. Thank you!

    • Yay, so glad the bread came out well! xx

      • Update, I have very little sour dough flavor yet the dough was very active. Any suggestions? I recently saved a cup and started it over but wondering if I need to cut it back again or let it build?

        • The more mature the starter is at the time of making the bread, the stronger the flavour. In other words, if you weight until the starter doubles and then wait some more, the flavour will be quite strong. If you use when it’s around 30-50% risen, it will be very mild. Hope this helps. xx

          • Thank you. I actually made a poolish after the Mother starter had risen for 8 hours then the Poolish rose for another 14 hrs and was very active and frothy. Then I mixed the dough in and let it refrigerate/ferment for another 14 hrs. The second proofing in the basket was about four hours and had doubled.

  16. Marcus Roberts says

    I have a quick question regarding the flour you use.
    The white whole wheat flour is this (strong white whole wheat bread flour) or just regular white whole wheat flour thats used for cakes and pastry.
    I’m in the UK and have both available so I’m confused a bit.
    Also white spelt is readily available here so would you recommend just using white spelt instead of the white whole wheat flour.
    Thanks for your video and recipe can’t wait to try it once I’ve decided what flours to buy.
    I have a very active rye, buckwheat & spelt starter named Irma ready to be used

    • The strong bread flour is what I use and it’s not whole wheat. It’s refined white flour but with a higher protein content, that’s why it’s called strong.If you’re in the UK; the flour you need is called strong bread flour, I think. If you prefer whole wheat flour, you can make the bread completely whole wheat by buying whole wheat flour, but it will be much denser and the texture will be completely different. xx

  17. I have been baking sourdough bread for a couple of years, experimenting with several recipes found on the web, including hybrid variants using a small quantity of dried yeast.
    I used your recipe today and have got to say that this has produced the best bread yet. It will certainly be my go-to recipe in future.

  18. Loved your video and this blog post! I’ve watched your video numerous times over. I’m just about ready to start baking my first sourdough but I noticed that you bake your bread at 482 degrees F. My Dutch oven has instructions not to cook with it at over 400 degrees F. Do you have any recommendations on cook time when baking at 400? If so, should I reduce temperature after removing the lid for the 2nd half of baking?

    • Hi Michael, those kind of warnings are generally due to the knob on the lid not being resistant to the heat. If you replace the knob with something metal, you’ll be able to use it at any temperature. xx

  19. I am planning to make this but I will need to do the second proof for approximately 9 hours… can I just place the bowl and dough straight into the fridge? Will this result in overproofing and a ruined loaf?

    • You can shape the loaves and place the bannetons in the fridge straight away. You might have to play with the duration of the bulk fermentation, so perhaps to ferment it a bit less before shaping and putting in the fridge if you find that the dough ends up overproofed. In general, if you want to prolong the second proof, shorten the first proof a little bit. xx

  20. The autolyse isn’t just to help the flour absorb water, it also activates the natural enzymes on the flour, and starts to break down the carbohydrates in the flour. Which theoretically should lower the FODMAP content of the bread, especially if it’s a long autolyse. I have a 12 hour autolyse going right now. Adding 0.5% diastatic malt powder, if the flour doesn’t already have it, will also increase the enzyme activity of the autolyse.

  21. Michele Joan Punshon says

    Hello Vita, Addicted to sourdough, have been baking for only 6 months. Have tried quite a few recipes, but like to come back to your’s. Can’t tell you how much I enjoy the flavour and ovenspring, my best results with this recipe. Thank you

  22. Hello. I’m a very new home baker.
    I made your sourdough recipe and took my time to follow every step exactly.
    The video was awesome.
    The results were awesome for a first time ever baking a loaf of bread.
    There was only one issue that kept that loaf from perfection, and that was the bottom got a little too overdone, almost near the edge of being burnt. The rest of the loaf was absolute spectacular to the eye and mouth!
    Now to correct this with my oven should I reduce the temperature or the bake time…and by how much?

    • How was the top crust? Was it a little overdone as well or was it perfect? If the top was fine but the bottom was burned, it means that your Dutch oven is too close to the bottom. Try to move it up a little. If both top and bottom are little too dark, just reduce the baking time by a couple of minutes. xx

  23. Great video and clear instructions. Thank you. I’ve been baking sourdough bread now for about a year, using various recipes found on the net and with various results. Question, could I use a variety of flours (spelt, rye, wholewheat flour) to make up the 326g quantity or would I be best to stick to just one type, say wholewheat flour? I’d be interested to know what you think. Many thanks for your response.
    By the way, here in New Zealand it’s the height of summer and I think it might be best to shape the dough and give it a long rise in the fridge instead of leaving it on the counter. I’d test every so often to make sure the bread isn’t over proofing though. Am I right in thinking that if I press into the dough with a finger the indentation should fill up slowly but if it stays down the dough has over-proofed? I’ve had my fair share of ‘bricks’ for having left the dough for too long!

    • Hi Chris, you can use any flours you like (in fact, I vary them and mix different ones almost every time I bake bread). Just keep in mind that different flours absorb water differently and have different fermentation times, so you’ll need to adjust the amounts of water and time of fermentation a little bit. Just try and see how it goes, write down what you did and the results you got, then adjust until you get it right. Keeping track of everything by making notes helps correct errors next time you bake.

      Yes, if it’s hot where you are, it’s definitely best to retard in the fridge to allow the bread to develop the full bouquet of flavour.

      Regarding overproofing, it’s always better to underproof a little than overproof. Always err on the cautious side because there is nothing worse than a brick-like bread. If it doesn’t rise back when you press it, it’s definitely over-proofed, but I personally rely on the visual inspection of the expansion. I don’t wait until the bread doubles in the banneton. I bake it when it’s around 50-70% bigger and it always comes out perfect. xx

  24. Sara Dunham says

    For my very first attempt I used your recipe and made a beautiful loaf or two. I was wondering if you have a low FODMAP sourdough recipe for pizza crust where I can use my starter. I love sourdough crust on pizza but have no idea how to make it low FODMAP. thanks so much!

    • Hi Sara, I’ve actually not managed to master the sourdough pizza crust so far. Also, it’s difficult to make it low FODMAP because generally it’s not fermented as extensively as sourdough bread. I’ll keep trying though and maybe I’ll manage in the future. xx

      • Sara Dunham says

        Hi Vita! I just used the recipe above and when I split the loaves I made one bigger and one a little smaller and then used the smaller part to make dough for pizza and it turned out great! So it’s low FODMAP, and it was Hardy and wonderful. I sprayed a pan with oil and spread the dough out on it with my knuckles and then cooked it for 10 minutes at 425. Then I pulled it out put olive oil on it, then all of my ingredients and back in for 8 minutes and it was just right! I hope this works for others too!!

  25. I have been making this recipe for a while now, but with 100% whole wheat flour and I love it! I’m thinking of adding some rye as well.
    I’m curious what the nutritional information is? Specifically what the carb count is (/per oz or gram of bread I suppose, since each slice would be a different size). While I trust that what I am eating is nourishing to my body, I don’t want to overdo and spike my blood sugar.
    Thank you! <3

  26. Hi Vita, I have been baking sourdough bread for the last 18 months, found your recipe last week & wow! what a great loaf, so much lighter than the other 2 recipes I have used. Yours is different in that the other ones had me mixing the water & starter together before adding the flour. I used home grown & ground wholemeal wheat flour instead of spelt, autolysed for about an hour, bulk fermented for about 2 on the bench then in our coolroom from Saturday afternoon till Monday morning. Shaped & left to rise, in the Rommertopfs I bake them in, from 0830 to1600
    Baked 30 min with lids on & 10 with lids off. The loaves are so nice & soft that you’d think there was a large air bubble under all the top crust. Thankyou for the great recipe.

  27. Christy Moceri says

    I really appreciate this video as I have little baking experience and zero bread-making experience but I’m starting the low FODMAP diet. So… I started making bread tonight. It wasn’t enough water, so I added too much, that batch was out. This is how we learn. I’m right in the middle of stretch and fold. My dough seems wetter and firmer than yours. My starter, Harriet, is more liquidy than the one in your video. But the bread is becoming more elastic as I stretch and fold. It will be interesting to see how this turns out. I am trying not to be too attached to the results.

    • Yes, don’t be afraid to fail. You wouldn’t believe if I told you how many times I failed at the beginning. It will all be worth it in the end. Happy baking! <3

    • Christy Moceri says

      Hey, it turned out pretty darn good! Maybe it looked a little different because I was using wheat flour. In the future I think I want to get a better rise during proofing. I suspect my starter wasn’t quite where it needed to be. I had just pulled it from the fridge that day, fed it and waited a few hours. I think I’m supposed to feed it at room temp for a couple of days. So maybe not perfect, but the bread I made on my first try tasted better than any store bought bread I’ve ever had. So, thanks for the recipe!

      • Just feed it and wait until the starter rises 50-100%. Then it’s ready to use for bread making. A couple of days would give you a denser and much more sour loaf. xx

  28. Hi Vita- have been baking sourdough for about a year and just tried your basic recipe 200g starter and 1000 g flour- mix of organic bread flour, rye, spelt and whole wheat. House temp is about 68 degrees so left dough covered on countertop overnight. Dough was spilling over the edge of the bowl by the morning but I dumped it out floured it and shaped it. Place it into banettons and let it rest for a few hours then baked it. Loaves look good. Dough was a little sticky to work with but I think it turned out well. Would like to insert a picture but don’t think I can do that here. Thanks for the videos.

  29. Sabira Sharif says

    Hi , i just made your recipe yesterday but I think I messed up. I followed the measurements but after the dough had its bulk fermentation (after about 12 hours) it was so runny I couldn’t shape it at all so I had to add more flour (which meant I had to knead it in which I guess broke all the developed gluten strands) and the finished bread loaf was really gummy and stodgy and dense. Also I fed my starter about 10 hours before I used it ( it had just doubled) but the bread was very sour. Any ideas on how i can make it beter next time?

    P.s I didnt have a Dutch oven so I just made them in loaf tins is that ok to do?


    • Hello! I have a feeling that you overproofed the dough. Being really runny and sticky is a sure sign of it. That’s why the bread was very sour as well. Just try to ferment it for a shorter time. Loaf tins won’t be exactly the same thing because a Dutch oven creates a lot of steam inside the pot, which creates lots of moisture in the crumb but a very crunchy crust. With loaf tins it would be different, but it’s better than nothing. Hope it comes out better next time! <3

    • A helpful tip, if you don’t have a Dutch oven or prefer to use loaf tins, is to place a pan in your oven and pour boiling water into it when you set your loaves to bake. Also, if using loaf tins, you can remove the loaves from the tins when they’re done and just place them bare in the oven for a couple of minutes to crisp up the bottoms and sides. Works! And a pizza stone is wonderful for artisan bread baking, too, as an alternative option.

  30. Thanks for the great video. My question: What do you do with the second half of the dough while the first loaf is baking, and does that rest time affect the second loaf?


    • I put the second one in the fridge while the first one is baking. Leaving it at room temperature would probably be too much for it, especially during the summer. xx

  31. Fairly new to bread making so I have questions:
    Since I’m going to make sourdough bread for the first time, obviously I don’t have nor will I buy now the Dutch Oven. Can I bake the bread in a regular silicon Baking dish? What adjustments do I need to do?
    Same goes with the Bannetons, don’t have them, won’t buy them for a first try, Do I place the dough in a regular plastic bowl? maybe in a pot?
    I made a Spelt starter, does that make make a difference? You’re linking to a white flower starter…
    Thank you

    • I’m sorry, but the Dutch oven is very important for this type of bread. It could also be a clay pot with a lid if you have one? But the point is that it needs to be covered with a lid with a very hot and steamy environment inside. Instead of bannetons, you can use a round strainer (whether metal or plastic), just line it with a towel, put the bread in and then cover with another towel. If you made a spelt starter, you’ll need to make the bread with spelt or mostly spelt as well because the starter will only work optimally with the same or very similar flour. Hope it helps! Happy baking! <3

  32. Hi vita
    Really enjoyed the post and very informative as I’m just dipping my toes into sourdough breadmaking.
    With regard to your comment “…. I always use organic wheat because regular wheat is heavily sprayed with roundup…”, as a broad acre grain farmer I feel I must point out that Roundup is NOT in fact used to spray wheat. Roundup is used to kill weeds, particularly grasses, BEFORE the wheat is planted. Also Roundup is a contact herbicide, therefore if it came into contact with wheat it would kill it, as wheat (rye, barley, oats etc) is a grass!
    Don’t want to be a naysayer and certainly not on the side of big chemical companies , but I do feel sad when our industry is blighted by lack of fact. Other than that great informative post and has inspired me to forge on with sourdough!

    • Hi Rachelle, I’m very happy to hear that you don’t use Roundup in your farming, but it doesn’t mean that nobody does. Some people’s greed doesn’t have limits and if spraying roundup just before harvesting could speed up the process, they will go for it. On the other hand, those might be just rumours circulating around but I’d rather not risk my health when organic options are available and affordable. So glad you enjoyed the post. Happy baking! <3

  33. Hi there,
    I really enjoyed your video. I would like to make the recipe but I don’t own yet a kitchen scale. Does anyone know how many cups the ingredients are?

    • I would highly suggest investing in a kitchen scale (they don’t really cost more than $10). They will be so handy in so many different recipes. But for bread baking they’re extremely important. xx

  34. On the subject of Dutch ovens: is it important to differentiate between pre-seasoned and pre-finished as in an interior enamel coating?

    • I don’t think it makes a difference. As long as it doesn’t stick. But it won’t really stick anyway if you sprinkle some flour on the bottom. <3

      • Thank you, Vita. I’ve been a whole foods plant-based lifestyle aficionado for 8 years now. White flour is definitely out, since, by definition, it’s not whole. I know it is lighter and enables the baked goods to rise easier. It also imparts a more neutral flavour which is definitely North American in appeal. We need that germ and bran in our guts for proper nutrient absorption. I know there will be adjustments, as my plan is to only use whole wheat and rye flour, as I was raised European.

        • I don’t agree with the notion that all white flour is bad and all whole grain is bad. In fact, traditionally humans have never eaten wholegrain flour. If you look at Weston A. Price’s work for example, all the traditional cultures were sifting their flour and removing around 40% of the weight of the grain, which is a big chunk of the germ. Also in Europe, most bread has always been partly wholegrain, but definitely not completely wholegrain. This whole obsession with all wholegrain products these days is leading to nothing else but nutrient deficiencies and irritated bowels. But that’s just my 2 cents. <3

  35. lars larsen says

    how come its lowfodmap, when you use wheatflour

  36. As a brand new sourdough maker/baker, I had many questions during this process. However, my starter and bread turned out pretty well. Here some of my questions:
    1) If the starter is kept at room temp, does it need to be fed every day?
    2) If refrigerated, how often should it be fed?
    3) Can I feed it smaller quantities? My crock is slightly too small for the rise.
    4) I felt the folding instructions were unclear. The first one is 5-10 minutes, but how long are the subsequent ones? It says to do it “just like the first time,” but the subsequent folds appeared to be for a shorter time?
    5) My bread turned out evenly leavened rather than with irregular holes. Why? (It was not dense.)
    6) What types and ratios of flour could I use and still retain the low-FODMAP qualities?

    • Hello Angiee, I’m so sorry for replying so late. Here are the answers to your questions:
      1) Yes, the starter will need to be fed every day if you keep it at room temperature.
      2) If you keep it in the fridge, at least once a week. Max 2 weeks very occasionally.
      3) Yes, you can.
      4) For the subsequent folds, you literally fold up the 4 sides of the dough and that’s it. No more folding. It takes less than a minute.
      5) Sounds like it was slightly underproofed. Give it slightly more time next year. An overproofed bread would produce huge highly irregular holes, so you want to be somewhere in between the two.
      6) White flour (refined) is low FODMAP when it’s fermented as sourdough, so white wheat flour or white spelt flour are good to use. A tiny portion of wholegrain flour should be OK; but not more than 10% or so. <3

  37. susanna faygenbaum says

    i wanted to ask why you use SO MUCH sourdough starter in this recipe? the most i’ve seen used was 50 to 100 grams. Wanted to know the difference. Ive never even made that much starter at once.

    • The standard amount of starter in sourdough recipes is usually around 20%. It just gives the best flavour and ferments pretty fast. With only 50-100 grams it would take forever. z3

  38. Georgina Suarez says

    Is there a way to make your sourdough bread with dry yeast?

  39. Where could I find a plastic bowl like the one you use? It looks perfect and I love the fact that it isn’t as heavy as metal or glass. I have trouble handling those when their filled with dough!
    Thanks! I found your video very helpful and will be trying your method.

    • I bought it in a local Chinese store (they are everywhere here in Spain). But I’m sure you can find something like this in Amazon or a store for catering supplies. <3

      • Linda L Polk says

        Thank you for your reply. I did check Amazon and didn’t find a similar bowl, but will continue to look.

  40. Hi, I’m new to baking in general and only just became aware of how many flour varieties there are. If I were to make a spelt only sourdough, what type of spelt would I use? White spelt? Whole? Whole grain? Or is there a spelt bread flour that’s better than regular spelt flour?
    Thanks in advance!!

  41. Can I half this recipe so it only makes one load or does that mess with the mixing schedule or something? I just don’t want to make so much bread at once but I want to try this recipe

  42. Hi do you have a fully spelt recipe- meaning a spelt starter and only spelt flour in the dough? Or is there a way this recipe and the starter recipe could be converted to spelt only?
    Also, can this be halved so it only makes 1 loaf at a time?

  43. Hi Vita, tried your foolproof sourdough and my family loves it! May I ask what size are your banettons? I will invest in them like you suggested. Hi from Vancouver BC Canada

  44. Have you ever attempted to freeze your sourdough? If so does it work and how does it impact it?

    • Do you mean the starter or the bread itself? I’ve never tried to freeze the starter, but I’ve heard that people do it. It’s a good way to keep some as a backup just in case your original dies (although it’s almost impossible to kill it). If you meant the bread itself, I always keep one loaf in the fridge, and freeze the other one. It tastes perfect when defrosted and toasted. <3

  45. Hi Vita! I’ve been making your bread for a couple of years and it’s the best. I tried other recipes out of curiosity but none are as good. A couple say to put the bread in the banneton seam side down. I’ve seen recipes that say seam side up. Why is it seam side down? Also can’t we put any leftover levain back into our starter? I’ve been doing that and it doesn’t seem to be a problem.

    • Hello Pascale, I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipe! It’s really just a question of preference. Putting the loaf in the banneton seem down requires no scoring and the bread opens up by itself while baking, it creates these wild rustic ears. But if you prefer a more controlled look, you can always put it in seam side up and score. Not sure I understand your question about levain and starter. What exactly do you mean? <3

  46. Hi Vita,
    This is my first time baking sourdough bread. I am excited but nervous too. I had to use white wheat flour/spelt blend for my starter but would like to use all Spelt for the bread. White Spelt is hard to find where I live. Is it Ok to use 100% whole Spelt for the bread? And do I increase or decrease the amount of water when using Spelt, and by how much, (approximately)?

    • Hi Angela, if you make it with whole spelt only, the bread is going to be much denser (and frankly, for me personally not nice at all, but it’s a matter of taste) and won’t go up as much. It will also take less time to ferment. Spelt needs less water than wheat, however, whole spelt will need a bit more. I can’t tell you how much exactly because I never make bread with so much wholegrain flour. You’ll just need to keep adding water until you get the right consistency. <3

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