Sourdough Bread Recipe with All-Purpose Flour

Imagine two loaves, both born from the same recipe. The difference? Just a 5% change in hydration. We will show you how this small tweak can make a difference in your homemade sourdough.

No fuss, no complicated steps – just straightforward instructions to help you achieve that dreamy, chewy, and flavorful sourdough bread.

Sourdough Bread Recipe with All-Purpose Flour


  • Adjusting hydration according to flour type is crucial for successful sourdough with low-protein all-purpose flour.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with hydration levels; it’s the key to achieving the right texture and flavor in your bread.
  • To maintain a manageable dough, soft flour requires gentle handling, from mixing to shaping.
  • Maintain a sensible temperature during fermentation to avoid challenges associated with handling soft dough, especially in warmer climates.

We’ll guide you through making the dough, adjusting hydration levels, shaping, and the crucial fermentation moments. Using a blend of soft white and whole wheat flour, we’ve simplified the process, ensuring that whether you’re a seasoned baker or a kitchen novice, baking the perfect sourdough is well within your reach.

Sourdough Bread Recipe with All-Purpose Flour

So, let’s get started on this journey of flour and fermentation. It’s time to demystify sourdough baking, embrace simplicity, and enjoy the delightful process of creating a homemade masterpiece.

Because, in the end, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of slicing into a freshly baked loaf you made with your own two hands.

Sourdough Bread Recipe

Sourdough Bread Recipe

Yield: 2 Loaves
Prep Time: 14 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 14 hours 45 minutes

Let's bake!


  • 372g Cooler all-purpose flour (10.4% protein)
  • 70g Whole wheat flour (10.6% protein)
  • 302g Water (half room temperature, half cold from the fridge)
  • 9g Sea salt
  • 47g Levain (refreshed twice using low-protein flour)
  • Optional: Rice flour for dusting


  • Mixing Bowls
  • Spoon
  • Banneton (for proofing)
  • Stone (for baking)
  • Large Lightweight Pot (for covering during part of the bake)
  • Wire Monkey UFO Zero (for scoring)
  • Optional: Rice flour for dusting


1. Making the Dough

Making the Dough

Prepare Flour Blend

Combine 372g Cooler flour and 70g whole wheat flour in a separate bowl.

Hydration Adjustment:

Start with a low hydration (e.g., 65%) and adjust based on flour behavior during test bakes.


  • Add 302g water to a second bowl, mixing half room temperature and half cold water to achieve a dough temperature of around 25°C.
  • Dissolve 9g sea salt in the water.
  • Gradually incorporate a quarter of the flour blend, blending with a spoon.
  • Add 47g levain, ensuring it's well dispersed.
  • Mix in the remaining flour, stirring to combine.
  • Bring the dough together with your hands.


Cover the dough and ferment at 25°C, adjusting for hot weather by keeping the dough cool during fermentation.

2. Turning the Dough Over

  • Resting: After 30 minutes, gently turn the dough over on the worktop to ensure smoothness.
  • Stretch/Laminations: Perform a series of stretches or lamination every 30 minutes for a total of three times.
  • Fermentation: Continue fermentation at 25°C until the dough is ready for shaping.

3. Shaping


Handling Soft Dough

Be gentle with the soft dough during shaping to avoid compacting it further.

Use minimal flour to prevent the dough from sticking.

Shaping Technique

Shape the dough into a round or oval form on a lightly floured surface.

Optionally, give the shaped dough a quick dusting with rice flour.

Banneton Placement

Place the shaped dough into a banneton or a bowl for the final proof.

Final Proofing

Allow the dough to undergo its final proof for approximately 2.5 hours or until it has increased by about 75%.

Cold Proof Preparation

Freeze the shaped dough for 30 minutes before transferring it to the fridge for an overnight cold proof.

4. Cold Proof

Proofing: Allow the dough to prove for about 2.5 hours or until it has increased by approximately 75%.

Cold Proof: Freeze the shaped dough for 30 minutes, then transfer it to the fridge for an overnight cold

5. Bake


Preheat and Score

Preheat a stone in the oven to 220°C.

Score the shaped dough and place it on the preheated stone.

Baking Process

Cover the dough with a large, lightweight pot and bake for the first 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, uncover the dough and continue baking for an additional 25 minutes.

Final Check

Assess the loaf's external structure, height, crust development, and crumb structure for readiness.


Sourdough Bread Recipe

70% Hydration Loaf

  • Lower profile but visually appealing.
  • Light texture with a well-developed crust.
  • Balanced crumb structure, neither too tight nor too loose.

65% Hydration Loaf

  • Slightly more compact but with additional height.
  • Deeper-colored crust with a tighter crumb structure.
  • Offers a charming, special quality.


Can I use a different brand of all-purpose flour with this recipe?

Yes, you can use a different brand of all-purpose flour. However, remember that protein content may vary between brands, so adjust hydration accordingly.

What if I don’t have a fermentation fridge?

If you don’t have a fermentation fridge, maintain a consistent temperature as close to 25°C. Avoid excessively warm conditions, as soft doughs can be challenging to handle in high temperatures.

Why is the dough refrigerated after shaping for cold proof?

Refrigerating the shaped dough for a cold proof enhances flavor and helps control fermentation. It also aids in achieving a more manageable dough consistency.

Can I use different types of flour in the blend?

Yes, you can experiment with different flour blends, but ensure the overall protein content aligns with the desired characteristics. Adjust hydration accordingly.

How do I know if my dough has over-fermented during the proofing stage?

Over-fermentation can lead to a collapsed dough. Avoid waiting for the dough to double in size; instead, look for a 75% increase during proofing to prevent over-fermentation.

My dough feels too sticky during shaping. What should I do?

Use minimal flour on the worktop, applying it only to the dough’s surface. Adjust hydration levels in future batches if needed, but remember, soft doughs naturally have a softer texture.

Can I use a different scoring pattern?

Scoring is an opportunity for creativity. Feel free to experiment with different patterns, but ensure your scoring tool is sharp for clean cuts.

My crust is too dark. How can I adjust it?

If the crust is darker than desired, reduce the baking time, especially during the uncovered phase. Monitor the color and adjust accordingly in subsequent bakes.

Can I add additional ingredients like seeds or nuts to the dough?

Yes, you can customize the recipe by adding seeds or nuts during the mixing stage. Remember that this may slightly alter the hydration requirements, so adjust according to the added ingredients.


Baking sourdough with all-purpose flour is possible with the right hydration adjustments. Don’t give up if the first attempt doesn’t go as planned—assess, tweak, and experiment until you find the perfect hydration for your flour .

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