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  1. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, the bowl of an electric mixer, or the pan of your bread machine, and mix and knead to form a smooth yet sticky dough. If you're kneading by hand, you'll want to keep your hands well greased.

  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and allow it to rise for about 90 minutes. The dough will become puffy, though it may not double in bulk.

  3. Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan.

  4. Gently deflate the risen dough, and shape it into a log. Place it in the pan, cover it lightly, and allow it to rise until it crests at least 1" over the rim of the pan, 60 to 90 minutes.

  5. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  6. Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it with foil after 15 to 20 minutes; it will continue to brown slowly. When it's done, the bread will be golden brown, and will register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center.

  7. Remove the bread from the oven, and after a couple of minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Don’t have any starter? Here’s a recipe for homemade sourdough starter. If you're making it from scratch, you'll need to feed it for 5 to 7 days before it’s ready for baking. Want a head start? Purchase our classic fresh sourdough starter — it’ll be ready for baking soon after it arrives at your door. Looking for tips, techniques, and all kinds of great information about sourdough baking? Find what you need in our sourdough baking guide.

  • This bread is a wonderful choice for grilled cheese. Try our recipe for Grilled Cheese with Apple and Arugula.

  • This bread can be baked in our bread baking bowl. Shape the loaf into a round (boule), cover, and allow to rise until it has domed about 2” over the rim of the bread baking bowl, 60 to 90 minutes. Bake the bread according to recipe instructions.