1. In a large mixing bowl, or the bucket of a bread machine, combine the fed sourdough starter and 1 cup of the water, mixing until smooth.

  2. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.

  3. Add the remaining dough ingredients, and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, bread machine, or food processor — until you've made a soft dough, adding additional water as needed. Note: If you're using a bread machine, program for the manual or dough cycle. Check the dough's consistency after 7 to 10 minutes of kneading; it should be smooth and elastic. Adjust as necessary with additional flour or water.

  4. Cover the dough in the bowl, and let it rise until it's almost doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface, and gently fold it over a few times to deflate it. Shape it into a large round.

  6. Cover the loaf with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rise until it's very puffy, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

  7. Just before baking, brush with the beaten egg white. Sprinkle with seeds. Use a lame or a very sharp knife to make several slashes across the top of the loaf, asterisk-fashion.

  8. Bake the bread for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown and a digital thermometer inserted into the center registers 190°F. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack.

  9. Store bread at room temperature, well wrapped, for several days; freeze for longer storage.

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.

  • Any of our specialty seed and grain blends will work in this recipe. Try sprinkling the loaf with The Works or Everything Bagel Topping for a change, or substitute Six-Grain Blend for the Harvest Grains Blend.