How to Make Sourdough Bread, According to an Award-Winning Baker

The latest "Dear Test Kitchen" is fresh outta the oven.

February 28, 2019

Last week on Dear Test Kitchen, baker and James Beard award–winning author Sarah Owens swung by the test kitchen and taught us how to start our own sourdough starters.

This week, she’s showing us the very best way to use a starter: homemade bread. Which, I know, sounds sorta intimidating. Is the recipe itself pretty long? Yeah. Does it take a lot of time? Yeah. Is most of that time totally inactive? Yeah. Does Sarah make it all seem totally doable and even, dare I say, fun? Yeah! Should you go make some bread right now? Yeah, yeah!

Sarah's Table Loaf

More Very Good Loaves

Bread Starter Pack

Have you ever made sourdough bread before? Tell us your tricks below.


Michael B. March 18, 2019
I don't know what the temperature in the video was but 475 degrees F works pretty universally for sourdough bread, if the goal is a flavorful nutty crust with some chew to it.
On the question about proofing baskets: just visit and you'll see every shape, size, and brand.
Veronica March 18, 2019
What temperature is the oven set at?
Chandra B. March 13, 2019
Is there a link available for the specific proofing baskets used in the video?
Niknud March 3, 2019
I made this loaf this weekend and it was, hands down, the best loaf of bread (sourdough or otherwise) I have ever made. I had begged a bit of starter from a killer bakery so I had a good foundation but still... The crust was chewy, the crumb was light, the slashes were gorgeous. The video tutorial was super helpful - I can read a recipe fine but it was nice to see what the dough was supposed to look like at various stages. Seriously, this was one amazingly delicious loaf of bread.
S G. March 3, 2019
What's size banneton did you used?
Michael B. March 4, 2019
12 inch
Michael B. March 3, 2019
Great tutorial and terrific looking loaf. For sourdough I like huge rustic loaves. We have a collection of designer Dutch ovens but the one that rocks for sourdough is a 14 inch un-coated model you can buy most anyplace or order online for less than a fourth of what an enamel-coated one costs. It’s fire safe too if you want to bake outdoors. Warning: its heavy so leave it in the oven to load, and pre-heat the lid separately on a lower rack so all you have to do is slide it out and cap the Dutch oven to bake. I handle my dough less and shape it not. Anticipating how and where the crust will fracture is part of the fun.