Vegan

One Hour Sourdough Bread

This One-Hour Sourdough Bread really goes from scratch to finish in one hour flat. You do need to add yeast to this recipe for the single rise, but the sourdough starter (or discard) adds terrific flavor and nutrition.

Slices of one-hour sourdough bread on black cheesecloth on chopping board,

Given how much getting things done quickly, and given how much I love baking with sourdough, I had been dying to try out a very quick, very easy sourdough bread. And, today, I want to share it with you.

Let me first clarify for all those purists who will want to rage at me that this is not a true sourdough bread, as in it is not fully leavened with a sourdough starter. A true sourdough bread, like this no-knead sourdough bread or this sourdough sandwich bread, would need at least two rises, of which one would be a pretty long, even overnight one, with nothing but sourdough helping it rise and develop flavor.

I love those breads, and I love baking them when I have the time. But don’t you have those days when you truly, madly, deeply want a homemade loaf of bread, warm from the oven, to serve with that lovely tomato soup you just made and you know it will be impossible to make a loaf instantly, which sends you into a downward spiral and makes you want to throw in the towel and just serve PBJs, which just ruins the day for everyone else as well and then…well, you get the picture? 😉

Anyhoo. This is the loaf you want to bake on that day, so everything is just as it should be, and everyone–especially you–is happy.

Overhead shot of a freshly baked sourdough loaf.

Why you’ll love this one-hour sourdough bread

  • It’s real bread, in an hour.
  • There’s no extensive kneading involved, and a short rise time.
  • The bread has a soft, slightly crusty crust and a fluffy, soft crumb. It slices easily.
  • It’s delicious. There is no flavor compromise here. The reason most breads have two rise times is to develop both the flavor and the structure of the bread, and when you are rushing things along you want to compensate adequately for both. To rush the gluten production along, helping develop the bread’s structure, I use bread flour and the yeast. And to add flavor, I use the sourdough. The sourdough also helps give the bread some oven spring.
  • It’s easy. Breadmaking comes with a caveat though: if you are brand new at it, you will likely have a learning curve with making any bread. But if you know your way around a bench scraper, you should have no trouble making this easy sourdough loaf.
  • It’s real bread. Sure, it might appear a bit of a gimmick to make bread in an hour, but this is a real, yeast-leavened bread loaf, and it tastes great.
A sliced loaf of one-hour sourdough bread.

Ingredients

  • Sourdough starter or discard. This is a great use for sourdough you were about to discard, but if you have a strong starter you just fed that would work too.
  • Bread flour: this helps create a stronger, better structure for the loaf.
  • Vegetable oil: I use avocado oil but any vegetable oil, including olive oil, is perfectly fine.
  • Oat milk (or any nondairy milk): Milk helps keep the crust softer. If you want a very crusty crust sub this with an equal quantity of lukewarm water.
  • Lukewarm water: If you need some help bringing the dough together.
  • Sugar: Sugar helps feed the yeast, getting it to multiply quickly, and it also helps add more flavor to this quick-rise bread.
  • Instant yeast or active dry yeast. Yyou will get quicker results with instant yeast, but active dry yeast works too in this recipe.
  • Salt, for more flavor in your bread.

How to make the one-hour sourdough bread

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl–this includes the flour, sourdough discard, sugar, salt, vegetable oil and nondairy milk. The only thing you shouldn’t add to the bowl at this stage is the water.

Mix all the ingredients until a dough begins to form. Make sure the milk is lukewarm when you add it, which will also help wake up the yeast faster.

Now trickle in the water slowly to form a supple dough that’s soft but not sticky, You might not need all of the water.

As soon as you have the dough, place it on a square of parchment paper, then lift the parchment paper and place it in a small Dutch oven. This is not a huge loaf, so a smaller pot will help create a better shaped, more rounded boule. A wider Dutch oven will create a flatter loaf.

Cover the Dutch oven with the lid and place it in a warm spot for 20-25 minutes. It’s really important you find a cozy, warm spot because you are looking for a quick rise.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit while the dough is rising.

After 20 minutes the dough should have nearly doubled. Use a sharp or serrated knife or blade to make a quick gash at the top of the dough, taking care not to deflate it.

Place the Dutch oven, uncovered, in the oven and bake 30 minutes or until the top of the loaf sounds hollow when you rap it with your knuckles.

Place the Dutch oven on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove the bread by lifting up the parchment paper and continue cooling on the rack. Slice and serve.

FAQs

Can I make this with whole wheat?

Since we aren’t giving this bread a whole lot of time to rise, and it’s a single rise, whole wheat would not be a great option here. You can sub half a cup of the all purpose flour for whole wheat if you absolutely want to, but your loaf will be more dense.

I don’t have a dutch oven. Can I use another pan to bake the bread?

Yes, absolutely. Any oven-safe pot or baking dish that has a base of no more than five inches or so would work great here.

Do I need to cool the bread or can I eat it rightaway?

If you slice bread when it’s hot or just out of the oven, you will find it is very moist and, as a result, hard to slice. So you do need to factor in some time to let the bread cool down, at least to lukewarm, before you slice it. For best results, cool it completely.

A front view of a loaf of one-hour sourdough bread.

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