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Sourdough bread slices on top of parchment paper with a bread knife

Artisan Sourdough with All Purpose Flour {soft, crisp & chewy!}

  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 1 small loaf (2-4 ppl)
  • Category: Sourdough Bread
  • Method: Oven-Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


No bread flour? No problem! My artisan sourdough with all purpose flour is an excellent substitute. This recipe yields a smaller sized loaf (perfect for up to 4 people) with a crisp crust and a smooth, interior crumb. 

Notes & Substitutions

This recipe was formulated to work with King Arthur & Trader Joe’s all purpose flour, which contains 11.7% protein. If using another brand, please see my tip in the recipe below for adjusting the texture of the dough, if needed.

For accuracy and best results: please weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale.


For a small loaf:

  • 50 g (1/4 cup) bubbly, active sourdough starter
  • 165 g (1/2 cup + 3 tbsp) water
  • 5 g (1 tsp) fine sea salt
  • 250 g (2 cups + 1 tbsp) all purpose flour (Trader Joe or King Arthur)

For a larger, standard size loaf: 

  • 50 g (1/4 cup) bubbly, active sourdough starter*
  • 330 g (1 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) water
  • 9 g (1 1/2 tsp) fine sea salt
  • 500 g (4 1/4 cups) all purpose flour (Trader Joe or King Arthur)

*Note: I use 50 g of starter for both the small AND standard size loaf. Using a smaller amount of starter with an long, overnight rise will help to prevent over proofed dough in the morning.


Make the Dough

In the evening, whisk the starter and water together in a large bowl. Add the flour and salt. Mix with a fork until a stiff dough forms, then finish by hand to fully incorporate the flour. It will feel rough and shaggy, and slightly sticky. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature (68 F) for 30 minutes. 

After the dough has rested, work the dough into a ball. To do this, grab a portion of the dough and fold it over, pressing your fingertips into the center. Repeat, working your way around the dough until it begins to tighten.

TIP: If the dough feels too wet (and this can happen depending on the brand of flour you’re using), add 1 tbsp. of flour. Mix thoroughly by hand, adding more flour as needed. If you think it’s too dry, add 1 tbsp. of water and see how you go.

Bulk Rise

Cover the bowl (damp towel or plastic wrap) and let rise overnight at room temperature. This will take about 10 to 12 hours at 68 F. The dough is ready when it no longer looks dense and has doubled in size. If using a standard 8-inch bowl, the dough will rise about 1/2 way up the sides.

Optional Step: about 1 hour into the bulk rise, do 1 set of stretch and folds. Repeat 1 hour later. This will increase the overall volume of the bread.

Shape the Dough

The following morning, line a small bowl with a cotton or linen cloth. Sprinkle with flour.

Important: You’re going to shape the dough twice to build extra strength.


Remove the dough onto a floured surface. To shape the dough into a round, starting at the top, gently fold the dough over toward the center. Give it a turn and fold over the next section. Repeat until you have come full circle. Using a bench knife, scoop up the dough and flip it over (the smooth side should be facing up). Cover and rest for 20-30 minutes. 

Final Shape

After the dough has rested, flip it over again (the smooth side should be facing down now). Shape it again following the steps above. Flip it back over. With floured hands, gently cup the dough and pull it toward you in a circular motion to tighten its shape.

Place the dough into the lined bowl, seam side up. Cover the dough with the cloth overhang.

Second Rise

The dough needs to rise again. Rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The dough is ready when it looks puffy and has risen slightly, but has not yet doubled in size.

Preheat your oven to 450. Cut a sheet of non-stick parchment paper to fit the size of your baking pot, leaving enough excess around the sides to remove the bread.

Score the Dough

Place the parchment over the dough and invert the bowl to release. Sprinkle the dough with flour and gently rub the surface with your hands. Using the tip of a bread lame, small, serrated knife or a razor blade, make four shallow 4-inch long cuts at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock around the dough. Use the parchment paper to transfer the dough to the baking pot.

Bake the Dough

Reduce the heat to 425 F. Bake the dough on the center rack for 20 minutes, covered. Remove the lid, and continue to bake for 30-35 minutes and golden brown (40 minutes uncovered for the larger, standard loaf). 

When finished, transfer to a wire rack. Cool for 1 hour before slicing, for best texture.


Sourdough is best consumed on the same day it is baked. To maximize freshness, cool completely and store at room temperature wrapped in plastic, reusable beeswax wrap or bread bag for 1-2 days.

Keywords: artisan sourdough, all purpose flour, sourdough bread, sourdough, homemade, sourdough bread recipe