Quarantine Sourdough

Yup, I finally caved in to the quarantine sourdough ritual. In the past year of coronavirus lockdowns, the number of times I’ve heard people talk about making homemade sourdough went through the roof.

I live near San Francisco and I don’t like to eat sourdough bread if I can help it, but I came across a beautiful Masterclass on it and decided I had to give it a try.

Of course now it’s my favorite homemade, rustic, crusty, hearty, comforting loaf of bread ever.

Homemade definitely tastes better than storebought when it comes to sourdough, maybe because of all the love you get to put into it. If you have about a week to get it going, and a kitchen scale, it’s worth the effort! Thanks to Apollonia for inspiration.


For the starter (takes 4 days):
60g (1/4 cup) almond yogurt – $0.31
4 x 160g room temperature water – free
4 x 150g (about 1 1/4 cup) white flour – $0.20
4 x 60g (about 1/2 cup) whole wheat flour – $0.09

For the bread (takes 1 day):
400g of starter – above
2 cups + 8 tbsp room temperature water – free
4g (1 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast – $0.30
20g (about 1 tbsp) salt – $0.12
550g (about 4 1/4 cups) white flour – $0.68
450g (about 3 1/2 cups) whole wheat flour – $0.63


1. Make the starter. For full beginner instructions, I refer you to Apollonia’s amazing Masterclass. The first day, whisk the yogurt and water in a small plastic bowl, then mix in the flours with a spatula for a minute or two. Rise for 24 hours at 20-25C/68-77F, covered with a plastic bag and a tea towel on top.

The second day, add the water and flours to the mix, use a spatula to bring it together, and rise again for 24 hours. The third and fourth days, discard 350g or about 1 cup of the batter before adding the water and flours.

On the fifth day, the starter is ready to use, and after taking 400g out for bread you can feed it again with the water and flours. Repeat this removing/feeding process every 24-48 hours. It’s very fun!

2. Make the bread. In a small bowl, mix the yeast with 1 tbsp water and let it sit for 2 minutes to come alive. In another small bowl, mix the salt and 2 tbsp of water to start it dissolving.

In a large bowl, mix the starter, yeast mixture, flour, salt water, whole wheat flour, and 2 cups + 5 tbsp water. Scoop your hand into the bowl and mix it gently, then knead for 10 minutes.

Rise for 30-60 minutes in a floured bowl, covered with a slightly damp cloth and set in a warm place.

3. Remove the dough from the bowl, fold and shape it into a smooth, edges-tucked-under sphere, then flip it over upside down in a floured linen colander to rise for 1-2 more hours. It should rise above the top of the colander.

Warm up a dutch oven at 475F for 25 minutes, then when the dough is ready, flour the inside of the dutch oven, plop the dough over into the pot, score it with a hashtag mark, cover with the dutch oven lid or aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 20 minutes more.

Turn the baked bread out and knock on the bottom to check it’s done (or use a thermometer to make sure internal temperature is 190F). Cool for 1 hour on a wire rack before cutting into it, since it’s still cooking.

Cut the loaf in half, then half again to slice. Store it in a linen cloth inside a plastic bag at room temperature. It will be good for 4 days. Or you could always freeze one half if you like.

Savor your magnificent quarantine sourdough creation by itself or with a bit of plant-based butter. The thick French country crust is amazing! ❤️🤗

Chef Maitri Carmichael brings a creative and peaceful energy to every plate. She grew up in Toronto with a British Grandma and an Italian Nonna who showed their love through food, then she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, spending her free time at community farms and zen kitchens. Originally a scientist and biotech entrepreneur, she graduated from the Vegan Chef School in London (2021) and the Raw Food Culinary Academy in Vancouver (2023), and is now settled in Hawaii.

2 responses to “Quarantine Sourdough”

  1. finnern Avatar

    I am surprised that you use yeast in addition to the sourdough. I thought that wasn’t necessary.

    Here is Easy Sourdough Rye Bread Recipe:
    – 500g Rye Flour
    – 300g Sourdough (be sure its active)
    – 300g Water
    – 20g Salt
    – Mix and kneel in a big bowl
    – Let rise in a warm spot 2-24 hours
    – kneel some more (over time get a sense for how the dough should feel in your hands)
    – Add any nuts/raisons if you like.
    – Form your loafs
    – Add crust seeds if you like.
    – Heat oven to 425F 220C when you put the breads
    – Wet the outside to create crust
    – Turn down to 375F or 190C right away.
    – Bake ~30 minutes
    Enjoy 🙂

    I can’t add pictures to this comment so here is a link:

    1. accarmichael Avatar

      That looks like a beautiful batch of bread, Mark! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! The recipe I got from Apollonia uses a bit of yeast as well to boost the dough since it’s such a giant loaf and she’s targeting complete beginners. But yes, I’m sure it would work without yeast. 🙂

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