Simple breadmaker sourdough

Mr Ciabatta

This is the simplest recipe I use when I just want some good bread without all the kneading etc, but you will need a breadmaker with a dough setting. Thanks to my friend Cedar for this one.


The Dough

Ingredient Metric Imperial Baker's Percentage
Flour 800 grams 28.24 oz 100.00%
Water 500 grams 17.65 oz 62.50%
Starter 150 grams 5.3 oz 18.75%
Salt 15 grams 0.53 oz 1.88%
Total Flour Weight:
800 grams

Percentages are relative to flour weight (flour equals 100%) and every other ingredient is a percentage of this. Flour from the starter is not counted. This recipe was originally in grams and has been automatically converted to other measures.


Add all this to the breadmaker, I add water first so the flour doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan, then press 'start'. 

My dough cycle takes 1hr.

I then pour / wrestle the super-sticky dough out with a spatula onto a well floured surface, cut and shape it into whatever sizes I want, then leave to proof for between 3-8hrs.

I like to bake using SourDom's steam method.

Good luck.

407 users have voted.


Dj Austin's picture
Dj Austin 2011 August 1

I'm not quite understanding when you say a Breadmaker with a "dough setting". Don't they all have a dough setting? 

JuliaBalbilla's picture
JuliaBalbilla 2011 August 1

Yes, I have never seen a breadmaker without a dough setting.  When I make ciabatta, I use my Kenwood Chef for the mixing as you need a really wet dough and I use the same bowl for resting and oiling.  Hope to tackle my first sourdough ciabatta this week, so will let you know the result.

Mr Ciabatta 2011 August 3

Hmm I'm not sure, but thought I would add 'breadmaker with dough setting' in case some readers thought I was baking the bread in the breadmaker.

Nona_Mary 2011 August 25

Hi! I'm a sourdough newbie and this recipe looks right up my alley for a starting loaf. Can you please tell me what % hydration and flour mix (rye/White/spelt) your starter is? And if a recipe doesn't specify this, can I assume that my starter should match the % hydration and flour mix of the recipe? Thanks in advance for your help!

panfresca 2011 August 25

 Hi Nona Mary, in a recipe where starter hydration isn't specified, you're usually fairly safe to assume that it's 100% hydration. Starter hydration is normally higher than dough hydration. Taking into account the amount of water in the starter (at 100% hydration), this recipe would end up 72% hydration, ie 800 ÷ (500 + 75) = .72

As far as flour mix in the starter goes, that's pretty flexible - you would usually want all or a significant proportion of the starter to be the same as the flour your using in the loaf. The starter culture is used to feeding on its normal diet, and throwing a completely different flour in can slow it right down. 

esbkk 2012 January 16

... it should be 500+75  divided by 800+75

Hydration of dough is therefore 65.71% and not 72 as stated by panfresca.

Libereni 2011 August 26

I have made this recipe twice now. I am new to sourdough bread and have had a few problems with my first half dozen loaves before trying this recipe out. It isnt my starter, which is 100% rye and very responsive and active, so strongly suspect it is me :-)

This bread is the best I have made, with lovely flavour and nice open crumb. I have been using 400g white bread flour, 250g wholewheat and 150g rye to make up the 800g. My panasonic bread machine seems to be doing a better job than me, which is annoying as I want to be able to produce a decent loaf by hand.

I have split the dough both times, but think I will keep it as one larger loaf next time I do it. The ones I have made are a bit small.

ekwesh 2011 October 18

 Hello, I'm new here. I' ve made bread with this recipe twice, with satisfactory results! 

Nevertheless I wonder what would be the difference if we turned e.g 100 of the 800 grams of flour and 100 of the 500 grams of water into starter, before mixing all the ingredients, so it would be 700 g flour, 400 g water, 350 starter etc.



AlexLegeros 2011 October 18

What you're talking about is making an autolyse, which will enhance the extensibility of the bread, as well as add to the flavor and aroma of the bread.  If you gently mix an even portion of the flour and water and let it sit for a while (it only takes about 20 minutes in a warm place to get the gluten to start lining up, but I often leave mine for a bit longer so the enzymic activity can get going), it makes the whole rest of the process go easier.  Mixing is easier since the gluten has started to develop, it ends up tasting better because the enzymes have started turning those starches into sugars, and it smells better too! 

Dúnia's picture
Dúnia 2012 March 20

Hi, is it possible to knead it by hand instead of the bread machine? I mean, would it be troublesome to try, because of the wetness of the dough?



farinam's picture
farinam 2012 March 20

Hello Dunia,

Just looking at the quantities given in the recipe, I would say that the dough would be easily managed by hand.  For a 100% starter, the hydration is only 66% which is lower than what I normally use for hand mixing.

I think the original poster was only really using the bread machine instead of a mixer.

Keep on bakin'


megsan 2012 May 3

 Thank you for this recipe Mr Ciabatta! I have now used this 3 times with some magnificent loaves coming out of it! Yesterday I used this one again but used 600g white flour & 200g rye flour - made 2 loaves and they are delicious!

katec 2013 February 10

If you donot have a bread maker, can you use this recipe just by hand, im assuming yes....but would like confirmation.

guess you need for about 10 mins?




Suevee 2013 July 17

Am about to embark on my first loaf and intend to do in breadmaker until "dough". I am really confused as to why the water should be weighed, have never weighed water. The hydration stuff is so way over my head, it's quite a science. A column with Aust. volume (cups) in the recipe would help science challenged people like me.

Rach56 2013 July 19

 There is something about sourdough bread that I just LOVE. I always make my Sourdough bread with starters from Sourdough's International, never disappointed with what they have! 

daviderin7 2013 December 17
I am unclear about what activities might be involved in a "dough setting" that takes about an hour. Preheat, knead, rise? Just kneading? I am excited to try this recipe. Thanks!
Jibsman's picture
Jibsman 2016 March 14

Google "Bread Machine Dough Cycles" to find out what it means.

Usually Mix ~ 6 minutes, rest ~10 minutes, knead ~23 minutes. Then Rise ~56 minutes & mix another 4 minutes. That's it.

I just do the first 3 cycles in the Kitchen-Aid & take it from there.

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