Renewing your spirit one bite at a time

Small Sourdough Loaf (with AP flour)


small sourdough loaf

This small sourdough loaf with all-purpose flour is the perfect recipe for those who want to enjoy their bread with no leftovers! It also makes a great bread bowl for soups and stews. This is half the size of a standard sourdough loaf and consists of just all-purpose flour. It is also a great recipe for a beginner in sourdough bread baking. There are no fancy secrets or techniques here. My step-by-step will explain everything thoroughly leaving you with a perfect, mini loaf as the end result. The texture of this bread is wonderful! It has just enough crispiness on the outside and the inside is thick, fluffy, and chewy. Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t make a quality sourdough loaf with just all-purpose flour!

small sourdough loaf

Equipment needed for Small Sourdough Loaf

Tips and Modifications

  • This is a 10-12 hour bulk proof (in 68 degrees F) that is highly dependent on the temperature in your environment. My house is cooler right now, so I usually give my dough 13 hours. If it was summertime, I would probably put it in the refrigerator for part of the proofing.
  • If you use a different brand of flour, it may need more water. My suggestion, if it feels dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time until the right consistency.
  • I recommend having your starter fed within 24 hours of baking, an active bubbly starter makes for an optimal rise.

How to make a small sourdough loaf: step by step

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Proofing time: 10-12 hours
Cook time: 40-45 minutesServes: 1 small loaf

Ingredients

Note: If you would like to make this a regular-sized loaf: use 500g of flour, 330 g of water, and 9g of salt.

Step 1: Mix your Dough

As always, I provide my baking schedule, but this is to give you an idea of when you would like to start prepping. This is an overnight proof, so do what works best for you!

  • 6:00 PM the evening before: dissolve your starter in lukewarm water, mixing with a fork.
  • Add your flour and salt and mix by hand until all the flour has absorbed the water (it will be sticky). Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 45 minutes.
Dissolve sourdough starter in the water
small sourdough loaf mixture
Add your flour and salt
sourdough loaf dough
Your dough will look like this (very sticky)

Step 2: Strengthen your dough

  • 6:45 PM: Strengthen your dough. To do this, start folding the dough into itself and then proceed to the scoop and slap method. This is where you repetitively scoop under the dough and slap it against the bowl. Do this for 3-5 minutes or until the dough starts to gain strength and form together. See the images and video below.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Scoop and slap method to create strength
strengthened sourdough dough
Your dough will look like this: smooth with some lines

Step 3: Stretch and fold the dough

  • 7:45 PM, you will perform your first stretch and fold. This creates structure to your dough and gives it a better oven spring. I recommend doing at least 1 stretch and fold.
  • To do this, you scoop underneath a portion of the dough, stretch it a few inches (be careful not to rip the dough), and fold it to the opposing side. You will stretch and fold about 4 quadrants of the dough. See the images below.
  • Once complete, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • 8:15 PM, perform 1 more stretch and fold. This is optional, but I do recommend it.
  • Cover the dough and let it rest overnight for the remaining time.
stretched and folded dough
All 4 quadrants have been stretched and folded

Step 4: Preshaping the dough

  • 6:00 AM, the next morning. Make sure your dough has doubled in size. If it needs more time, let it rest. If it is ready, you will perform your first shaping.
  • To do this, remove the dough from the bowl with a lightly floured hand. onto an unfloured surface.
  • Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough and start to shape it into a circle. Using your bench scraper and hand continually move it in a circular motion (see the video below).
  • You will then flip it over and do an envelope-type shaping. You will fold the top center to the middle, the left side to the middle, the right side over the left side, and the bottom side of the dough to the center. Flip it over and tighten the shape by pushing it gently towards yourself and spinning it in circular motions. See the video below.
  • Lightly flour a linen-lined bowl and place the dough in the bowl smooth side up. Cover with a towel for 30 minutes.
Proofed sourdough dough
After 12 hours of proofing, the sourdough dough is ready
Make a circle shape dough using your hand and bench scraper
Pre-shaping your dough, envelope-type shaping
small sourdough loaf dough
Small sourdough loaf dough smooth side up in the bowl

Step 5: Final Shaping

  • 6:30 AM, it is time to shape the dough for the last time. We shape the dough twice because it will hold its shape better while it bakes. It also makes for a better oven spring.
  • To shape the dough for the second time, remove it from the bowl seam side up. Flatten the dough a bit and shape it using the envelope method as above. Folding the top portion to the center, the left side to the center, the right side over the left side, and the bottom to the center. Flip it over and tighten the shape by pushing it gently towards yourself and spinning it in circular motions.
  • Once the desired shape has been accomplished, put the dough back in the bowl facing seam side up this time and let it rest for 30 minutes. Make sure to cover it with a towel.
  • Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F with your baking pan in the oven. during this time.
small sourdough loaf
Small sourdough loaf seam side up in the bowl

Step 6: Score your dough and bake

  • 7:00 AM: Score your dough. This will allow the bread to expand in a specific direction.
  • Cut a small piece of parchment paper and invert your bowl on the paper. Remove your bowl so the dough is now facing smooth side up on the parchment paper.
  • To score your dough, use your scoring lame and simply make a 4-inch line down the middle of your dough. Go fast and deep with your tool.
  • Place your dough in your pan with the parchment paper and turn your oven to 425 degrees F. Bake covered for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove the bread once it is done and let it cool on a cooling rack for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • Cut, serve and enjoy! 🙂 This bread is best enjoyed on the same day but can be stored in your bread bag of choice for up to 3 days on your counter.
Invert bowl on parchment paper
Invert the bowl on parchment paper
scoring
Score your dough with 1 4-inch line down the middle
dough in pan
Place sourdough loaf dough in the pan to bake
cooling sourdough loaf
Allow the small sourdough loaf to cool for 2 hours
small sourdough loaf
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Small Sourdough loaf (with AP flour)

This small sourdough loaf recipe is great for bread bowls, a small family, or just to eat the same day and enjoy.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Proofing time12 hours
Servings: 1 small loaf
Calories: 150kcal

Equipment

  • Dutch oven or cast iron
  • Bench scraper
  • Mixing bowl
  • Food scale
  • Parchment paper
  • Scoring tool

Ingredients

  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 165 grams lukewarm water
  • 50 grams fed sourdough starter
  • 5 grams salt

Instructions

Mix the dough

  • Around 6:00 PM the night before you bake, mix your dough. Dissolve your starter in the water, add your flour and salt, and mix until the flour has absorbed all the water.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 45 minutes.

Strengthen the dough

  • 6:45 PM strengthen your dough by using the scoop and slap method. See the video above if needed. After 5 minutes of this, cover the dough and let it rest for 1 hour.

Stretch and folds

  • 7:45 PM Perform 1 stretch and fold, cover, and let rest for 30-45 minutes.
  • 8:15 PM Perform 1 more stretch and fold, cover, and let rest overnight.

The following morning: Pre-shaping

  • 6:00 AM: Make sure your dough has doubled in size and pre-shape your dough into a round ball. Place into a linen-lined bowl, lightly floured, smooth side up, and cover with a towel for 30 minutes.

Final shaping

  • 6:30 AM: Remove the dough from the bowl, seam side up. Shape it into a tight round ball again. Place the dough back in the bowl this time seam side up. Cover it with a towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F with your baking pan in the oven.

Score and bake

  • Invert your bowl on parchment paper and score your dough by using your scoring tool. Make one 4-inch line down the middle.
  • Place your dough in your pan with the parchment paper and turn your oven down to 425 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes covered.
  • After 20 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
  • Allow the bread to rest for 2 hours on a cooling rack and enjoy! 

Notes

If you would like to make this a regular-sized loaf: use 500g of flour, 330 g of water, and 9g of salt.
Baker’s schedule: Mix the night before, and bake the following morning.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 300mg

Did you try this recipe?

If you end up trying this recipe, let me know! I would love to hear how your small sourdough loaf turns out. Thank you so much for reading and happy baking! 🙂

small sourdough loaf
small sourdough loaf slices

If you found this article interesting, you may also like my Sourdough Maple Rye Bread

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