Simple Sweet Sourdough Master Recipe

This recipe is for a basic enriched dough made with sourdough. It is easy for beginners and extremely versatile for use in many different savory or sweet applications.

In order to make this master recipe successfully you need to take care with the following steps:

  • First, your starter must be healthy and active. This is so important. If your starter is unhealthy or has not become active (just past its peak), your dough will not rise and ferment properly and certainly not in the timeline given in the recipe. If you need to review this, check out this post on refreshing your starter.
  • Scalding the milk is an important step as it neutralizes proteins that can impact fermentation–I’ve tested this recipe with scalded and non-scalded and noticed a difference in the fermentation and texture of the dough. And the milk must be cooled properly to no more than 90 degrees F, otherwise you will cook the yeast in your starter which would kill or damage the yeast causing your dough not to rise.
  • Ingredient state and temperature impacts the dough. Butter that is soft mixes in beautifully to create a soft, enriched dough, but melted butter will add to the liquid of the dough and will affect the hydration and texture.
  • Thorough kneading is important, whether it is done by hand for 7-15 minutes or in a stand mixer using a dough hook on the two lowest speeds for 3-8 minutes. If you want to know when enough kneading is enough, look for a smooth appearance on the dough, elasticity, and it should no longer stick to your hands or bowl.
  • Finally, timing is key. Sourdough takes longer to ferment than dough made with conventional yeast. The dough should double in volume and should not be too sticky. Overfermenting is an issue so pay attention to your timelines. In this dough, the bulk ferment is 4-8 hours–4-6 in warm weather and 6-8 hours in cooler weather.

Here’s a video about how to create the master dough:

Stay tuned for recipes to use this easy and versatile simple sweet sourdough master recipe in!

Simple Sweet Sourdough Master Recipe

Use this easy enriched bread dough recipe with sourdough to make all sorts of sweet or savory breads.
Author: Jenny Prior



  • 15-20 g sourdough starter 1 T.
  • 60 grams all-purpose or bread flour 7 tablespoons
  • 60 grams water 1⁄4 cup


  • 100 g whole milk warmed (see step 2)
  • 40 g water
  • 30 g sugar
  • 100 g active sourdough starter
  • 375 g all purpose flour
  • 4 g vanilla 1 t.
  • 3 g salt 1/2 t.
  • 1 egg
  • 45 g unsalted butter, softened 3 T.


  • Mix together the starter ingredients. Leave at room temperature for 8-12 hours until doubled in volume with large bubbles.
  • Measure milk into a small pot. Add 15-20g extra to allow for evaporation.
  • Heat over medium heat until you see steam rising off the milk. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes or until the milk is no higher than 80-90 degrees.
  • While milk is cooling, measure water into the bowl and gather ingredients together (mise en place) Add milk once it has cooled off to 90 degrees or less.
  • Add the 30g sugar, 100g active sourdough starter, 375g all purpose flour, 4g vanilla, and 3g salt. Stir the mixture together 4-8 times until the ingredients are partially added then add the egg. Knead until all the ingredients are incorporated and there is no more dry flour. Dough should be smooth.
  • Cut softened butter into smaller pieces. Add the softened butter into the dough. Knead the dough until the butter is completely mixed into the dough and no longer visible. Dough should be smooth, elastic, and no longer sticking to hands or bowl when it is kneaded adequately.
  • Cover the dough and leave at room temperature to ferment for 4-8 hours until doubled in volume.
  • Once the dough has doubled, shape dough depending on recipe instructions.
  • After the dough is shaped, it should be covered with plastic wrap and proofed for 2-3 hours at room temperature.
  • Baking and cooling instructions depend on the recipe you are using the Master dough in.


This is a Master recipe. It is not a stand alone recipe but is meant to be used as a Master or base for other recipes. You can find ideas and applications on


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