Making Sourdough With No Equipment (+Starter From Scratch!)

By Alex Chung

Senior Food Writer at Pro Home Cooks

So many people have way more time to spend in the kitchen and tons of people have been making more sourdough for the first time. Since I have been making sourdough for years now I have a whole set of different kinds of equipment to use to bake the perfect loaf but some of you guys are just starting out. You might not have all the equipment to bake the “perfect” sourdough loaf and that’s okay. Since I have been moving around a lot this past couple weeks, I wasn’t able to carry all my kitchen equipment with me… and not even my sourdough starter! With everyone making sourdough bread at home using what they have at home I want to help you along by showing some cool hacks to making great sourdough with no equipment. No bench scraper, banneton, or dutch oven? No problem!

Making a Starter From Scratch:


  • 8 – ¼ cups of all purpose flour, total 2 cups total estimated

  • 8 – ¼ cups of water, 2 cups total estimated

Note: You really just need equal parts of flour and water by volume. By eye and texture, you are looking for a cake batter like consistency for your starter.



  1. Start by combining equal parts of flour and water by volume (about ¼ cup of flour) in a jar and let it sit on your countertop for one day. You are really looking for a cake batter consistency. After one day you should start to see small bubbles starting to form.

  2. Then feed it again with equal parts of flour and water and let it sit for another day. For day two you should start to see even more bubbles but it probably doesn’t smell too sour which is totally okay.

  3. For day three, give it another feeding of equal parts of flour and water and let it sit on your counter overnight.

  4. On day four, you should see it really rise. Discard half of your starter by making a sourdough pancake and give it another feeding of equal parts of flour and water. You should also be able to start to smell some sour notes coming through.

  5. Begin feeding your starter twice a day so that it starts to become really active for about two to three days. After that you have a completely new starter and you are ready to begin your sourdough journey.

Sourdough with No Equipment:


  • 4 cups of all purpose flour

  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour

  • 3 ½ cups of water

  • A couple large pinches or 10 grams of salt

  • A large glob or 150 grams of active sourdough starter


  1. For the autolyse start combine 4 cups of flour, 2 cups of whole wheat flour, and 3 ½ cups of water. At this point, it should be super sticky so let it autolyse for 45 minutes.

  2. Next, fold in your salt as well as your sourdough starter.

  3. Let it rest for 30 mins before starting your stretch and fold process. Over the next 2 – 2 ½ period you will give your dough 4 stretches and folds. Check out how I stretch and fold my dough here.

  4. Once you have finished you stretch and fold, you can start your bulk rise for about 5 – 6 hours. You will see the texture of the bread really change at the end of this step.

  5. Now you are ready to start shaping your dough so lightly flour your surface and cut your dough in half with a knife. Shape your dough into a tight ball by using the stickiness of the dough to create tension. Click here to see how I do it.

  6. If you don’t have a banneton, grab a large enough bowl lined with a clean towel. Dust it with flour and your makeshift banneton is ready to go.

  7. Before you move your dough over to the banneton, sprinkle some sesame seeds and poppy seeds onto a plate and roll your dough on top of the sesame seeds. This helps with flavor and makes your dough more nonstick!

  8. Grab a large metal spatula, which will act as your makeshift bench scraper, to transfer your dough over to your banneton. Let it proof in the fridge overnight.

  9. Once your dough has proofed and passed the poke test, you can turn your oven to 500 degrees.

  10. Get started on your makeshift dutch oven. I used a pizza stone to bake my bread on and a baking tray underneath it with some ice to create steam. Check out how it turned out here.

  11. Flip your bread out onto a parchment paper, with a sharp knife score it, and bake for 40 minutes.



By Alex Chung

Senior Food Writer at Pro Home Cooks