How to Make Bucket Dough (for Sourdough)

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Within this rather unimpressive looking bucket of dough lies a wealth of possibilities that most people believe are well out of reach for everyday life.  What I see, however, is the secret weapon that keeps my family well supplied with as much delicious, warm sourdough bread as we need.

It’s simple, and only takes about 10 minutes every 3-5 days.  And the many different uses for Bucket Dough make it time very well spent.  I can’t count the number of times that having Bucket Dough on-hand in the fridge has saved me when I’ve forgotten to plan a side dish to go with dinner.  Or when an we have guests over and I want to offer a special treat.  Or even when I realize I have nothing to feed the kids for lunch…

With my bucket dough, I’ve made Sticky Buns, Sandwich bread, Rustic loaves, English Muffins, Pizza crust (including stuffed crust!), Tortillas, Turnovers (both sweet AND savory), and Taco ring. I’ve even seen people use it to make Pita bread, and although I’ve never done that myself, I look forward to trying it someday.

How to Make Bucket Dough (for Sourdough)
Prep time
Total time
Without this recipe, there is no way that I would be making ANY homemade bread for my family. But WITH this recipe, I keep my family well-fed with a variety of healthy and delicious sourdough breads. So easy, so versatile, and so scrumptious!

I originally learned about this bread making technique from www.gnowfglins.com, and now I use it almost exclusively for all my family's bread baking needs.
Recipe type: Bread
  • 3 cups Sourdough Starter (purchase from www.culturesforhealth.com, make your own, or get some from a friend)
  • 3 tbsp Salt
  • 6 cups Water
  • 12 cups Flour (I use whole wheat)
  1. Using a wooden spoon (or another largish, sturdy utensil), mix together the Sourdough Starter, Salt, and Water.
  2. Start stirring in 2-3 cups of flour. Don't worry about the lumps, they'll be taken care of later.
  3. Mix in another 2-3 cups of flour. Trust me...you don't have to worry about the lumps.
  4. Mix in 1-2 cups of flour. The dough should be starting to come together. If the lumps of flour are really bothering you, feel free to start smashing the big ones against the side of the bowl with your wooden spoon now.
  5. Continue adding flour at ½ cup to 1 cup increments until the dough is thick, starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl while you mix, and takes a strong arm to stir. It will still be very sticky and gooey. YOU MIGHT NOT USE ALL OF THE FLOUR. That's fine, it's more important to watch the consistency of the dough than to try to use up all the flour. On the other hand, if you discover you need MORE flour, then add some. In any case, it's time to stop adding flour when your dough starts looking something like this:
  6. If desired, sprinkle a layer of flour over the top of your dough to prevent oxidation (the grayish-purple color the dough can turn when exposed to air).
  7. Cover loosely, and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 12 hours. Dough will last for at least 3-5 days, becoming more sour each day. But with all the things you can do with it, it never lasts that long in my house!
This "recipe" is more of a guideline than a real recipe. It is best used as a ratio, so adjust the ingredients up or down depending on your bread making needs. For example, If you need less dough, you can divide by 3 to scale down to 1 cup Starter, 1 tbsp Salt, 2 cups Water, and 4 cups Flour. That will make approximately one full-sized loaf of sourdough.


3 thoughts on “How to Make Bucket Dough (for Sourdough)

  1. As soon as I get my starter dough established, this is the first thing I’m making. Can’t wait to have some yummy bread!!!! Thanks Nicole for sharing with us :)

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