Bread machine Sourdough

I’d like to bake sourdough loaves in my bread machine. I don’t mind if it takes a while, as long as it’s easy and I don’t get my hands dirty. I want to use my own starter. I don’t want to use dried yeast.

My approach is going to be iterative. Experimental. Test, note, observe, adjust, repeat. Ideally I’d like to bake overnight on the timer.

Although a web search throws up a lot of tantalising number of hits they soon dwindle. Most suggest using dried yeast or using the machine just to make the dough, finishing the loaf in the oven. I found one useful website, and it has been very useful. It is and it has a nice breakdown of the steps. Even better, the steps are for the same bread machine as the one I have, the now discontinued Panasonic SD-ZX2522. This is pretty handy.

As for the starters I’m using the method outlined by Andrew Whitley in his book Bread Matters. I’ve created two starters as outlined early in his book; a rye starter and a wheat starter.

As I say, what happens now will be based mostly on experimentation, iteration, observation and tweaking. There will occasional attempts at understanding but, on the whole, I will be trying to change just one things at a time, then seeing what happens.

So let’s see what happens.

Bread Machine Sourdough reference notes


Menus I use (from page 11 of the manual)

For the dough, I use menu 11 (rustic sourdough) and menu 30 (sourdough starter). Menu 30 is really for using the machine to create a cup or two of starter over a 24 hour period (using a tiny amount of dried yeast) but it’s handy for leaving the dough in a controlled environment for the rise at 30℃.

I’ve often found the 6 hour French menu quite tolerant. It also has a short knead period which might be relevant if dough is being overworked.

  • Timer can be set for max 9 hours
  • There’s a period of rest during the knead (45-55 min) period.

Abbreviations I sometimes use

  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Sometimes with the brand. I find it easier to manage than butter, and since reading about UPF I tend to stick with extra virgin olive oil from a single source if possible.
  • s.w.f – Strong White Flour. Brand sometimes in brackets.

Other Resources

  • The book Bread Matters: Why and How to Make Your Own by Andrew Whitley
  • The only website I’ve found that explains how to produce sourdough bread entirely using a breadmachine and without using any dried yeast.
  • The private Facebook group Panasonic Bread Maker Recipe Group UK & Ireland is a goldmine of information. Mostly UK based so lots of good advice about quantities and availability of ingredients.
  • I’ve a tendency to stay clear of YouTube, but Elly’s Everyday Wholegrain Sourdough channel is great, and her video on maintaining a sourdough starter really appeals. As she says 3:27 in, If that approach appeals to you, give it a try.