Mock Sourdough Bread

Have you ever made a sourdough starter? If you have, how long did you keep it going? Is is still alive? Do you feed it regularly?

I'm just judging if you are a better person than me. If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, it's likely that you are.

I love the taste of sourdough. I love making my own bread. I think it's pretty cool that starters can been passed along to different people and develop flavor based on age and origin. I'm just not patient enough to keep one going.

In fact, the only experience I've had with a sourdough starter in my house was when my roommate moved in with one, put it in a tall cupboard we never used, and forgot about it. A few months later as I was fumigating everything in the apartment trying to figure out what that horrendous smell was (apparantly I was the only one who could smell it.) I found the starter again. Let's just say it didn't die a pretty death.

This recipe is for people like me that like the tangy taste of sourdough but don't have a sourdough starter. It uses yogurt as a cheater method to get some of that same great tanginess into a regular yeast bread. It is fast (excluding the rising times) and makes a nice, chewy bread with a light sourdough-like flavor. The recipe suggests spritzing the loaf with water throughout baking to encourage a nice, crispy crust, but if you were lucky enough to have received a large cast iron pan for your wedding from a good friend, feel free to use that to cook your loaf. Directions for both methods are written in the recipe. 

If you like sourdough, I highly encourage you to make this bread. It's one of my favorite things to come out of my kitchen for a long time. My husband ate it for lunch and dinner the first time I gave it a try. (Of course, that also might show you how bread-deprived the poor guy is.) And if you do make it, feel free to lie and tell people that it is real sourdough.

Unless, of course, you are a better person than me.

Mock Sourdough Bread


  • 2 cups plain yogurt (I've never tried Greek yogurt in this recipe. If you do, you will likely have to add more water or reduce the amount of flour you use.)
  • 1 T yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 T oil
  • 4 - 5 cups flour, divided


  1. Heat yogurt just to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in yogurt, honey, salt, oil and 2 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Gradually remaining flour just to make a smooth dough.
  2. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. (If using a heavy duty mixer, let dough knead for 7 minutes.)
  3. Place dough in a greased bowl; turn once and leave greased side up. Cover and let rise until double, about 1.5 hours. Punch down. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions or form one large round loaf on a greased baking sheet. Let rise, covered, for 30 minutes. (If using a cast iron pot to cook your loaf, place dough to rise on a greased sheet of parchment paper set in a pie pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 450 with cast iron pan inside.)
  4. For non-cast iron method: Heat oven to 375. Brush loaf (or loaves) with cold water and bake until it sounds hollow when tapped, about 30-35 minutes for small loaves or 45-50 minutes for one large loaf. Brush or mist with water every 10 minutes to get a crisp crust. Cool on a wire rack.
  5. For cast iron method: Once cast iron pot has heated for 40 minutes in the hot oven and the loaf has risen, carefully remove the pot from the oven (using pot holders!) and gently place the dough inside using the parchment paper as a sling. Cover the pot and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and let the loaf cook another 10-15 minutes or until browned. Remove pot from oven, carefully removed bread and allow it to cool on a wire rack.
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 50 min Ready in: 3 hours Yield: 1 large loaf

Recipe Source: 101 Things to Do With Yogurt

48 Click For Comments:

Finally, an answer to my sourdough needs! I cannot get into the sourdough starter thing either, I just get lazy about it. I need to try this recipe asap, I love sourdough!

my mom has been keeping a sour dough starter alive for 15 years! Can you believe it!? She makes *the best* sourdough bread. I asked her for some starter and then promptly put it back in the fridge and forgot about it. It's still there. So, yeah, I'm like you. :)

I can't wait to try this! Trying to bake sourdough bread was my worst baking disaster, and I've never tried it again.

Shortcut?  I'm always up for a shortcut. :)  Looks great!

What a great idea. I purposefully haven't made sourdough yet because it seems way to complicated and time-consuming. This looks like a great "fake" ;)

I absolutely LOVE sourdough...but am WAY too lazy to keep a starter going...so this is the recipe for me!!!! So glad you found it and shared it!

Well, you've at least gotten farther than me. I'm too intimidated to even trying baking real sourdough bread. Hope this "fake" recipe works for you!

You mom is amazing! That's so cool that she's kept a starter going that long. I bet her bread is amazing.

Glad I'm not the only one! Hope this works for you.

It's even better when your awesome old roommate gives you a sweet cast iron pan to cook it in. :)

I am ALL ABOUT cheater sourdough! Have always wanted to make it but didnt want to deal with the starter...now I won't have to ! :)

omg can't wait to try this. i've never been dedicated enough to try my own sourdough bread.

Gorgeous photo, can't wait to try this!

I need this cheater yoghurt recipe too.. I'm a horrible person....

Oh wow!  I can't wait to try this!   I have never had the patience to deal with making a stater either.  Sourdough is prob my very fav kind of bread....and I DO have a cast iron dutch oven too! 

I tried this last night, but I think my yogurt was too watery... I added over the 5 cups and still didn't get the right dough.  It still baked into bread... just very flat bread!!

How many quarts is your cast iron pot? I definitely want to get a dutch oven soon (so many good no-knead recipes out there but no cast iron pot to bake them in!!!) Not sure if I should go big or not, I have my eyes on either a 6qt or 7.5 qt.

Oh no! I'm so sorry it turned out very flat. It definitely is a more moist dough than others that I've made, but it should have still held into a ball. I always use a no-fat Dannon plain yogurt because that's what we tend to eat at our house, if you wanted to try that. I usually don't even add the full 5 cups of flour, so I'm thinking the yogurt must have been the culprit. So sorry to hear!

I have a 6.5 qt pot, and I really like the size of it for bread and for soups. Bigger than that might be almost too heavy to lift. :)

One of my best friends is excellent at bread--even without starters! I am too scared to try and make my own, but I'd love to ease into it someday. Until then, quickbreads for me! This might be right up my alley! :)

Great idea using the yogurt. I bet it would work with using the kefir I make. I have had the sourdough starter in my fridge before and finally threw it out. I got tired of storing it. Thanks for your insights.  

I bet kefir would work great. That's a smart idea!

That's why I refuse to even take one when people offer them. I know it would just not be good for my psyche to kill them.

I'm sure you will be one of those amazing sourdough bakers that makes all kinds of great bread and sweet rolls since you're pretty amazing with everything else. My sister took a class at King Arthur flour on sourdough recently and she was telling me all these cool things you can do with it. I'm excited to see what you make.

Its really a fantastic idea.You have done a great job by sharing this informative post with us.I would like to read your more updates.Keep sharing with us in future too.

Excellent post.sounds unusual and looks very yummy.Thanks for sharing this post with us.I am looking forward to try this recipe.Keep in touch with us.

Love Sour Dough and I am very cautious with bread- but you make it look easy!

recipe is for that people who like the tangy taste of sourdough but don't
have a sourdough starter.I am very impressed impress to this post.Thanks to
share this blog with  us.Keep sharing.

OMG this is great. Sourdough starters scare me, so I'd much rather do this method. Thanks!

I have been on quite the bread kick lately, when I came across your recipe I had to give it a try. Amazing - Check out the results @ 
http://mommaboyers.blogspot.com/2012/01/mock-sourdough.html. Thanks

I have one of the really cool Zojirushi bread makers. Have you ever tried this recipe with a bread maker? I love being able to throw everything in it in the morning and have fresh bread waiting when I get home. 

Ooh, lucky you! I don't have a bread maker so I haven't been able to try this recipe in one. If you do give it a try, let me know how it comes out.

HelloExcellent post about interior decorating i have ever read.Nice post and thanks for sharing.

Delicious!!! My husband was staioned in the Bay area and he is a sourdough bread expert and this bread didn't have a chance to get cool. I used the dutch oven method and it was perfect. Thanks.

I'm so happy to hear that! Thank you so much for letting me know you liked it.

Made this today with greek yogurt and an extra splash of water, and it turned out well, although the flavor was very mild, so I will probably experiment with adding a little more yogurt or buttermilk or vinegar to see if I can get a little more flavor in it. I also added 1/8 cup chopped fresh lavender, which was really nice, though I'll probably put in twice as much next time. Gave it a unique flair and an even more artisan look for our dinner party tonight.
Thanks for posting the recipe; I am too lazy and accident-prone to go to the hassle of acquiring and maintaining starter, so I was really happy to find a fake sourdough recipe!

Added 2 tsp vinegar... still need something more, will try 1 tbsp next time.
1/4 c. lavender was perfect amount. Great subtle fragrance and flavor.

Thank you for the great recipe, can't wait to try it.  This also looks like it would be low in fat, carbs, etc. Has anyone figured out what the calories, fat, carbs, etc would be per one slice?

This looks so easy and delicious... I really want to dip it into my Cauliflower-Parsnip Soup http://college.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/2011/09/one-pot-stop-cauliflower-parsnip-soup.html!

What a neat idea!  I actually just got a sourdough starter going over the weekend, we'll see how long I can manage to keep it alive :)  If all else fails, at least I have this recipe to try, it looks great!

I can't wait to try this! I've made two starters, and have managed to kill them both...

I love sourdough and I'm not patient enough to make sourdough either, so this recipe looks fantastic to me.  I will have to try this.  Thank you so much for sharing!!!

Yeah, see it's the thought of that horrendous death that keeps me from making my own starter. I do always have yogurt on hand though! So I'm thinking this recipe is definitely the sourdough for me!

Do you think I should add vinegar or not? I want it to have that sour taste, but not be overbearing.

From what I understand, the vinegar might help texture and rising, but doesn't add too much flavor. You could add a teaspoon or so and I don't think it would hurt the bread, and if it helps give more a sour taste then it's even better.

Thank you for this recipe, I can't wait to try it. However are the "T's" tablespoons or teaspoons?? Thanks, Heather.

T means tablespoon. Tsp means teaspoon. Hope you like it!

I was reading a lot recently on making a good pizza dough and everyone recommended using a good sourdough starter which I didn't have so I decided to add a little bit of Greek yogurt to my dough. While the dough was resting I started searching around to see if anyone else had tried it to see how it came out. Glad to see it worked out for you. I won't know until this weekend when I actually use the dough but I feel at least knowing it's something others have had success with :)

I tried this recipe, changing it in ways that fit my needs, and loved it. First, instead of using yogurt, I used the whey that drains out of my homemade yogurt when I "Greek" it (very easy to make yogurt in a crockpot). This is a great way to use up the whey. So, I used 1 and a half cups of whey, a quarter cup of vinegar, and 1 TBSP water (or more whey works). I used the same amount of salt and honey as above, but used 2 Tbsp oil. I used 3 cups of whole wheat flour and 1.5 cups of bread flour. Then, I loaded it all in my Zojirushi breadmaker on the standard loaf, used 2.25 tsp of yeast, and it made a wonderful 2 lb loaf. On my first attempts, I used some yogurt and some whey and it still worked fine, as long as the dough had enough liquid. If it is too dry, the loaf will come out dense.

What adjustments would you recommend if using 1-2 cups rye flour in place of the white?

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