Air Fryer Sourdough Bread – did you know you can make a perfect sourdough loaf in your air fryer? It bakes in under 30 minutes and has a super-crisp crust and soft airy crumb! An easy and economical way to bake sourdough bread.
I love baking bread, especially sourdough. It is such a rewarding way to make bread and nothing beats the aroma of a freshly baked sourdough loaf.
The pure ASMR pleasure of a bread knife slicing through the crisp crust to reveal the fluffy interior… not to mention the incredible unique taste of sourdough has me hooked!
I usually bake my sourdough in a very hot oven – a lengthy process as the oven has to preheat for at least 30 minutes and then bake for another 45. So I wanted to try sourdough in my air fryer, just to see whether I could!
And YES you can bake perfect sourdough bread in your air fryer! It is much quicker that in the oven and certainly more energy efficient. Follow my air fryer sourdough bread recipe and prepare to be obsessed!
For your starter
▢ 60 g (¼ cup) mature starter room temperature
▢ 60 g (¼ cup) flour
▢ 60 g (¼ cup) tepid water (filtered, or boiled and cooled tap water)
For the sourdough
▢ 150 g active starter (most of the starter you prepared earlier)
▢ 300 g (1 ¼ cups) water (filtered, bottled or boiled and cooled tap water)
▢ 500 g (4 cups) white bread flour
▢ 1 tbsp sugar optional
▢ 12 g (2 tsp) sea salt (2 scant teaspoons)
▢ 1 tbsp cornmeal (polenta) for the pan
FEED THE STARTER
4 pm Feed a mature starter then leave for 4-6 hours, or until doubled in size, bubbly and floating in water (float test). Use the sourdough starter at its peak, before it starts to sink again (you will see “snail” trail on the sides of the jar when it starts to deflate).
PREPARE THE DOUGH
8 pm Combine the starter, water, half of the flour and sugar (if using) in a large mixing bowl. Use a dough whisk to stir until no dry streaks of flour remain. Cover and rest for 30 minutes or up to an hour.
8.30pm Stir in the rest of the flour and salt. The dough will be shaggy and dry. Use your hands to squeeze and sort of massage the dough, flipping it over, until all the flour has been incorporated. You aren’t kneading the dough, just making sure the ingredients are combined. Shape the dough into a bowl, drizzle a little oil over it and turn it over to grease on both sides. Cover the bowl and rest for 30 minutes.
9 pm Wet your hands (or use the dough whisk or a spatula) and do a series of stretch and folds. Grab the underside of the dough and fold over the top.
Rotate the bowl a quarter turn at a time and repeat until you have completed four sets of stretching and folding. Repeat two times at 30 minute intervals (9.30pm and 10 pm). The dough should be smoother and more elastic by now.
Overnight – Transfer the dough into a greased rectangular Pyrex container, cover and leave to rise at room temperature overnight (8-10 hours) or in the fridge (10-12 hours) if it is a warm night. The timing is variable as the ambient temperature, humidity, strength of the starter and other factors play into it.
DIVIDE, SHAPE AND PROOF
10 am Grease two 7 inch cake pans with oil or cooking spray. Sprinkle a little cornmeal on the bottom. Use wet hands or a scraper to divide the dough in half. Mist your worktop with water.
Gently stretch one portion into a rough rectangle. Fold the dough into three sections, like a letter (letter fold).
Rotate the dough and roll into a ball. Flip over, seam side down, and shape using your hands and a bench scraper into a small round loaf.
Keep turning on the countertop, shaping between your hands and slightly tucking under until the loaf is smooth. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
Transfer into the prepared cake pan. Cover and place it in the fridge to cold-proof overnight (10-18 hours) or in a cool place in the kitchen for 5-6 hours or until the loaf springs back slowly leaving a small dent when prodded gently with your finger. If it springs back really quickly you need to allow it to rise for a little longer.
BAKE THE SOURDOUGH
Preheat the Air Fryer at 400°F (200°C) for five minutes. Add a small ramekin of water in the fryer to create steam.
Lower the heat to 385°F (195°C) and remove the ramekin. Place the pan in the air fryer and bake for 14 minutes. You can score the loaf if you like but I found it did not make much of a difference.
Bake for a further 14 minutes (28-30 minutes total) or until the underside of the bread sounds hollow when tapped and the internal temperature is over 200°F (95°C) when checked with a thermometer.
Use tongs or a small silicone oven mitts to flip the loaf directly into the air fryer basket.
Cool the bread on a wire rack. Bake the second loaf in the same way but adjust the cooking time slightly. Since the air fryer will be hot, your loaf might bake in about 26-28 minutes.
Wait until the bread has cooled down before slicing. Store in a bread bag or slice the and freeze the entire loaf. You can toast the slices straight from frozen and it will keep for up to three months.
HOW TO TELL YOUR STARTER IS READY TO USE The started will be bubbly, active and will have doubled in the starter jar. Drop half a spoonful in a glass of water. If it floats then you are ready to bake.
WHAT CONTAINER IS BEST FOR MY STARTER? A glass jar with straight edges (I use these Weck jars) is ideal. Alternatively you can buy a sourdough starter jar kit which comes with a spatula and cloth cover plus thermometer and level bands.
PLEASE NOTE The cooking time will vary slightly based on the air fryer model. If your bread is browning too much on top then reduce the temperature by a few degrees.
ADDING TOPPINGS Wet the top of of the loaf with water and dip into a plate filled with oats (or seeds etc) to cover. Allow to rise as normal.
You can refresh a loaf of sourdough in the air fryer if it has lost its crispness. Air fry for a couple of minutes at 350°F (180°C).