Hot Honey Sourdough Bread Recipe

Hot honey and sourdough were made for each other. Crusty sourdough bread meets the sweet, savory spiciness of the hot honey in a place of perfect harmony. Leah Maroney has been making sourdough for friends and family for years, and her foolproof method makes sourdough bread making accessible for anyone. 

"Incorporating inclusions like hot honey is simple to do, especially when you already have experience in sourdough making. But, make sure you use gloves when you are incorporating hot honey! The spiciness is no joke, so protect your hands," says Maroney. Once the bread bakes, it provides more of a subtle, sweet heat. 

This is the perfect bread to enjoy on its own with homemade butter. But, it also complements a pot roast, beef stew, or even chicken and dumplings extremely well. Anything savory and saucy that can use a touch of sweet heat will be the perfect pairing for this bread.

Gather your ingredients for hot honey sourdough

Making sourdough can be a complicated process to learn, but the ingredients are so, so simple. It all starts with an active sourdough starter that has been fed and doubled in size. If you don't have sourdough starter, you can learn how to make your own sourdough starter or you can use the active dry yeast instructions we've outlined at the bottom of the recipe. Then, you'll add the starter to warm water, which is then incorporated into bread flour. You can use all-purpose flour, but bread flour works much better as it has a higher gluten content. If you are using all-purpose flour, King Arthur is the best choice for its versatility. 

While the dough is resting, prepare the hot honey by combining honey with crushed red pepper flakes and diced cherry peppers. You can use pickled or fresh cherry peppers for this recipe — both are delicious options that work well in the bread. The last ingredient is salt! Once it is all incorporated and baked, you can serve it with an extra drizzle of hot honey for a sweet and spicy punch. 

Step 1: Add the starter to water

Add the sourdough starter to the warm water and whisk to combine.

Step 2: Add the flour

Add the water mixture to the bread flour and stir with a dough whisk until the flour is moistened.

Step 3: Cover and rest

Cover the dough and set aside for 20 minutes.

Step 4: Pull the dough

Pull the dough in an upward motion, then rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat the pull, completing 4 turns. Set aside to rest for 20 more minutes.

Step 5: Prepare the hot honey

Add the honey to a small saucepan with the red pepper flakes and diced cherry peppers.

Step 6: Heat the hot honey

Heat on low heat for 2 minutes. Set the hot honey aside to cool.

Step 7: Repeat the pulls and turns

After the dough has rested for 20 minutes, repeat the turn-and-pull maneuver. Continue in 20-minute intervals until you have completed a total of 4 pull-and-turn cycles over the course of 80 minutes. Let rest for 20 minutes after the final pull-and-turn.

Step 8: Add the hot honey and salt

After resting, Add the cooled hot honey and salt. Pull from the center of the dough and turn 4 times, repeating the pulling with each turn.

Step 9: Cover

Cover the dough and let it ferment for 4–6 hours.

Step 10: Form the dough

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a bench scraper, form the dough into a round. Let it rest on the counter for 20 minutes.

Step 11: Fold the dough

Turn the dough over and fold the sides into the center like an envelope, then roll into a loaf shape.

Step 12: Place in a towel-lined basket

Place the dough in a towel-lined basket that's been dusted with flour, then pinch the sides closed in the center. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

Step 13: Preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to 450 F and place a large, lidded Dutch oven inside.

Step 14: Flip the bread onto parchment

Flip the bread out of the basket and onto a piece of parchment paper.

Step 15: Score the bread

Score the top of the bread.

Step 16: Bake covered

Remove the Dutch oven from the oven, place the bread inside, and cover with the lid. Bake for 20 minutes.

Step 17: Bake uncovered

Remove the lid and continue baking for another 20 minutes.

Step 18: Slice and serve

Allow the bread to cool, then slice and serve.

Can I make hot honey bread with instant yeast?

This bread can be made with instant yeast; however, the process is much different and the prep time is far shorter. First, replace the sourdough starter with 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast. Combine the dry yeast with the warm water and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to bloom. Mix the water and yeast mixture into the bread flour until a sticky dough forms. Add the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer and knead with the dough hook attachment until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Cover and let the dough rest while you prepare and cool the hot honey.

Add the hot honey and salt to the bread dough and knead again with the dough hook until it is incorporated. Cover and let the dough rise for 2 hours, or until doubled in size. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and use a bench scraper to form it into a smooth ball. Then, cover the dough and let it rise for another 20 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat the oven with the Dutch oven inside while the dough is rising. Carefully transfer the bread to parchment paper, score the top, and bake in the covered Dutch oven for 20 minutes and uncovered for another 20 minutes. Allow to cool, and then slice and serve!

What are the special tools I need to make sourdough?

Making sourdough requires a unique set of tools that will help guide you to a successful loaf. Some of the tools can be improvised using items you already have around the house. You will need some kind of whisk to incorporate the water, starter, and flour. Maroney recommends a dough whisk, which can be easily found online. It's much easier to remove the dough remnants from this type of whisk, making clean up much simpler. However, you can use a regular whisk that you already have in your drawer. 

A bread basket and towel are needed to aid in the dough shaping. If you don't have a fancy bread basket and liner, don't worry. You can simply use a mixing bowl and any lightweight, clean tea towel. Next, you'll need a lame to score the bread. A sharp razor is necessary for bread scoring. However there are a few lame alternatives that you can use for bread scoring, such as sharp kitchen scissors, or a paring knife. However, Maroney believes the best option is a razor, so if you're going to invest in a new tool ... this is the one!

Hot Honey Sourdough Bread Recipe
4.9 from 18 ratings
This recipe offers both a foolproof guide to baking perfect sourdough and an intro to adding unique flavors to your loaf, as with the hot honey used here.
Prep Time
14
hours
Cook Time
40
minutes
Servings
12
slices
hot honey sourdough with hot honey dipping sauce
Total time: 14 hours, 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons active sourdough starter
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • ⅓ cup diced hot cherry peppers
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Directions
  1. Add the sourdough starter to the warm water and whisk to combine.
  2. Add the water mixture to the bread flour and stir with a dough whisk until the flour is moistened.
  3. Cover the dough and set aside for 20 minutes.
  4. Pull the dough in an upward motion, then rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat the pull, completing 4 turns. Set aside to rest for 20 more minutes.
  5. Add the honey to a small saucepan with the red pepper flakes and diced cherry peppers.
  6. Heat on low heat for 2 minutes. Set the hot honey aside to cool.
  7. After the dough has rested for 20 minutes, repeat the turn-and-pull maneuver. Continue in 20-minute intervals until you have completed a total of 4 pull-and-turn cycles over the course of 80 minutes. Let rest for 20 minutes after the final pull-and-turn.
  8. After resting, Add the cooled hot honey and salt. Pull from the center of the dough and turn 4 times, repeating the pulling with each turn.
  9. Cover the dough and let it ferment for 4–6 hours.
  10. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a bench scraper, form the dough into a round. Let it rest on the counter for 20 minutes.
  11. Turn the dough over and fold the sides into the center like an envelope, then roll into a loaf shape.
  12. Place the dough in a towel-lined basket that's been dusted with flour, then pinch the sides closed in the center. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  13. Preheat the oven to 450 F and place a large, lidded Dutch oven inside.
  14. Flip the bread out of the basket and onto a piece of parchment paper.
  15. Score the top of the bread.
  16. Remove the Dutch oven from the oven, place the bread inside, and cover with the lid. Bake for 20 minutes.
  17. Remove the lid and continue baking for another 20 minutes.
  18. Allow the bread to cool, then slice and serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 189
Total Fat 0.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 39.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.3 g
Total Sugars 6.2 g
Sodium 205.1 mg
Protein 5.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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