My Sourdough Summer Baking Tips (for hot + humid weather)

I’m sharing my sourdough summer baking tips because we all know baking sourdough bread during the summer can be a struggle. With these tips, you’ll be able to bake with your starter with ease, even on the hottest days of the year. Last year, I ran into some issues that helped me learn what not to do, so I want to share them with you. 

bowl of dough being mixed on a pinterest graphic
Source: Plum Branch Home

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Reasons Sourdough Summer Baking is More Difficult

  • #1: The increased temperatures make the fermentation process speed up.
  • Dough can easily overproof during bulk fermentation.
  • There’s more humidity in the air, causing more moisture in the dough.

My Top 4 Tips for Baking Sourdough Bread in Summer

Tip 1 – Bulk Ferment a Few Hours Less

Instead of bulk fermenting bread dough for 10–12 hours, try 8–10. The dough has completed its bulk fermentation when it’s doubled in size, looks puffy from the gas bubbles, and has a curved, dome-like look to the edges. If it needs more time, check it every hour after 8.

Tip 2 – Use Cold Water

If your house is 72 degrees or warmer, you can use cold, filtered water in your bread dough to reduce the speed of the fermentation. Again, just check your dough around 6–8 hours into the bulk fermentation to see if it’s ready or needs more time. 

Tip 3 – Reduce the Amount of Starter in Your Dough

To slow down the fermentation of the dough, you can slightly reduce the amount of starter in you use. Instead of 1/2 cup, you can use 1/3 cup. This will slow down the process due to less active cultures working on the fermentation process. 

Tip 4 – Use More Liquid in Recipes

Sometimes, during the hot summer months, dough can be a bit dry when making recipes. Just add in 1-3 tablespoons more liquid if the dough isn’t coming together. 

How to Bake Sourdough Bread in Summer FAQ

Why is it so hard to bake sourdough bread during summer?

The increased temperature is what makes sourdough baking in the summer a bit more challenging than in the winter.

Why does the humidity affect sourdough bread baking?

Humidity can make your bread loaves more moist with a lighter crust after they’re baked. These are both good things. The humidity can also make your dough a little harder to shape due to the moisture level. Just follow my tips above to help with this!

How to tell if dough is over proofed?

The easiest way to tell if the dough is overproofed is when the dough is turned out on the counter and turns into a puddle. It’ll look glossy and almost wet-like. The dough will be very sticky and will lack elasticity. 

How to not overproof sourdough bread dough during summer?

After your dough gets to the 6–8-hour mark of its bulk fermentation, I recommend checking on it frequently to ensure it doesn’t overproof. It’s done when the dough has doubled in size, looks puffy, and has a dome-like shape around the edges. 

Why is my bread dough stickier in the summer?

The dough becomes stickier when it overproofs. When you make it next, just give it a few fewer hours to bulk ferment. For example, instead of 12 hours, try 10. 

Why does my dough overproof in the summer?

Sourdough bread dough easily overproofs during the summer due to the increased temperature in your house. The dough ferments faster when temperatures rise. Just let it ferment for a few hours less next time.

Sourdough Recipes to Bake During Summer

sourdough starter on a pinterest graphic
Source: Plum Branch Home

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12 Comments

  1. I can’t wait to use these tips! I am new at sourdough and I have started to notice a difference with the changing weather so I know these tips will come in handy!

  2. This is super helpful for baking in the southeast. Thank you!

  3. I’m new to sourdough and this is very helpful, thank you!

  4. These are so helpful! I’ve been babying my starter this week because it’s being so difficult with the heat and humidity!

    1. I’m so glad you found my tips helpful! I’ve been doing the same thing, it’s crazy what this hot humid weather can do to sourdough!

  5. Ooo do you have one of these for cold weather too? Or for someone whose husband keeps the house at 60 degrees. lol.