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Soft and Sweet Sourdough Rich Dough Recipe

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If you are looking for a traditionally leavened, super soft, lightly sweet, rich dough recipe then this is your lucky day!

I’ve been messing around with this recipe for a few months and even before it was perfect it was sooooo good. The dough is easy to handle, ferments beautifully, and tastes incredible.

I chose the classic braided presentation for my photos but any shape will work well. This rich dough makes wonderful dinner rolls, sweet buns, filled pastries, and brioche.


Perfectly soft and tender sourdough with the right balance of sweetness. #starter #bread #sourdough #fermented #realfood #nourishing #wisetraditions #challah #braidedbread #sweetbuns #dinnerrolls #sweetbread #richdough #brioche


What is a Rich Dough?

Rich dough is short for a dough that has been enriched. Enrichment is typically done by adding fats and sweeteners. Most often enriched dough or rich dough has whole eggs or egg yolks, butter, milk, and sugar added into the dough too make it soft and sweet. The addition of fats in rich dough also shortens gluten strands making the crumb more tender. Rich doughs are delicious and in this case made even better with healthy real-food fats and unrefined sugar.

Try this bread sliced thin, brushed with butter, and baked for the most delectable toast points you’ve ever had. Serve your toast points with a classic Chicken Liver Pâté or my famous Cranberry Apple Duck Liver Pâté.


Perfectly toasted toast points made from this Rich Dough Sourdough Bread


Of course my favorite way to eat this bread is sliced and slathered with pastured butter!


A braided sourdough Challah sliced and slathered with butter.


Perfectly soft and tender sourdough with the right balance of sweetness. #starter #bread #sourdough #fermented #realfood #nourishing #wisetraditions #challah #braidedbread #sweetbuns #dinnerrolls #sweetbread #richdough #brioche

Soft and Sweet Sourdough Rich Dough

Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 40 minutes

The perfect multipurpose rich dough for Challah, rolls, buns, pastry, brioche, and more!


Egg Wash


The Night Before

  1. Whisk the starter, cooled melted butter, egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk until throughly combined.
  2. Add the milk and whisk again.
  3. Using a dough whisk, stir the flour into the liquid in two additions until fully combined.
  4. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes before doing a series of 3-5 stretch and folds with wet hands or a dough whisk.
  5. Repeat the resting and S&F process up to 5 more times.
  6. Cover the bowl and leave it in a cool place overnight. If your house is very warm you will let it double before refrigerating it for the remainder of the time.

The Next Morning

  1. Do a stretch and fold of the dough in the bowl to deflate it.
  2. Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out on it.
  3. Divide the dough and shape it into your desired shape.
  4. Move your dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Let the dough double.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350°.
  7. Mix the egg yolk and water to make an egg wash. Brush it lightly over the dough covering all exposed areas.
  8. Bake for 25-35 minutes depending on the size of the breads.



This rich sourdough makes a loaf of Challah so very soft and perfect for toasting and serving with Pâté. #starter #bread #sourdough #fermented #realfood #nourishing #wisetraditions #challah #braidedbread #sweetbuns #dinnerrolls #sweetbread #richdough #brioche



This big bowl of sticky Caramel Corn is made with the classic combination of Maple and Bacon! #realfood #popcorn #coconutoil #bacon #maple #caramel #sweetandsalty #sweetandsavory #baconforlife #healthyfats #moviesnacks
Maple Bacon Caramel Corn - Made with Organic Pastured Bacon and Real Maple Syrup
Summer peppers get the royal treatment when they are stuffed with a combination of sweet ricotta cheese, melty mozzarella, and spicy herby tomato sauce and baked to tender creamy perfection! #summer #sidedish #bellpeppers #cheese #realfood #sheetpan #lowcarb #keto
Ricotta, Mozzarella and Herbed Tomato Sauce Stuffed Bell Peppers - Low-Carb and Keto Friendly


Monday 3rd of August 2020


Another question. If you make this into two loaves, how long do you think they should cook for?

Thank you!


Friday 16th of October 2020

@Butter For All,

I did make them and actually a couple different ways (braided, in loaf pans). I’m finding that it usually take about 35 or so minutes in my oven but I usually test with an internal thermometer. Love the recipe! It’s my kids go to for sandwich bread or even a snack!

Butter For All

Thursday 15th of October 2020

Hey Carly!

I'm so sorry I missed these comments. Once I've approved comments from someone they can post again and it don't get notified. Trying to figure out why now.

Anyway, I would go for 30 min for two loaves. If you've already made them, let me know how it went!



Monday 3rd of August 2020


How long would you say the second rise is? I know it needs to double but just trying to figure out my timing :)

Butter For All

Thursday 15th of October 2020

Hey again!

It just depends on you starter and environment, but I would say 2-6 hours for a healthy active starter. Hope that's helpful, I know it's not precise.



Tuesday 12th of May 2020

Hi, I’ve tried this recipe twice and failed! My dough after refrigeration overnight deflated and never rose back up after shaping and with the 2nd rise process. ?. Both times the dough almost melted and became very flat. I baked it anyways and although it tastes ok, it was very dense and chewy. Anyway to troubleshoot this? My starter was very active and bubbly... For the 1st rise I let it rise in my instant pot and it doubled and it looked very promising. But once I took it out of the fridge after it was in there overnight it deflated and was very dense. For the 2nd rise, I placed it in a warm oven with a pot of boiling water... and it just flattened more and looked melted. Any tips? Thanks!

Butter For All

Wednesday 13th of May 2020

Hi Melissa,

Darn it. How old is your starter? To me it sounds like a bacteria yeast imbalance. Check the troubleshooting section of this guideDemystifying Sourdough – Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Sourdough Starter – Why It’s Better For You – And How To Start One. I think it is possible that you are using too much heat as well. All my recipes are written to have a long slow proof at room temp. Around 65-70℉. This recipe is also tricky because the sweet potato might have more of less hydration than mine does. So as with all SD recipes you may have to adjust flour during the initial mixing to get the right consistency. This is where intuition comes in. If you want to send pictures to me for review, I can take a look.

Hope we can get it figured out!



Saturday 2nd of May 2020

What about creating a tangzhou to help this last longer than a day or two? Have you tried that? I love the simplicity of your recipes. It's been great to help me in my sourdough journey these last 6 months or so.

Butter For All

Sunday 3rd of May 2020

Hi Dan!

I've never had an issue with this bread dying out, but you could certainly try it! I'd love to hear if it was successful! I do use a similar technique with rye, and I have a recipe for that coming soon. Hope you have success in any case and enjoy all the recipes!

Thanks for the great feedback!



Thursday 30th of April 2020

Question, I tried making this recipe. I used AP flour (can't get bread flour right now) and used 1 cup whole wheat flour. I substituted honey and sugar for the coconut sugar but the rest was exactly as written. The dough did not raise at all, the overnight rise was about 12 hours, nothing. I just carried on and the second rise, nothing. My starter is active, bubbles beautifully, wonderful sour smell. Do you use the starter when active or non active? I fed my starter and when doubled that's when I pulled the 1/2 cup, stirred down.

Any suggestions? My place is a little cool (approximately 75°f). Haven't had an issue with other recipes though.

Butter For All

Sunday 3rd of May 2020

Hi Jenny,

Gosh, it's hard to say what happened there. It is possible for honey to affect fermentation, but usually not with an established starter. How old is your starter? What didi you do with the dough? Is it in the fridge? Did you bake?

Hope I can help,