Easy recipe for no knead sourdough bread - FoodLifeAndMoney (2024)

Home » Recipes » No Knead Sourdough Bread Recipe

by FoodLifeAndMoney

5 from 2 votes

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The first documented recipe for sourdough bread dates back to 2300-2400 B.C. in Egypt. However, humans began making bread more than 10,000 years ago with the advent of agriculture. Wheat, as we know it, is very different from the wild distant relative of wheat that began to be domesticated and consumed at the time. First breads that were baked were probably unleavened, or flat breads. But humans soon discovered how to use wild yeast to bake delicious leavened breads.

Easy recipe for no knead sourdough bread - FoodLifeAndMoney (1)

A brief history of bread-making

Greeks learned the art of bread making from Egyptians and then passed it on to Romans, who introduced a lot of innovation to the technique. Bread making relies on a process called fermentation. In this process, micro-organisms, such as yeasts or bacteria, utilize energy from carbohydrates and water to release carbon dioxide and alcohol. Carbon dioxide when trapped in the gluten-structure of the dough helps the dough rise and gives bread a spring-like texture. The micro-organisms exist around us naturally and take some time to build. If we mix flour and water and let the mixture sit, these organisms will naturally develop in the dough. The process may take a few days. Before commercial yeast was first developed by America around World War II to be able to quickly bake bread for soldiers, bread was baked using naturally occurring yeasts and was a time consuming process.

Easy recipe for no knead sourdough bread - FoodLifeAndMoney (2)

So, let’s take a look at how we can use this ancient process to bake bread without commercial yeast, with only 2 ingredients. We are going to use flour, water and salt. You can choose to use a store-bought starter or make your own. However, it is very easy to make your own sourdough starter. Learn how to make an easy sourdough starter from scratch, using only flour and water.

Getting sourdough starter ready for bread baking

If you have successfully made a starter, you can use it directly in the bread recipe. If you have some sourdough starter in the refrigerator, here is how to proceed.

  • Bring your sourdough starter to room temperature.
  • Take 1/4th cup of sourdough starter in a clean jar.
  • Mix in 1/4th cup warm water and 1/4th cup bread flour or all purpose flour.
  • Cover with a loose lid or a plate and let it sit in a warm place for 12 hours.
  • Once the starter doubles in volume and you see lot of bubbles on the side, your starter should be ready for baking.
  • You will only need 1/3rd cup starter for the recipe and the rest can be refrigerated for future recipes.
  • To confirm that your starter is ready, scoop a spoonful of starter gently on top of water in a bowl. If the starter floats, it means that the starter has enough micro-organisms and is ready to bake into bread.
Easy recipe for no knead sourdough bread - FoodLifeAndMoney (3)

Measuring ingredients

We have included volume measurements (cup, teaspoons, etc.) in the recipe. However, we highly recommend that you use a kitchen scale. We use one by Etekcity and it is not very expensive. We have provided volume measurements as a last resort if you can’t obtain a kitchen scale. However, for bread baking, volumes are not very reliable. The weight of your ingredients will change based on how tightly you pack them in the measuring cups. This is especially true for flour.

Detailed recipe for making your no-knead sourdough

  1. Mixing the dough
    1. Take 100 grams or 1/3rd cup sourdough starter in a mixing bowl.
    2. Add 300 grams or 1+ 1/3rd cups of warm water and mix well.
    3. Stir in 10 grams or 1+1/2 tsp of salt and mix.
    4. Add 500 grams (or 3.5 cups) of bread flour or all purpose flour. Please use a kitchen scale and not cups. We can’t stress this enough. Use a cup only as a last resort.
    5. Mix together. There is no need to knead into a dough. Use hands to get all the ingredients together into a shaggy mass.
  2. Bulk fermentation
    1. Cover the mixed dough with a plastic film or a plate.
    2. Set the bowl aside for 8 hours in a warm place.
  3. Shaping the dough
    1. If your starter was potent, your dough will have risen.
    2. Use a finger to poke the dough. If the dough regains its shape slowly, it is ready to be baked into bread.
    3. Gently transfer the dough to a floured working surface. We use a marble pastry board. Make sure you don’t deflate the dough.
    4. Gently pull on all sides and fold onto the top of the dough to for a round shape.
    5. Flip the dough ball so that the smooth surface is on top.
    6. Using your hands, gently push and pull the sides to form a boule. See the embedded video for clearer instructions. A bench scraper may come handy for this.
  4. Proofing the boule
    1. You can use a banneton or proofing basket for the final proof. We use a simple wooden bowl lined with a cheesecloth for the final proof.
    2. Remember to use generous amount of flour to sprinkle your banneton or kitchen towel or cheesecloth.
    3. Gently transfer the dough, smooth side down into the cloth lined bowl. Pat a little flour on top.
    4. Cover with a cling-film and set aside for 3 hours in a warm place for the final proof.
    5. After three hours, poke the dough gently with a finger. If the dough regains shape slowly, your dough is ready to bake.
  5. Scoring the dough
    1. Turn the bowl onto a parchment paper. Sprinkle generous amount of flour on top and spread it with your hands.
    2. Use a blade or lam or even a sharp knife to gently cut the top of the dough (see video). Use only the tip of the blade or knife to make the cut.
    3. Scoring is important to allow some room for bread to expand during baking. This is called oven spring. If scoring is not done, the bread will probably split from the side and not look very good. It will still taste delicious though.
  6. Baking the bread
    1. Preheat your oven to 450° F or 232° C. You can start the oven about 2 and a half hours into your final proof. The preheating time varies with the make of your oven.
    2. Transfer the boule to dutch oven and close the lid. The dutch oven will help contain steam while baking.
    3. If you don’t have a dutch oven, you can transfer the boule to a pizza stone or a regular baking sheet or baking dish. If not using a dutch oven, place a large oven proof bowl filled with water next to your dough in the oven. This is to generate steam and mimic what can be achieved through a dutch oven.
    4. Bake for 20 minutes with lid closed.
    5. After 20 minutes, open the open door and remove the dutch oven lid to let steam escape. But be very careful as the lid will be very hot.
    6. Turn down the temperature to 410° F or 210° C. Close the oven door and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes.
    7. Take the dutch oven out from the oven and cool the bread on a cooling rack.
    8. If you tap on the bread crust, you should be able to hear a hollow sound. The crust will be crisp and golden.
    9. Cool the bread for 1-2 hours before slicing.
    10. Enjoy fresh sourdough bread with butter or soup. We love fresh guacamole with our bread.

List of tools

These tools come very handy if you are looking to bake bread regularly. We are providing affiliate links to some of our favorites. These are not necessary but are quite useful. The dutch oven is great. You can use it for making a variety of recipes. The best part is that the lid can also be used as a skillet.

Try our super easy no-knead recipe for sourdough bread and let us know how it turned out. We want to hear your experience. Also, do let us know if you have any questions.

Happy Baking!

No-knead sourdough Bread

5 from 2 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Course Bread

Servings 8

Ingredients

Preparing the Starter

  • ¼ cup sourdough starter
  • ¼ cup bread flour or all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup warm water

For the bread

  • 100 g sourdough starter
  • 300 g warm water
  • 10 g salt
  • 500 g bread flour or all purpose flour

Instructions

Getting sourdough starter ready for bread baking

  • If you have successfully made a starter, you can use it directly in the bread recipe. If you have some sourdough starter in the refrigerator, here is how to proceed.

  • Bring your sourdough starter to room temperature.

  • Take 1/4th cup of sourdough starter in a clean jar.

  • Mix in 1/4th cup warm water and 1/4th cup bread flour or all purpose flour.

  • Cover with a loose lid or a plate and let it sit in a warm place for 12 hours.

  • Once the starter doubles in volume and you see lot of bubbles on the side, your starter should be ready for baking.

  • You will only need 1/3rd cup starter for the recipe and the rest can be refrigerated for future recipes.

  • To confirm that your starter is ready, scoop a spoonful of starter gently on top of water in a bowl. If the starter floats, it means that the starter has enough micro-organisms and is ready to bake into bread.

Making the dough

  • Take 100 grams or 1/3rd cupsourdough starterin a mixing bowl.

  • Add 300 grams or 1+ 1/3rd cups of warm water and mix well.

  • Stir in 10 grams or 1+1/2 tsp of salt and mix.

  • Add 500 grams (or 3.5 cups) of bread flour or all purpose flour. Please use a kitchen scale and not cups. We can’t stress this enough. Use a cup only as a last resort.

  • Mix together. There is no need to knead into a dough. Use hands to get all the ingredients together into a shaggy mass.

Bulk fermentation

  • Cover the mixed dough with a plastic film or a plate.

  • Set the bowl aside for 8 hours in a warm place.

Shaping the dough

  • If your starter was potent, your dough will have risen.

  • Use a finger to poke the dough. If the dough regains its shape slowly, it is ready to be baked into bread.

  • Gently transfer the dough to a floured working surface. We use a marble pastry board. Make sure you don’t deflate the dough.

  • Gently pull on all sides and fold onto the top of the dough to form a round shape.

  • Flip the dough ball so that the smooth surface is on top.

  • Using your hands, gently push and pull the sides to form a boule. See the embedded video for clearer instructions. Abench scrapermay come handy for this.

Proofing the boule

  • You can use a banneton or proofing basket for the final proof. We use a simple wooden bowl lined with a cheesecloth for the final proof.

  • Remember to use generous amount of flour to sprinkle your banneton or kitchen towel or cheesecloth.

  • Gently transfer the dough, smooth side down into the cloth lined bowl. Pat a little flour on top.

  • Cover with a cling-film and set aside for 3 hours in a warm place for the final proof.

  • After three hours, poke the dough gently with a finger. If the dough regains shape slowly, your dough is ready to bake.

Scoring the dough

  • Turn the bowl onto a parchment paper. Sprinkle generous amount of flour on top and spread it with your hands.

  • Use a blade or lame or even a sharp knife to gently cut the top of the dough (see video). Use only the tip of the blade or knife to make the cut.

  • Scoring is important to allow some room for bread to expand during baking. This is called oven spring. If scoring is not done, the bread will probably split from the side and not look very good. It will still taste delicious though.

Baking the bread

  • Preheat your oven to 450° F or 232° C. You can start the oven about 2 and a half hours into your final proof. The preheating time varies with the make of your oven.

  • Transfer the boule todutch ovenand close the lid. The dutch oven will help contain steam while baking.

  • If you don’t have a dutch oven, you can transfer the boule to a pizza stone or a regular baking sheet or baking dish. If not using a dutch oven, place a large oven proof bowl filled with water next to your dough in the oven. This is to generate steam and mimic what can be achieved through a dutch oven.

  • Bake for 20 minutes with lid closed.

  • After 20 minutes, open the open door and remove the dutch oven lid to let steam escape. But be very careful as the lid will be very hot.

  • Turn down the temperature to 410° F or 210° C. Close the oven door and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes.

  • Take the dutch oven out from the oven and cool the bread on a cooling rack.

  • If you tap on the bread crust, you should be able to hear a hollow sound. The crust will be crisp and golden.

  • Cool the bread for 1-2 hours before slicing.

  • Enjoy fresh sourdough bread with butter or soup. We love fresh guacamole with our bread.

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that the nutrition information provided below is approximate and meant as a guideline only. Actual numbers may be different from those provided below. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


By FoodLifeAndMoney in May, 2020

Easy recipe for no knead sourdough bread - FoodLifeAndMoney (5)

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Easy recipe for no knead sourdough bread - FoodLifeAndMoney (2024)

FAQs

What is the secret to sourdough bread? ›

The secret to sourdough is simple: water. The more water you add to your dough will affect how open the crumb (bigger holes and softer texture) will be once it's baked.

What happens if you don't put salt in sourdough bread? ›

Without salt, your dough will rise faster than it normally would, leading to less flavor development and a weaker structure. To incorporate the salt, mix it with a few teaspoons of water. Return your dough to the mixer, tear it into three to six pieces, and drizzle the liquid on top.

What can I bake my sourdough bread in if I don t have a Dutch oven? ›

Any sourdough recipe can be baked in a loaf pan! Using a sandwich loaf tin is a great option for baking sourdough bread. It creates a uniform loaf of bread that's perfect for sandwiches and doesn't require a Dutch oven! This recipe fits into a 9 by 4-inch Pullman pan.

Why do you add milk to sourdough bread? ›

Milk will give sourdough bread a softer crust that can darken very quickly due to the caramelising lactose sugars. Adding milk to sourdough bread introduces fats (lipids) and sugars (lactose) to the mixture. Much like adding butter or oil, milk will give the sourdough a softer crust.

What is the best flour for sourdough bread? ›

Whole wheat flour is an excellent choice for creating a sourdough starter due to its nutrient-rich composition and potential for fostering a robust microbial community. However, it's important to note that the quality of whole wheat flour can vary between brands.

Why do you put vinegar in sourdough bread? ›

There are two main acids produced in a sourdough culture: lactic acid and acetic acid. Acetic acid, or vinegar, is the acid that gives sourdough much of its tang. Giving acetic acid-producing organisms optimal conditions to thrive and multiply will produce a more tangy finished product.

What salt is best for sourdough? ›

You could choose to use naturally dried sea salt, fine pink Himalayan salt or a flaked salt like Maldon Sea Salt Flakes. Maybe you could choose a salt that is local to you. This will enhance the local flavor of your sourdough, as well as help to reduce the food miles in your bread!

Can you put too much yeast in bread? ›

This can affect the bread by adding a "yeasty" taste if you put too much into the dough. General amounts of yeast are around 1 - 2 % of the flour, by weight. Too much yeast could cause the dough to go flat by releasing gas before the flour is ready to expand.

Why add salt later in sourdough? ›

Too much salt will kill yeast, and a large part of a sourdough starter is yeast. This has led to debates about when to add salt to the dough. Some people want to add it early to protect the caretenoids that give the flour its creamy color. Others want to add it late to keep the gluten from developing too quickly.

Can you bake sourdough on a cookie sheet? ›

If you don't own a Dutch oven, you can always bake the bread on a heavy baking sheet or pizza stone instead. Preheat it in the oven for 30 minutes before baking your bread. To create that steam, you'll need to preheat a metal rimmed baking pan under the baking sheet as well.

Can you bake sourdough in a Pyrex dish? ›

By baking the dough in the Pyrex dish there is no need to steam the oven. Baking with a lid on the Pyrex dish creates its own steam which will allow the dough to rise and open up while baking. The Pyrex is very similar to the old style of Dutch oven baking. The dough will need to be baked for 50 minutes.

Do you need parchment paper for sourdough in Dutch oven? ›

Good quality parchment paper is incredibly effective when it comes to baking sourdough bread. It allows you to transfer your proofed dough from the bench and into a hot Dutch Oven. Typically you would tip your sourdough out of your banneton and onto the parchment paper and then use that to transfer the dough.

Should I put sugar in my sourdough starter? ›

The yeast and bacteria in your sourdough starter actually feed off the sugar from the starches in the flour. They essentially don't need any extra food. In fact, while adding sugar to the dough may provide "fast food" for your sourdough yeast, this quick food source is unlikely to provide any protein.

Should I add sugar to sourdough bread? ›

The yeast will work just fine without the tablespoon or so of sugar. The other big reason to add sugar is simpler. It is to make the baked goods sweet.

Can I use sugar in my sourdough starter? ›

It is fine to change the food of your sourdough starter, keeping in mind that the yeast and bacteria microbes need starch/sugar. So something like almond flour (mostly fat) may weaken/kill it over time. Potato flakes and sugar should work well though.

What makes sourdough bread taste better? ›

The key taste compounds include salt, which is directly added to the dough, as well as acetic and lactic acid, produced during fermentation.

What makes sourdough taste better? ›

The sourdough starter is the real secret to getting a good fermentation going. Essentially your sourdough starter is old dough, which has already pre-fermented and contains Lactobacillus culture. Lactobacillus culture has a sour taste and is an active culture that lives off natural yeast spores from the air.

What makes sourdough bread better than other bread? ›

Sourdough relies on a mix of wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria, rather than baker's yeast, to leaven the dough. It's richer in nutrients, less likely to spike your blood sugar, contains lower amounts of gluten, and is generally easier to digest than bread made with baker's yeast.

Why add honey to sourdough bread recipe? ›

Honey: Honey adds a sweetness to this dough and helps balance any sour flavor that comes through from the fermentation process. If you are looking for whole wheat bread without the honey, try this recipe. Salt: Salt enhances the flavor and helps tempers the fermentation.

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