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Beginner No Knead Sourdough Bread

Updated: Oct 28, 2023


Sourdough bread loaf with slice on the side


Sourdough bread was something honestly I was intimidated to start myself! But I've learned its a lot more forgiving than you think as long as you follow a few basic principles and tips. This Beginner No Knead Sourdough Bread is a great place to start to dive into the world of sourdough. Check all the details out below!


Prep:

-You will need around 2 weeks to build up your starter if you don't have one

-I used and love the King Arthur sourdough starter recipe. It's great for beginners as it walks through every step on every day

-After you have your starter created, you'll want to get whole wheat flour in bulk as that's what I used to feed mine regularly- I find it adds a great sour but not too sour flavor and adds some extra nutrition!

-Make sure to buy lots of bread flour if you are serious about baking sourdough bread. Each loaf uses 500 grams of flour which is about 4 cups


Tips:

-Keep up with your starter feedings- I like to feed mine about every 3 days when I am baking a lot. The reason behind this is you can start to get a feel for it as each starter is different based on the temperature of your house, your altitude, etc.

-When you are going to make a sourdough loaf, feed your starter that morning (around 8 am). Then let it sit out on the counter for the day until you are ready to make the dough that night (around 6-8 pm)

-When you are not using your starter, keep it in the fridge. This is helpful as it will get less hungry and you'll have to feed it less which uses less flour and wastes less flour!

-When you do feed it, you can keep the discard to use in recipes that call for discard

-Like I mentioned in the prep, I like to feed mine with whole wheat flour. You can theoretically feed with anything but keeping it consistent with one flour is easiest

-If you don't feed your starter for a while you'll start to see some black liquid on the top of your starter. This is just the alcohol from the yeast fermenting. It's not bad, it just means the starter is super hungry!


Leftovers:

-I like to store the bread in bread bags- there are some amazing ones in the Shopping section!

-The bread is best eaten the day it's baked, but I find it can be good fresh (without toasting) for 2-3 days after if stored correctly

-If you want to bake bread but feel like you won't be able to eat it all, slice it, wrap in tinfoil, and then freeze in a reusable plastic bag. Find some suggestions for those in the Shopping section



 

The recipe:

No Knead Sourdough Bread


Prep time: 12 hours

Cook time: 1 hour


Serves: 6



For the Sourdough Bread

160 grams of sourdough starter

15 grams of salt

320 grams of water

500 grams of flour


Instructions: *This is a suggested timeline but you'll need to work with your altitude and temperature to adjust timing as needed

  1. 8-10 hours before you are going to bake your bread, feed your sourdough starter

  2. Around 8 pm, start making your dough. ****Make sure to take the weight of your bowl out before you add your ingredients by taring the scale!

  3. First, add your sourdough starter and water into your bowl and mix until the starter is fully dissolved into the water. A dough whisk makes this super easy

  4. Then add your salt and flour and mix using a dough whisk or your hands

  5. This is where I like to do a few folds just to really make sure everything is combined. Some recipes will have you do a series of these every 15-30 minutes for the first few hours, but since this is no knead and an easy/beginner recipe, I like to just do a few right at the start. To do the folds, take one side of the bread and stretch it up and then fold it over the other side. Rotate the bowl and repeat 5-10 times. It's okay if the dough is sticky and shaggy. As you do the folds it should firm up a bit but even if it looks ugly don't worry- it's not meant to be pretty yet

  6. Then cover the bowl and let the dough rest and rise for 8-12 hours. The exact timing will depend on the temperature of your house/kitchen. I find my house is about 68 degrees and living in Utah, 12 hours of rise time is great.

  7. In the morning, typically around 8 am, check your dough to make sure it has risen

  8. You'll need to preheat your oven with your dutch oven in it for at least 1 full hour at 450 degrees. I typically start preheating around 9 am and bake around 10 am!

  9. After checking your dough and making sure it has risen (it won't double but should be significantly risen), take the dough out of the bowl and shape it very gently into a rectangle. I find this is easiest on the kitchen counter or a baking mat. You can put a little water on the counter or flour- I find this dough is best with a little flour (about a teaspoon)

  10. Once your dough is in a rectangle, you'll want to fold it in thirds. So take one third and fold it into the middle, and then take the other third and fold on top- almost like mailing a letter

  11. Next, roll up your dough into a ball- you still want to be gentle here but roll tightly

  12. If you are using a banneton basket, line the basket with about a tablespoon of flour and spread it around so the dough doesn't stick. Then flip the dough into the banneton so the seam side is up, and pinch the seam of the dough closed. Cover with plastic wrap (I love using a shower cap as it has the elastic and it fits so well over any sized bowl). Let rise again for 1-2 hours on the counter. If you don't have time to bake in the morning, you can let the dough sit in the fridge for a few hours until you are ready to bake

  13. If you are not using a banneton basket, line your bowl with parchment paper and dust with flour, and place your dough in there seam side down. Same instructions for the rise

  14. If you are using a basket, when you are ready to bake, get a sheet of parchment and dust it with flour. Flip your dough so now the seam side (aka what is the top in your basket) is on the bottom. Use an exacto blade or a sharp knife to gently score the top. You are doing this so the steam/heat has a place to escape. You can get creative here with your designs! I typically just do a few small slashes on each side of the middle, or one big one down one side

  15. If you are not using a basket, follow the same scoring instructions- no need to flip anything

  16. When your dutch oven is preheated (remember preheat for 1 full hour at 450 degrees), VERY carefully remove it from the oven and remove the lid. Take your parchment paper with your dough on top, and carefully lower it into your dutch oven. Place the lid back on, and put the dutch oven into the oven for 25-30 minutes. The longer you bake with the lid on, the less crunchy the crust will be. I find my oven takes a full hour to bake bread so I split 50/50 between lid off and on

  17. After 25-30 minutes, check your dough's temperature. It should be a few degrees shy of 200 degrees (use a meat thermometer for this!). At this point, lower the temperature to 425

  18. Take the lid off, and bake for another 20-30 minutes depending on your oven and what ratio you want for lid off/on (play around with this each time you bake to find your personal preference)

  19. Do NOT underbake your bread!!! You want it to be dark and very very golden. The internal temperature should be a few degrees over 200 when it's done

  20. When it's done, remove from the dutch oven and place on a cooling rack

  21. This is the hardest part, but let it cool for at least 2 hours. I try to aim for 4!

  22. Serve and enjoy!



 

Shopping:

*Some of these may be affiliate links- I appreciate your support!


  • This sourdough kit is a great starter point. A banneton basket, dough whisk, scoring lame, and more

  • Bread bags are a game changer for making your bread last longer and not just for sourdough. These are great for all types of bread/baked goods

  • Reusable plastic bags are better than using disposable ones and these last a super long time- even through the dishwasher

  • Weck jars are perfect to store your starter in

  • I like this kitchen scale- it's super easy to use

  • I use a hand me down 20 year old Le Crueset which is my personal favorite, but there are tons of other brands that make dutch ovens at various price points- check a few options out here and here and here

  • A baking mat keeps your countertops clean when working with dough

  • Shower caps are the best way to cover your dough when it's resting overnight and they are reusable- these have lasted me for years

  • Thermometer- you can use this for meat or bread :)

  • This is the BEST bread slicer- makes for straight and even slices

  • Any cooling rack will work but this is a great set of 2


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