No-Knead Sourdough Bread Recipe
It all begin in the winter of 2016 with a a simple sourdough recipe attached to the 5 year-old sourdough starter gifted from my mother-in-law. A simple starter, mixing flour and water, plus the natural yeast found all around us. You can make your own if you don’t know anyone who is able to share some of theirs with you. You can also buy one from Cultures for Health. You can even try out a gluten-free sourdough but we stick with whole wheat bread flour and all-purpose white flour for this super easy sourdough recipe.
The original recipe was printed in the New York Times but I couldn’t find it on their current website. I’ve adapted it. I don’t weigh my ingredients but you could be more meticulous with it, if you like. Some people keep records of their processes, testing methods, and finding the perfect way for their home. Each of our kitchen environments are different, leading to minute changes within each of our baking experiences.
The process of fermentation is affected by the environment it takes place in, i.e. temperature, ventilation, elevation. I live at 5,000+ feet above sea level. We heat our home with a wood burning stove so it gets warmer than average but also fluctuates if we’re not home throughout the day to keep the fire going. It took me some trial and error to get everything, including the timing, down to a system that works for me. Be open to doing the same.
I bake this bread in an oval, enameled cast iron I found at the thrift store. It will also work in a traditional cast iron Dutch oven. The shape of the baking container will determine the shape of the bread. We prefer the oval shape for sandwiches. The most essential part of the baking dish is a lid - this creates steam and helps give the bread a nice crust.
Pro Tip: A lot of bread recipes require you to slice the bread to let it vent. This recipe skips this step, allowing the bread to vent itself and crack naturally giving it a rustic feel. If you prefer a cleaner look, slice the dough with a sharp knife. I’m inspired by these beautifully cut loaves.
Okay…and here’s the recipe:
No-Knead Sourdough Bread
A simple recipe for your go-to rustic, country loaf.
The sourdough process requires a longer period of fermentation. I usually start this recipe in the evening, letting my dough ferment overnight, and baking it in the morning. The process of fermentation is affected by the environment it takes place in, i.e. temperature, ventilation, elevation.
3 1/2 cups flour (I usually use 2 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour and 1 cup white flour)
1 1/2 cups room temperature water
3/4 cup active sourdough starter (active, or fed, means you’ve given the starter some fresh flour and water in the last few hours)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry active yeast
Mix flour, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl.
Add in water and sourdough starter.
Mix together until well incorporated.
Cover and ferment for 12 hours/overnight
After the fermentation, the dough should have some bubbles on the surface. It will be wet and you will not be able to handle this with your hands - that’s why it’s a no-knead.
Take a wooden spoon or spatula and slowly fold the dough into itself, mixing it all together. Let rest for an hour.
About 30 minutes later, turn the oven on to 450*F. Once warm, place baking dish, like a Dutch oven, to heat up.
Once hot, remove the Dutch oven, then carefully scrape the dough out of the bowl and into the Dutch oven. Cover and place in oven.
Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven, take off lid, and place back in oven to golden the crust.
Once golden (less than 5 minutes), remove from oven and cool on wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
Store in a cloth bag in plastic, a bread box, or slice and freeze for longer shelf life. This bread will last up to 5 days at room temperature.
Keep it Fresh!
Store your loaf in a fabric bag, bread box, or slice and freeze!