The process of making a sourdough leavened no-knead loaf (at least the way I do it) is almost identical to the instant yeast variety. I just substitute 1/4 cup of sourdough starter for the 1/4 tsp. instant yeast.

Of course, working with sourdough can alter things quite a bit depending on how wet you keep your starter and how healthy it is. Some starters are very liquidy and can be poured out of their containers. I keep mine pretty thick. It has to be spooned out of the jar. I go into quite a bit of detail on how I manage my starter in the various related videos.

That said, here’s the most basic recipe that I use quite frequently.

  • 1 cup (5 oz.) whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups (11 oz.) white bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups purified water
  • 1/4 cup starter

The baking times and all that are the same as the basic no-knead method. So you can easily just watch that video but follow this recipe. I usually bake the bread at 500° for 30 minutes with the lid on and then remove the lid and continue baking for 15 more minutes at 450°.

You might have noticed that there’s a bit of difference between what I say in the video regarding recipe quantities and what’s written. The weights shown are probably more precise, but you should be fine either way as there is a fair amount of leeway in this recipe.

Generally speaking, the wetter your dough the bigger the holes will be, which many people really like. However, a drier dough will make it easier to get the bread to rise while baking, giving you greater “oven spring” and a more spherical loaf versus a pancake. With practice, you’ll get so you can come closer to predicting how your bread will turn out just based on the consistency of the dough when you’re mixing all the ingredients together. You can adjust the amount of water and flour to get the consistency that suits you best.

Many people want to know how to make their bread more sour. Breadtopia reader, Rhine Meyering, enjoys success with this by using just 1/8 cup of sourdough starter and extending the fermentation time by refrigerating the dough. Click this link to his October 7, 2007 post to read what he says. It makes a lot of sense based on my understanding of sourdough baking too.

Also, click the following link to Ariela’s post of November 25th, 2007 where she describes her success with the sourdough no knead method using spelt flour. She includes the actual recipe she uses too – very nice.

No Knead Revisited – A Three Year Check UpIt’s been over 3 years since the original New York Times no knead bread recipe was published. That’s also about the same time Breadtopia was born. By far the most common difficulty people write or call in about is with the dough being too wet to handle at the end of the long first proofing period and also when it’s time to place the dough into a covered vessel to bake at the end of the second rise.

When you run into this, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it other than attempt to follow through on the instructions and ultimately wrest the dough into your heated baker and into the oven. Your “mistake” may turn out better than you expected and if nothing else, you’ll learn from it. The next time around you can do one or a combination of a couple things differently.

  1. Add more flour and or use less water than you did the first time. Dough has a way of getting more slack as it sits for many hours so if you start off with the dough being a little stiffer than you think it should be, that’s fine and maybe it’ll be easier to handle later.
  2. Consider reducing the long proofing time by several hours. Don’t get stuck on the idea of 18 hours. Depending on your room temperature and humidity, 18 hours may result in over proofing. When dough proofs too long, the gluten breaks down, the yeast looses some oomph and it can just get downright soupy. Most of the time, I find 12-14 hours to be about right. If you want or need to prolong the proofing time, but don’t want to risk over proofing, stick the dough in the fridge for several hours or overnight. That will slow things down a lot. Then resume proofing at room temp until it’s ready to bake.

The same principle holds true on the second rise. While 1-2 hours is the suggested range, I’m almost always at about 60 to 75 minutes.

Another concern we hear a lot is about the dough not rising much during that second short proofing period. I don’t see mine rise much then either and it doesn’t matter so long as you see a good rise during the first several minutes that the dough is in the oven. That’s called oven spring and it’s a very good thing. By keeping your proofing periods on the shorter side, you’re more likely to get good oven spring from the still vigorous yeast or sourdough starter.

Of course all of the above is assuming your yeast or sourdough starter is fresh and viable to start with.

In summary, most problems can be helped or solved by stiffening the dough a little and/or shortening the rising times.

If you’re new to bread baking, don’t think from reading this that it’s difficult or tricky to get great results. Most people find it a breeze and enjoy success right out of the blocks. Others may find it takes a few tries. It’s important to have fun with it and don’t worry about bombing. There’s no significant downside to bread baking but the upside can be fabulous. Enjoy!

March 20th, 2010 update: Beadtopia reader, Beth Adams, emailed this:

I have been a follower and contributer (through the comments sections) to the site for a few years. I just tried something that I wanted to share. I added a tsp. of lavender to the regular sourdough recipe and had great results when using it for sandwiches. Hope you are able to enjoy it!

For more no-knead recipes using sourdough, check out No-Knead Recipe Variations.

1,434 thoughts on “Sourdough No Knead Method

  1. shalom

    Both loaves were gummy inside. I weighed the ingredients and baked them in loaf pans at 450F. The dough was really wet and I had to add a lot of flour to keep it from sticking badly to the rolling mat. The second time I weighed the water but didn’t use all of it (didn’t weigh what was left). It seemed to be less wet than the first one and did sit in a mound before fermentation. It was a little less gummy. I feed my starter with equal weights ap flour and water (100% hydration). It seems kind of thick when I feed it, but it is kind of liquidy and drippy when I feed it again. I don’t see hooch on it.
    Also, I live in a very humid area. Could my flour may be have too much water in it? Should I try feeding the starter at 90% ratio and try even less water in the dough? I am also thinking about reducing the baking temp. My oven thermometer shows the oven temp pretty close to what the knob says, but I don’t know how to tell if the oven thermometer is accurate. Ideas?

    I am also considering kneading a bit before the long ferment. Would there be a problem with kneading before instead of after the long ferment, then shaping (ie putting in the loaf pan), proofing and baking?

    • shalom

      Also, both times the internal temp was a bit over 200F. I just recalibrated the instant read thermometer and it was about 5F off so the bread could have been 1-2F below 200F.

  2. shalom

    Last week I made sd biscuits that were crispy outside and soft inside. I don’t know that they would be called flaky, but they were wonderful.

    I feed my starter 100% hydration (equal parts flour and water by weight) and try to gently stir just enough to make sure the flour is thoroughly mixed in. I thought about the gluten development in starter is because when I stir it after a feeding it gets real thick and sort of stretchy. I wouldn’t mind gluten development too much in starter to be used for bread, but for things like pancakes, and especially thicker mixes like biscuits I thought it might be a concern.

    About starter vs flour in recipes, say you have a recipe that uses 1c starter and 2c flour, but you want to use 2c starter. From your experience, how much would you reduce the recipe flour and liquid? I realize adding more starter could cause the recipe to flop, but because I have diabetes I want to put as much “soaked” flour (starter would be considered soaked) in quick recipes as possible, so I want to experiment with various recipes and starter. By quick recipes, I mean: pancakes, biscuits, quick breads, … as opposed to fermented or long rise breads.

    • Anita

      Shalom – I tried this several ways today in order to get the best approximation to give you. To add I cup more starter to a recipe, I would reduce the water by 10 Tbs (1/2 C+2 Tb) and reduce the flour by 18-1/2 Tbs (1C+2-1/2 Tb). It is a close enough estimate to allow me to use my starter and not throw it away. This is based on the utensils I use and the way that I measure dry ingredients (lightly spooning into cup). Also, when mixing the dough, I add the flour gradually at the end, as it often takes a little more or less, due to weather, measuring accuracy, or whether I want a firmer or looser dough. I don’t make bread exactly the same way every time, there are so many variations I want to try. Best of luck with your baking. Right now, I have a lot of starter to use up and then bread to give away!

      • shalom

        Thank you so much, that gives me something to work from.

  3. shalom

    I successfully made my first starter using the pineapple method. I started it Sunday night and by Monday morning it was already starting to bubble. I have made pancakes, several batches of biscuits, and tortillas with the discard. I will be keeping it out of the refrigerator for at least another week.

    I haven’t made bread yet (hope to start that process today), but last night I made pizza dough. After doing some reading about cooking temps for pizza, I happily discovered that my oven will heat to 550F. So I put my 13″ pizza stone in and heated the oven while “I prepared the pizzas, which turned out delicious with a smokey flavor (probably due to the high heat).

    I bought the stone from Pampered Chef? in the 80’s or early 90’s. I never used it much and haven’t used it in several years. Sadly, after the oven and stone were cool I picked up the stone to clean it and it broke in 3 pieces. Now when I find a great use for it, it breaks. But I need a larger one anyway. I will probably get some terracotta or other tiles (lead free of coarse) to use unless someone knows of a stone that can handle high heat.

    What is the best type of bread baking dish for a sandwich loaf … a pullman style with a cover or another type of pan? What temp is generally the best for baking a sandwich bread and with or without steam?

    On the pizza page you used an oil sprayer. I have one, but it seems to sputter the oil out instead of mist it. Do you ever have that problem and how do you store the sprayer…with the oil left in it or empty and clean it after each use?

    • Anita

      I can relate to several of your questions. For the longest time, I thought I had a faulty oil mister, because it streamed out. I was putting too much oil in it . It sprays much better at 1/2 or 1/3 full. I do keep oil in it on the shelf. I’ve found some good cleaning instructions on the web. I also have a stone from the 80’s that has held up fine in 550* oven and on a gas grill. But it is quite thick and heavy, a good 1/2″ with many raised ridges/ feet on the underside that are 3/8″ thick. The size is 14-1/2″x 16-1/2″, but no brand name on it.
      I do like to make sourdough sandwich bread occasionally, and I bake it in regular metal bread pans in a small convection oven for ~30 min @ 375-400. The crust is not always as brown as I’d like, so I am still experimenting with the amount of sugar or malt, and I usually am converting a yeast recipe and trying to use up different amounts of leftover starter. My biggest issue with all of the alterations is getting the correct amount of salt.

      • shalom

        I found a use for one piece of the broken stone – it will fit in my toaster oven at an angle, so I can use it as a plate for reheating some foods and maybe for baking 3-4 biscuits (haven’t had the oven long, so I haven’t tried baking much baking in it yet).

        Thanks for the tips on the bread pan, I will have to avoid the sugar because of diabetes (that’s why I’m doing sourdough instead of yeast breads). You said you try to use up different amounts of leftover starter, do you have some basic guidelines on how much flour to replace with starter (like 1/2c cup starter instead of __ cup flour and liquid? I am trying to keep my starter around 100% hydration.

        • shalom

          Also, I know mixing flour too much can over develop the gluten for some baked goods. When I feed my starter it gets pretty thick (of coarse as it sits after feeding it thins some), and I am afraid to stir it too much. Has anyone ever had a problem with over developing the gluten in the starter?

        • Anita

          Yes, I have taken notes every time I bake, so I can refer to them to help me change a certain recipe. I don’t usually weigh the feedings, so the hydration is only approximately 100%. I do know that when I feed 1/2 cup of my starter with 1/2 cup water and about 7/8 cup AP flour I then have about 1-1/4 cups starter, so I can extrapolate from there. By now, I have notes on variations using 1, 1-1/2, 2, 2-1/4, 2-1/2 etc. cups starter that I will just follow the recipe that fits the starter amount. However, I’ve noticed that some of my best results come from following a published recipe using a very small amount of starter, making a poolish, then the bread dough. But I still like to use larger quantities of starter if I need to, I just have trouble figuring out the correct amount of salt each time. Your question about gluten is interesting- my understanding is that for bread, you want good gluten decelopment and structure, (yet sometimes the crust can be tough); for pastry, pie crust, muffins, biscuits, etc., you want to mix very gently and minimally, as gluten development makes them tough -(and use a soft, low protein flour) – so I wonder if sourdough biscuits can actually be tender and flaky-

  4. Marcia

    For my second attemp at this, I stiffened the starter more resembling paste, as suggested. I also, used about 1 0z. less water than called for.
    Because the kitchen here is in the 78 to 85 degree range, ususally with high humidity the 18 hour time frame became 7 and that may have been a bit too long. So I simply went with what I had, baking at 450 degrees in the enamel clad pan.
    Life is good.

  5. Mike Scott

    Hi all!
    This is an update of my last comment from April 29th about my ongoing experimenting with baking a 100% whole wheat no-knead loaf.

    I had been having difficulty getting an adequate rise in my finished loaf and after talking with Kim at the King Arthur Flour bakers hotline (800-827-6836), I made two important adjustments that she recommended and my loaf now has excellent rise and a good open crumb. She had me increase the amount of vital wheat gluten (from 28g to 38g) to create better structure in my 100% whole wheat dough and to shorten my proofing time (from 2hours to 1 hour). Here is the current iteration of my recipe:

    Mike’s 100% whole wheat sourdough no-knead loaf:

    1) Mix together well in a glass bowl:
    350g red fife whole wheat flour (I use Anita’s Organic Mill flour from British Columbia, Canada)
    200 g whole wheat sourdough starter (100% hydration)
    38g vital wheat gluten
    8g salt
    297g spring water
    **Note: this yields an 80% hydration dough
    2) cover bowl with a plastic bag and store in the fridge for 36 hours.
    3) remove bowl from fridge and store on counter for 12 hours (still covered in the plastic bag).
    4) remove dough from bowl and on a well floured counter top, fold the dough and rest it for 10 minutes…repeat the ‘fold and rest’ cycle two more times (for a total of three ‘fold and rest’ cycles)…I use the ‘fold and rest’ method as instructed by Eric on his ‘no-knead’ video.
    5) with well floured hands, I form a boule of this somewhat ‘sticky’ dough and place it in a well floured proofing basket…cover basket with a tea towel and proof for 1 hour. I know it is well proofed when I can stick a ‘floured’ finger in the dough to create a dimple and the dough quickly reacts by filling in the dimple.
    6) pre-heat my oven and La Cloche clay baker to 475F (this takes about 25 minutes for my oven)
    7) transfer my dough from the proofing basket to the La Cloche clay baker and bake (with the lid on) for 35 minutes at 475F. After a 35 minute bake, the internal temperature of the bread is usually about 208-210F, which I find is perfect.
    8) transfer bread from clay baker to a rack and let it cool for 90-120 minutes before slicing.
    This bread is so delicious I am now baking three loaves a week to keep up with the great appetite my wife and I have for it!!

    • Mike Scott

      Here is a second photo that shows the better rise I am now getting in my finished loaf.

  6. Devon

    Help! I could not upload the video so I went with the recipe. I did not butter the dutch oven or use corn meal. It looks beautiful but it is stuck like a rock to the dutch oven. How do I get it free?

    Devon

    • CarolynF

      Devon…. sorry to hear that!!! My experience would say you’ll need a hammer and chisel! :-) You may have to tear out chunks to enjoy with a soup or stew, then soak the pan in water to clean it out. But now you have a great excuse to make another loaf!

  7. Ron

    What a great video thanks! I’ve a couple of follow of questions…

    1. I have a very old metal colander, 10″ diameter, with lots of small holes that I’d like to try to use as the banneton/brotform. Do I have to line it with a floured linen/cotton towel or can I use the olive oil spray directly onto the metal and then liberally apply the wheat bran to it then cover with the towel?

    2. If the enamel pot I use for baking has a wider diameter than the dough that I put in will it spread flat during the bake leaving a very low profile or will it still rise like yours did to a bout 4-5″?

    Thanks again…

    Ron

    • CarolynF

      Hi Ron,
      I think the holes in the colander will cause you difficulty, so I’d suggest lining it.

      The softness of your dough will dictate how much it spreads. Using a pan that constrains it will probably help. That’s what I do. But give it a try and see what you think. It’s all about experimenting! Have fun.

  8. Valerie

    I have been allowing my dough to sit in the fridge for three days for a long slow cold rise and now I notice it has what looks like mold on the top half inch of the dough. Should I discard this?

  9. Marcia

    Thank you for your recipe and all the hints. I baked a successful boule worth eating.
    I did change a couple of things because I found those pieces of information on the Madfermentationist site. I baked the boule in an enamel clad cast iron dutch oven because that’s what I had to use and only used 425 degrees.
    I will next time though stiffen the starter, just a bit.
    Even my husband is eating the bread. :)

  10. George V

    This is my 4th loaf of sourdough bread, which I just started baking a couple of weeks ago. The bread tastes great but does anyone know why it’s covered with all of the little white spots?

    Thanks

  11. I to want say a huge thank you to Schuyler Campbell I tried his adapted German wholegrain sourdough to which I added two tablespoons of dried malted barley.
    The resulting loaf was fantastic, wonderful oven spring, lovely crust and crumb, and the best ever flavour I have ever tasted.
    I could not believe that I could reproduce the recipe but I was over the moon with the result.
    My husband absolutely loved it and wants lots more of the same to come in the near future.
    So many thanks to S.C. and Stuart for sharing their recipes and tips.
    Marian H

  12. Thank you everybody for your support, honestly it feels like I have you here with me in Nottingham UK.
    I just love love this website you should feel very proud of it Eric.
    Thanks
    Marian H.

  13. Hi Carolyn F
    I added more flour like you suggested and shortened the proving times.
    However yesterday I stiffened my starter so that it resembled a paste rather than a batter and gosh what a difference it seems to have made.
    Check out the loaf I made today, it is well risen with a fantastic crust and a lovely crumb. I was so thrilled to have finally achieved my goal.
    My only problem now is how to keep the loaves from going stale.
    Do you keep some of yours in your in the freezer?

    Marian H

    • CarolynF

      GORGEOUS Loaf! Congratulations!

      Yes, I definitely freeze my loaves. In fact, I make two half-sized loaves and usually freeze one of them. I also will divide the dough into 12 pieces and bake them (in a pan) as dinner rolls, freezing at least half of them for use later. I bake them just the same. When I get on a baking kick I can bake several different varieties and freeze most of them. When I want to use one I just thaw and then heat in the oven for about 20 minutes.

    • Kathy

      Wow!!!!

    • One trick is going for a long, slow ferment in the refrigerator prior to the proper “room temperature” ferment. The additional lactic acid will not only make the bread more sour, but it will keep longer to boot.

      Adding a small amount of whole rye flour will also slow the staling process. It needn’t be very much – 2.75 cups of white bread flour and .75 cups of whole rye flour will suffice.

      And, if you make a point of placing the bread cut-side-down onto your cutting board after every slice, that will aso slow the staling process. My loaves last anywhere from 2-9 days this way.

  14. Here is my last effort not bad but still the height eludes me.
    I will just have to keep trying!
    Marian H.

    • Different scoring can also affect the shape of the boule. Try a cross score.

    • CarolynF

      I agree…. looks good. And if Eric (Breadtopia) likes it, who’s to argue!

      If you really want to constrain it and force it to go up instead of out, bake it in a vessel that’s a little narrower. Maybe a pie pan. I do that… I use a foil pan with straight sides. So my bread does it’s final rise in the foil pan and I just set it in the preheated cloche. It’s so much easier, for me, than trying to transfer the dough by dumping it or using the parchment paper sling.

    • CarolynF

      Marian, what did you do differently when you made this loaf?

    • Another trick to a healthy rise is malted barley extract. You can get this from home brewing stores, as well as whole foods and certain other grocers. I use the powdered variety and adding just 2 tablespoons gives me a big rise and plenty of oven spring, even with a loaf that is 60% whole grain.

      • Mike Scott

        I very much appreciate hearing about this tip of using malted barley extract to help with getting a healthy rise. I will use this in my next loaf. Thanks, Schuyler!

      • Char C

        DING DING DING lightbulb moment!! I bow to you, Schuyler Campbell, for the suggestion of adding malted barley extract. My husband and I brew beer so I am familiar with the product but would NEVER have thought of adding it to bread! Well yesterday, I added it to my 100% sprouted/dehyrated/freshly ground whole wheat – 1 tablespoon DME (dried malt extract, procured at my fave local brew shop) in addition to the normal ingredients – and got STELLAR results! Gonna make another today, and substitute one more tablespoon of the DME for a tablespoon of the honey I normally use.

        I got a GREAT rise, wonderful slightly-chewy crust, and superb texture just by adding that DME. Oh, and I might add, this is a bread machine recipe I’m making. THANK YOU!!

  15. Hi Jon E in Sussex,
    I love this site as well, I cannot wait to bake all the great sourdough recipes on this site.
    Everybody is so helpful when I have any queries they are answered very quickly.
    So I am sure you will enjoy posting messages on this site as well.

    Marian H

  16. Jon Everett

    So, here I am in Sussex, England, a brand new and shiny sourdough bread maker, doing what I imagined I’d do in retirement. The windows of the kitchen are thrown open to the improving weather and jars of starter bubble amid the general activities of a country cookhouse. Having researched endlessly masses of stuff online, I’ve found this site hugely helpful and thank you for that. An old enamelled pan with a large inverted stainless steel dog bowl is the closest I can get to a closed container in the oven at this point in my development and it works like a dream. The dog stares on mystified but content a prize-winning crust is on its way. What did we do before sourdough?

  17. Just want to thank everybody for all the helpful comments will give them all a go.
    I am really enjoying bread making it has given me an interest, since I have become paraplegic my life has changed. This is the first time in 8 years that I have found an interest in something that I can do from a wheelchair.
    So thank you all I might even bake a well risen loaf if I follow all the good advice from you all.

    Marian H

  18. I made a NK sourdough loaf yesterday, but still only managed to achieve a height of about 31/4 inches.
    The dough rose more than double on the first proving, I even shortened the time of the 2 proving as it was rising too much.
    My starter was feed twice before I baked but the consistency of my San Francisco is more like a batter.
    Maybe I need to reduce the water content when I next feed it?
    And add more flour to Eric`s SD recipe, is wholewheat flour the same as wholemeal flour?
    I have been using the latter in the recipe as I don’t have wholewheat.
    I will keep trying to bake a well risen loaf like Eric`s and also like some of the pictures posted on this website.
    I wanted to post a picture of my loaf but I don’t know how to do it.
    I tried but it keeps been sent back as failed.
    Could I do my first proving in the fridge overnight so that it is not over proved, presumably it then needs to be out of the fridge for a while before you start to work with it.
    It’s so frustrating because in every way the loaf is lovely so on and upward and keep trying I suppose.

    Marian H

    • CarolynF

      Hi Marian,
      Sounds like you have a few things going on. Remember the wetter your dough the more it will spread out and the flatter it will be. If your starter is batter-like it may be too wet, too. Does it look to be the same consistency as In Eric’s video? Use less water whe you feed it to make it thicker. And be sure it can double in size within 4 hours after feeding.

      While I was learning I watched the videos several times. I always seemed to pick up something new. :-)

      Be sure to not let your dough rise more than double. Put it in the fridge for a few hours right after you mix it, that will slow it down. I always do that. It also gives me the freedom to mix it ANY time, then I just take it out and set it on the countertop to rise when it’s convenient, usually about 10 at night.

      I don’t know about the meal you mentioned, but maybe you should stick to white bread flour for now just to reduce the number of unknowns until you have more success.

      Don’t give up! It’s worth the effort and you’ll love the results when you’re done. We do.

  19. Hi Carolyn,
    Roughly how much more flour would you add to Eric`s NK SD recipe?
    Marian H

    • Sherry

      Or try less water. Start with 1 cup, see if it moistens all the flour; if not, add another 1/8 or 1/4 cup, until dough is just moist, but stiffer than your previous batch. If you want to go the adding-more-flour route, just add a couple of tablespoons extra, see if the dough seems stiffer than last time, then add more. It’s hard to specify because there are so many variables. Different flours start with different moisture content. So a recipe is just a starting point, and you need to play with it.

    • CarolynF

      I agree, either way will work fine. It’s not precise when you’re fine tuning like this. But, if you keep a record to refer back later you might want to jot down what you did and approx. how much more or less of each ingredient. Have Fun!

  20. Hi Carolyn F,
    Thank you for your advice, I am hoping to bake another NK SD loaf on Friday using all the advice I have received from everybody on this site.
    Wish me luck will try and post a picture if successful.
    Marian H.

  21. Hi Stuart,
    Thank you for your input the first proving was overnight roughly about 14 hours. The dough had just about doubled, the second proving was for about 11/4 hours.
    The loaf was the best I had ever made with large holes, however I would have liked a little more rise it looked as good as some of the pictures sent to this site, so maybe I am being a little hard on myself.
    For my next attempt I will mix dough early morning and prove for about 10-12 hours to see if this gives a different result.
    If I wanted to have less large holes what do I do to achieve this any advice from anybody would be appreciated.
    I am new to bread making but I am loving it, it is so rewarding when you produce a lovely edible loaf that all the family cannot wait to eat.
    Marian H.

    • CarolynF

      Hi,
      A stiffer dough will have fewer/small holes and have more rise. Add a bit more flour and you should get closer to what you’re looking for.

      Keep experimenting, it’s fun.

  22. Hi Eric
    I baked a sourdough loaf today using your recipe. However when I tried to look at the video it kept stopping about 3 minutes into it, is there something wrong with it. I managed to watch all of your other videos without any problems.
    Anyway, I did manage to achieve a very nice loaf, my only reservation is that I still cannot produce a really well risen loaf.
    Don’t get me wrong it looked like some of the loafs that people have sent pictures in to you but I would love to achieve more height.
    I am using the San Francisco starter and it is active with lots of bubbles in it.
    However, on one of the You Tube clips I saw a somebody test the leven starter by dropping some starter into a small quantity of water, it should rise to the surface apparently.
    I tried this test with my starter but it did not float!!
    It seems to be active because of the bubbles in it and my bread today rose on both times of proving.
    Can anybody help me with this query, do I need to throw away the starter and start again.

    Marian H.

    Am I doing something wrong do I need to throw away the starter and start again, because I cannot understand why my starter will not float.
    Marian H.

    • CarolynF

      Definitely do NOT throw away your starter. :-)
      When you feed the starter does it double in size withing 4 hours? If yes, it is healthy and active.
      If you want more rise you can add more flour to make a stiffer dough. Also be sure the dough does not rise too much before going to the next step. At *most* it should double, no more.

      The section on taking care of you starter is very helpful, too.

    • I’m not familiar with the “floating starter” test so I cannot comment concerning that. However, I’d be curious to know how long you let the bread proof (rise) before baking. It may simply be that you are over-proofing it, hence it is flat or not fully formed after baking.
      The best part about mistakes is learning from them. Never say die. Good luck!
      Stuart

  23. Mike Scott

    I just tried Rhine Meyering’s extended fermentation method and I got the best result ever, with my 100% whole grain sourdough ‘no-knead’ bread!
    This loaf had better oven rise than my previous iterations of this recipe, along with a good open crumb and a very tasty and mild sourdough flavor. My wife and I are loving it!
    Here is the recipe I used, which incorporates Rhine’s method with other adjustments that I have experimented with, from the many great comments on the ‘no-knead’ comments thread:

    Mike’s 100% whole grain ‘red fife’ sourdough no-knead loaf:

    1) Mix together well in a glass bowl:
    250g red fife whole wheat flour (I use Anita’s Organic Mill flour)
    100g sprouted whole wheat flour
    200 g whole wheat sourdough starter (100% hydration)
    28g vital wheat gluten
    8g salt
    285g spring water
    **Note: this yields an 80% hydration dough
    2) cover bowl with a plastic bag and store in the fridge for 48 hours.
    3) remove bowl from fridge and store on counter for 18 hours (still covered in the plastic bag).
    4) remove dough from bowl, fold the dough and rest it for 15 minutes…repeat the ‘fold and rest’ cycle two more times (for a total of three ‘fold and rest’ cycles)…I use the ‘fold and rest’ method
    as instructed by Eric on his no-knead video.
    5) with well floured hands, I form a boule of this somewhat ‘sticky’ dough and place it in a well floured proofing basket…cover basket with a tea towel and proof for 2 hours.
    6) pre-heat my oven and La Cloche clay baker to 450F (this takes about 25 minutes for my oven)
    7) transfer my dough from the proofing basket to the La Cloche clay baker (with the lid on) and bake for 25 minutes at 450F. After a 25 minute bake, the internal temperature of the bread is usually about 208F, which I find is perfect.
    8) transfer bread from clay baker to a rack and let it cool for 90-120 minutes before slicing.

    Thanks again to Eric and to all of you great commenters!
    My experimenting continues…and along the way, my wife and I are enjoying some of the best bread we’ve ever eaten!

  24. I have adapted this recipe somewhat and produce what I consider an excellent German-style whole grain sourdough. For the recipe:

    2 cups bread flour
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup rye flour
    12 oz water
    1.75 tsp salt
    1/8 cup of starter

    Stir together (I use a stand mixer)
    • Ferment 36 hours in the refrigerator
    • Ferment 8 hours at room temperature
    • Ferment 8 hours (or as long as you need) in the oven with the oven light on
    • knead in the stand mixer (dough hook) for 1 minute (could probably just knead it 10-20 times by hand), adding about 1/8 cup of flour while doing so
    • Form into a boule or bâtard and proof for 60-90 minutes on lightly floured parchment paper
    • Sprinkle flour onto the loaf (optional)
    • Score the loaf (optional)
    • Bake in preheated 475º F dutch oven/la cloche covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 10-15 minutes (or until properly browned), using parchment paper to place the dough into the dutch oven/la cloche (like in the Cook’s Illustrated recipe, but with no oil)

    • Is the starter whole wheat or rye based?

    • I should add that the 1/8 cup or so of flour that I add while kneading/mixing the dough before forming into a boule is either rye flour, bread flour, or all-purpose flour. I haven’t used whole wheat flour at this stage, but I imagine it would work fine, as long as the flour is ground fairly fine (un-hydrated whole wheat flour can deflate a rising loaf, particularly if the grind is course).

  25. Fred

    Re: “pancake” loafs: Look at Eric’s 3 year update. My dough is much dryer than initially. If the dough sticks to my hands I add more flour. I shortened the initial fermentation to about 10-12 hours (not counting refrigerator time) and the proofing to 90 minutes. The dough is not very high when it is ready to go into the oven, and the oven spring makes it a nice high loaf.

  26. Hi Stuart,
    I am one of your UK admirers could you tell me what a cup of measurement equates to?
    We don’t use cups to measure ingredients here and I want to try your no knead sourdough recipe.
    Could you help me with this query please.
    I know many of my countrymen would be extremely grateful as well.
    Love your site it has helped me loads as I am new to bread making.
    Many thanks
    Marian H

    • CarolynF

      Hi Marian Hale,
      Eric is the owner of this blog, I think perhaps you meant to write to him?

      There are several web sites that will do the conversion for you. I saw one today at dianasdesserts.com If you use google you can type “Convert 1 cup to grams” or ounces or ml or whatever you need. What measurement do you use to measure flour and water? Many of the recipes on Breadtopia use ounces and Eric uses a digital scale. I really like weighing my ingredients to make sure I do it the same every time.

      I hope this helps.

    • 1 US Cup is equal 8 US fluid ounces or half an American Pint, or .416 Imperial Pints (UK). That is to say the measurement is pretty much impossible to equal by eyeballing, and you probably ought to just buy a set of American measuring cups online or a kitchen scale (and bake using weight instead of volume measurements).

  27. Jalyn

    Hello,
    I make this recipe today. When it is finish it looks like a pancake to me, lays flat and when I taste it, it taste like eating with vinegar with it. It was a very strong flavor on it. I did follow all the instructions, that is why I am wondering if where dd I get wrong. Please advice.

    • Your sourdough starter is bad. Throw it and try again.
      It happens to the best of us……
      Stuart

      • Jalyn

        Thank you Stuart. It is weird because I bought the starter here. I will surely through away the started and get a refund. I appreciated your response.

        • Sherry

          Don’t be too quick to throw away your starter! Your results could easily happen just from letting the dough rise for too long (over-proofing). You can’t really follow any timing instructions exactly, because the air temperature & starter vigor make a big difference in rising times. I’ve had “pancake” breads and overly sour breads from perfectly good starter, just because I let it rise too long. Try making half-recipe or quarter-recipes (you’ll need much smaller baking pan) while you experiment with different rising times. THat way you won’t waste so much flour while you experiment. And do try a much shorter rising time.

        • CarolynF

          I don’t know why Stuart is saying your starter is bad. On what is he basing this comment?

          There are several factors that could explain your bread. Does your starter double in size withing 4 hours? When you let it rise be sure it doesn’t get more than double in size. Those are the two most frequent problems.

          It’s very helpful to read the section on managing your starter. I had a new starter that I thought was dead for sure, but with a little help from a friend I brought it back to health and it was VERY vigorous.

  28. CarolynF

    Hi,
    I need some basic information. Would you please explain percentage hydration for the starter. For instance, how much of each ingredient do I use to get a starter of 80% hydration or 100% hydration, etc.

    Is it only the starter that is described using the hydration percentage, or is it also applicable to the dough?

    Thanks!
    CarolynF

    • Mike Scott

      Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks for your question!
      My whole wheat sourdough starter is 100% hydration, so the 200 g of sourdough starter I use in my dough recipe is comprised of 100 g water and 100 g flour. I made my sourdough starter from the Breadtopia instructions using the ‘pineapple juice’ method. As an aside, in the cold, wet climate of Vancouver, it took 14 days for my sourdough starter to come fully to life. I almost gave up on it, but kept repeating Step 4 of the sourdough starter instructions several times until finally, my starter came to life. Hurray…it’s alive!!!
      I take my starter out of the fridge the day before I make the dough and feed it twice to strengthen it prior to dough making.
      The 80% hydration I referred to, applies to the dough. After I mix together all of the ingredients in my dough recipe (counting the 200 g of sourdough starter as 100 g water and 100 g flour), I end up with an 80% hydration dough.
      Does this answer your question adequately?

  29. Mike Scott

    For the past several years, I have had an intense gastronomic love affair with a ‘Red Fife’ sourdough loaf baked by True Grain bakery in Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island. The wonderfully nutty, complex flavours of this bread enthralls my taste buds and early this year, awakened a bread baker within me.
    Thus inspired, I found this website in mid-February and commenced baking, using both the whole grain sourdough bread and no-knead bread recipes from your videos.
    My goal was to learn how to make a tasty 100% whole grain sourdough loaf with a good crumb. I thought if I could get somewhere in the ballpark of True Grain’s Red Fife sourdough (like maybe somewhere in the back bleachers), I would be in bread heaven.
    Prompted by the many user comments on this website, I experimented with many different adjustments to the recipes over the course of baking and devouring 12 loaves of bread these past two months. Many thanks to all of you, for contributing to my education!

    The following recipe represents the best result I’ve had thus far:

    Mike’s 100% whole grain ‘no-knead’ sourdough bread (80% hydration):
    1) mix thoroughly in a glass bowl:
    285 g water
    200 g whole wheat sourdough starter (for a less strong sourdough taste, use 100 g SD starter and add 50 g water and 50 g whole wheat flour to the recipe)
    250 g organic whole wheat flour (I use Anita’s Organic Mill ‘Red Fife’ ww flour)
    100 g sprouted whole wheat flour (also Anita’s Organic Mill flour)
    28 g vital wheat gluten
    8 g salt
    2) cover bowl with a plastic bag and sit it on a kitchen counter for 18 hours.
    3) move bowl to the fridge for 48 hours.
    4) fold dough (using the ‘no-knead’ recipe’s folding instructions) on a floured counter top and rest for 15 minutes – repeat this ‘fold and rest’ cycle three times. Ensure your hands are well floured when handling this sticky dough.
    5) transfer dough to a floured proofing basket, cover with a tea towel and proof for 5 hours.
    6) place my empty La Cloche clay baker in the oven and pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (takes about 25 minutes for my oven)
    7) transfer dough from proofing basket to the pre-heated clay baker and bake at 450 F for 25 minutes (or until internal temperature of loaf reaches roughly 205 F). I find that anywhere between 204 F – 210 F internal temperature works fine.
    8) transfer finished loaf to a cooling rack and let cool for 60-90 minutes.

    This loaf has achieved a lot of what I am after. It has a fairly good open crumb, good oven spring (it’s a flat loaf about 3″ high, I think due to it’s 80% hydration), excellent sourdough flavor and the flavor complexity of the ‘Red Fife’ flour is also quite good.

    • Charles

      Mark, does True Grain bakery ship bread to the US? Would like to taste some of their bread and doubt I will ever get to that part of Canada.

      • Mike Scott

        Hi Charles,

        Thanks for your question…I don’t know if True Grain Bakery ships their bread to the US…you can contact them at their website: http://www.truegrain.ca
        The Red Fife wheat is an heirloom hard red wheat, that is enjoying a significant resurgence in Canada. It was the dominant wheat grown in Canada in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, then fell out of favour as the emphasis in the Canadian wheat industry shifted from ‘taste’ to ‘yield productivity’. Most strains of Canadian wheat grown today are hybrids from the original Red Fife wheat strain. Baking bread using Red Fife wheat has arguably better flavor complexity than all other wheat varieties grown in Canada today.
        If you can’t get the Red Fife bread from True Grain, I highly recommend getting a hold of some Red Fife flour/wheat berries for experimenting with in your bread baking.
        Cheers!

    • I’m impressed by your persistence!
      You write that in order to acheive a “less strong sourdough taste” you use less sd starter: In fact, the less starter one uses, the longer the rise, hence the more sour the taste. It is counter intuition, but to acheive a less sour taste, use more starter, and give the dough less of a rise. Also, that your loaf is only 3 inches high suggests that the bread was far over-proofed…. Best of luck!
      Stuart
      Tel-Aviv

      • Mike Scott

        Hi Stuart,
        Thanks for your insightful comments!
        I have incorporated your thoughts into some adjustments in the dough I just made this morning.
        My experimenting continues!

  30. chris

    Dear Eric – I want to try a sourdough version of the no knead bread, and would like to know why you use 31/2 cups of flour in your version, yet only 3 cups for the basic no knead loaf, despite the water content being the same.
    I use a 50:50 white flour:water ratio for my starter (is this a 100% hydration??), but am not sure what proportion of starter to flour and water I should be using in order to get the right dough consistency. You use 1/4 cup of starter, but what does this weigh? (I live in the UK and we tend not to use cup measurements!). Many thanks for any help. PS: Just LOVE your site which I have only just discovered.

    • CarolynF

      Hi Chris,
      These are interesting questions and I’m hoping Eric will pick this up and provide more insight. I’ve been using these recipes and videos for quite some time and I’m always anxious to learn more.

      I have a hunch that my 1/4 Cup of starter rarely weighs the same twice. But I’m certain that one measurement is not critical.

  31. Tina

    I just starting baking no knead bread with fabulous results. I use the basic recipe and add about 1/4 cup sunflower seeds and flax seeds. Beats paying $5-$6 a loaf in the store! I wasn’t sure what to use to bake it because my dutch oven has a glass lid…my substitute way has worked extremely well & is so much easier for me to work with. I use an airbake cookie sheet, preheat it with the oven and then turn an entire dutch oven upside down over the top of the bread on the sheet. It’s easy to get the loaf onto a flat pan without burning myself.

  32. Melissa

    This bread recipe just keeps giving back! The same bread recipe makes a nice pizza dough, or even a sourdough quiche dough! When the dough is fully risen after the initial rise, just rip off a hunk of dough about the size of a fist, to roll out as pizza crust. You’ll still have plenty left over for a dinner-sized amount of bread, the following night! (just put the dough back into the fridge until you are ready to shape it for the second rise). I also like adding chopped herbs, including onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, basil and cracked pepper to the basic bread recipe, during the first mix, for a delicious dipping bread!

  33. Caleb H

    First go at NK sourdough from your live starter.

    • Caleb H

      Just tried it and wow is it good. Thanks again for the great starter.

  34. Mark H.

    Some have stated that the salt must be added and mixed with the dry flour and must never be added to the water and starter because salt inhibits yeast. For several weeks, I mistakenly added the salt to the water and starter. The bread still rose beautifully. Then I learned to mix the salt withe flour first.

    Does it really matter? All ingredients are combined within 5 minutes. Adding the salt to the water makes for much more even distribution.

    • If something works, continue. I place the salt with the flour as well; I know others who add it after the dough is 90% mixed.I was also taught that one does not mix salt with the yeast.Just goes to show there are various ways to success…

  35. Mark H.

    This is a double batch of KN sourdough (unbleached white flour) after the 18 hour rise. It has more than doubled in size. The starter has tremendous leavening power. I will bake one loaf and use the rest to try my hand at pizza.

    • Mark H.

      That should read NK (No Knead).

  36. Staci

    I just want to say I’ve tried the no-knead method several times Layhey & Cooks Illustrated versions and love it!! My favorite part is the control I have over the color and crunchiness of my bread. I have no real scientific basis for anything, just trial and error. None of my “failed” loaves have ever been inedible.
    I usually just make a standard recipe cooked in a $10 cast iron Dutch oven. I preheat @500 for 10-30 mins depending on how long I have forgotten about my dough, plop it in with very little ceremony or shaping (after a second proof that usually is longer or shorter than the recipe), reduce heat to 425 & cook for 10 mins, reduce again to 375, cook for 15 mins, then remove the lid and cook another 20-25 mins until the temp is 200 or so.
    This is today’s loaf with a little rosemary & thyme sprinkled with sesame seeds before baking. I rubbed the top of the bread with a little vegetable oil so the seeds would stick, too.
    It seems like there is a little fear out there about messing it up…I say just go for it and if you (or your family) like the result it was worth it. Very few home cooks are starting our own bakeries, anyway!

  37. kelly

    My first try ! It got kinda dark on bottom of bread i used a dutch oven any suggestions to solve this problem?

    • Place an empty tray (or two) under the dutch oven during baking. Good luck…

    • Mark H.

      Try baking at 450°

  38. I made the first loaf of bread this weekend after cheerfully feeding the starter this past week. “Peter Pain”, as the starter has been named, rose beautifully, and we had enough for two loaves and pancakes. My family scarfed nearly all of the first loaf the first night. The only slight problem we had was that my oven runs a bit hot, so we had to turn the temp down a little bit, and I forgot to slice the tops. They tasted fantastic!!

    Thanks for the very helpful tutorial and all the useful tips in both the post and in the comments. These really helped a lot.

    • Here’s our second loaf.

  39. Mark H.

    Now baking two loaves at a time. The starter, now 3 weeks old, has great leavening power and creates tremendous oven spring. This is the most delicious bread I have ever tasted! We use it for sandwiches, toast and mop up soup with the crusts. Still missing the tanginess I was expecting but hope that will come with time.

    Thank you so much. I absolutely love baking bread especially with the starter which I created and which I will faithfully feed over the years ahead.

    • Kathy

      Try French toast! It is to die for. My hubby loves the sourdough English mufins. Sourdough pancakes are light as a feather, but tangy. Sometimes I make my sourdough in long loaves and bake on a stone. But I roll my dough with cheddar, chopped chiles and green onions. Or tons of cinnamon sugar and raisins. Or I bake a loaf with roasted garlic. I’ve even rolled in sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil. It’s endless what you can do! And it’s all good.

      • Erin

        Mark those look great!

        We made pancakes today and they were amazing. Just put a cup of starter, which seemed like A LOT of stater!, 2
        Cups flour and 2 cups water. Let sit covered overnight on my counter. Added some oil salt and bs this morning and cooked on our skillet. Good stuff. It is amazing what this starter has become in our lives.

        Started reading Reinharts book and also a book on fermentation. The whole world of yeast and bacteria is awesome.
        I’ve started reading

        • Mark H.

          What is the name of the book on fermentation?

          • Erin

            “the art of fermentation” by Sandor Ellix Katz. i have it from my library.

            it’s quite in depth but is inspiring. the beginning has a page where he talks about embracing yeast and bacteria in your life. made me feel so good about my starter.

            and there is an awesome recipe for chocolate cake on page239. best cupcakes i have ever made and i used my starter!! and its vegan which is good for me, but dont be scared off by that because seriously they are the best cupcakes you will ever make. i did not make the icing, i just sprinkled powered sugar.

  40. bev

    Hi
    When I go to put the bread from the proofing basket into the
    pre -heated romertoff clay baker it always sort of ” falls” in and deflates a bit. I bake it and it is still delicious but is not as beautiful as it could be. I notice the cloche has shorter sides on it so the bread does not have so far to “fall” into it.
    What is your trick for getting the proofed loaf into a clay baker or a cast iron pot that has high sides.
    Thanks
    Bev

    • Mark H.

      After the long rise, I shape the loaf and place it on a piece of parchment paper for the final rise. I then lift the sides of the parchment paper and carefully lower the loaf into the Dutch oven and cover it. The paper hangs out the sides but will not burn during the baking. This works well for me.

      On this site, on the NK video, Eric uses a proofing basket and flips the loaf onto his fingers and then carefully drops into the LeCloche.

    • Pam Gibbons

      I use my Emile Henry 4.2 qt pot. After the overnight rise and quick knead …I shape and place round into pot and let it raise for two hours . Then I bake it at 400′ covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered for not her 15-20 minutes. My temp usually reads 207′ and higher. The pots are expensive but I have had mine for five years and it has paid for itself so to speak…Pam

    • Once the dough is shaped , place it on a cutting board with a piece of waxpaper under the loaf. When it has risen, hold the board at an angle and gently slide the loaf, with the waxpaer, into the clay baker. Enjoy.

  41. Kevin F

    An experimental variation on the theme. 4 ounce fresh milled hard white, 3 ounce water, 1/4 tsp sea salt, and 2 TBS starter rising in creme brulee dishes.

    It’s an an attempt at a sour dough english muffin replacement. If they come out to good, no promises in the am pics will be taken before consumption.

    Any suggestions for a cooking time? I was thinking 15 minutes at 500 in the clay baker. Thoughts?

    Also, I do pure fresh milled whole wheat with zero white flour. I have found I do not have the correct amount of water. The recipe has to little (stiff dough that doesn’t rise well) and 1 3/4 cup is to much (does not hold form resulting in a tasty bubbly flat loaf that resembles a 50’s sci-fi). Thoughts?

    • Kevin F

      Rising for the am.

  42. Erin

    Made some bread yesterday! I made a mistake with the cooking time, and my old oven burned the bottom of the loaf, but overall it was an awesome experience. So excited to keep going!

    We heard the crackling when we took it out, it was great :)

    I’ll put a pic up when I’m at my computer, big thanks to everyone.

  43. Mark H.

    I am curious, how do you store your bread after baking? In plastic. In a breadbox? What is recommended for these artisan breads?

  44. Erin

    Starter is ready, I can’t believe how much it grows! Ready to bake soon but trying to figure out when the bet time to start is. Meaning, I’m trying to count 18 hrs ahead etc.

    What do you guys like to do? When do you start and finally bake time wise.

    As always, your experiences are apprecited!

    • I feed the starter in the late afternoon, then before I go to bed I make the sour dough. Then I place it in the refrigerator, taking it out in the late afternoon of the following day. If needed, I let it sit outside for an hour or two. Then I shape it, and let it rise another few hours before baking.. Time passed from mixing the dough to taking out of the oven is @24 hours. Enjoy…

      • Erin

        Great. So you let it proof for the 18 hrs in the fridge?

        • For most of the proof, yes. This is due to two things: To control the amount of “sourness” I wish the bread to have, and schudule constraints. On days when I have holiday, I let the dough proof at room temp for between 10 and 12 hours, depending on the strength of the starter.
          Keep things simple: If you have the time, feed the starter, and let that rise (at room temp) for several hours until it shows signs of activity. Then make the sourdough. One can let it rise at room temp. for say 10 hours, or in the refrigerator for around 18. Once you shape it into a loaf, let it rise (at room temp) for several more hours. Enjoy…

    • CarolynF

      I usually mix the dough early in the day, whenever the starter is ready, then put it in the fridge until 9 or 10 pm. Then I set it on the counter for the night. It will be ready for the next step the next morning, any where from 6am to 10 am. It just depend on the temp. And the “personality” of the batch.

      But you can certainly leave it in the fridge longer, even a couple of days if you want to or need to! I generally figured it will be 10-12 hours after I take it out of the fridge.

      My house is usually in the 64 range at night.

      • Erin

        Ok thank you!

        My starter is at room temp.

        When do you feed it in relation to when you begin mixing the ingredients? A few hours before if it’s at room temp?

        Sorry for all the questions!!

        • Paul

          You can feed it on the same day, as long as you let it double in size and have a nice party going on in the starter. I generally feed it the day before I make the dough though, just to get a more complex flavor.
          I’ve been using Eric’s starter for a couple of years now and if it hasn’t been fed for a week or two, it usually snaps back with one feeding. A second feeding, though (even after it doubles) is even better. You can hardly make a mistake.

          • Paul

            Want to add too, that I have been using less water in my starter when I feed it. This makes it pretty firm. I like a more sour flavor, so this has been working out very well.
            The acetic bacteria prefer the denser, less aerated environment of the firm starter; lactic bacteria prefer the wetter sponge. This is according to Peter Reinhart, from his book, “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” (excellent book). Whatever the scientific explanation, it works well!

            • Erin

              i’m loving it all and i will keep you guys posted.

              definitely going to check out the book. thanks for everything!

            • Paul Bauman

              The book isn’t cheap, but you’ll learn a lot. A LOT! Peter Reinhart is a teacher and has many awards for his bread.
              I refer to it all the time as well as Breadtopia.

  45. Erin

    hello again!

    just ordered some supplies and my son began his starter tonight. its very excting.

    he wants to experiement with temperatures during the proofing time, i was thinking he should vary it during the second, shorter proof. what do you think? will that affect the taste? i just want him to have fun experimenting without losing the bread.

    thanks again for the support!

    • As a general rule, the longer the proof, the more sour the flavour. This does not mean one should “over-proof” a dough in hopes of getting more flavour. If one wishes for a longer proof and therefore more sour flavour, use less (you read that correctly) sour dough starter. This will cause the dough to take longer to proof, hence more of a sour taste.
      As for experimenting with temperatures: Not recommended.
      Too high a temp. may cause the yeast to die and the dough to be flat; too low a temp. and the dough may not rise enough and therefore be heavy. The standard temp.for a sour dough bread rise is @30C (90F). It is also recommended to allow both the dough, both before and after shaping, to rise covered by plastic. This helps prevent a skin from forming….

  46. Jeff Tuttle

    I just wanted to thank you for the video on the no knead sourdough bread and recipe. After trying numerous times and failing on making the bread before, I was so happy to run across your recipe and video and to try it with success. My bread turned out so good and it was picture perfect. My family and I enjoyed my first two loaves in two days. I am excited to attempt it again this weekend for the superbowl game. Many thanks.

    • You’re welcome, Jeff. If you feel like returning the favor, please root for the 49er ;-).

  47. Erin

    New to bred making, just wondering if the closed container is necessary or just produces nice results. Can the sourdough be baked on a baking stone instead since I do not have that ceramic pot or a Dutch oven.
    Thanks again!

    • Bénoît Segond von Banchet

      Hi Erin,

      Certainly you can bake on a baking stone, provided your dough is not to wet.
      But the results in a dutch oven are a surprise you should treat yourself on.

    • Sherry

      Hi Erin, yes, the closed container gives nice results; but I’ve also baked no-knead bread in uncovered regular (metal) loaf pans, foil (disposable) loaf pans, uncovered ceramic containers, and open baguette (long, skinny) pans, with very good results.

      • Les V

        The container helps the dough to hold it’s shape in case it is wet enough to start spreading out. If the dough is firm enough it will be fine. If it’s too wet it might spread out and turn out flatter than you might like.

        • Les V

          The container also helps to create a nice crisp crunchy crust. Otherwise it will be softer and chewy, but still very good. Try it and see how it comes out. Be sure to let us know.

  48. Bénoît Segond von Banchet

    80% hydratation;
    replaced 250 ml of the water with 250 ml Heineken pilsener beer.

  49. Sorry folks, there’s a problem with the image upload software. We’re working on it.

    • Image upload is working now.

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