No-Knead Sourdough Bread

I have been sharing quite a few sourdough recipes… and I have quite a few more. ūüėČ I made many of these baked goods while waiting for my sourdough starter to become fully active- which took a full month!

Now it’s (finally) time to share the most simple and delicious sourdough bread recipe I’ve made thus far. It is a sourdough version of the famous Dutch oven “no-knead” bread. Heavenly.

The recipe is from¬†America’s Test Kitchen. I weighed the ingredients. I liked that the bread bakes on a piece of parchment paper inside the Dutch oven which is an improvement from the classic Sullivan Street No-Knead Bread. The preparation process begins the night before baking the loaf.

Yield: 1 large round loaf

Time: 1 1/4 hours, plus 14 hours resting

  • 18.3 oz (3 2/3 cups) all-purpose flour (preferably King Arthur or substitute any brand bread flour)
  • 1 3/4 tsp fine sea salt or coarse salt
  • 12.6 oz (1 1/2 cups plus 4 tsp) water, room temperature
  • 3 oz (1/3 cup) mature sourdough starter
  1. Ideally, feed your starter the morning you are planning to make the dough. Leave it at room temperature for up to 12 hours. (I weighed and fed 3oz of starter with equal parts water and flour and left it loosely covered at room temperature for 10 -12 hours.)
  2. Whisk flour and salt together in medium bowl. (I try to start the process at 7pm)
  3. Whisk room-temperature water and starter in large bowl until smooth.
  4. Add flour mixture to water mixture and stir using wooden spoon, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until dough comes together, then knead by hand in bowl until shaggy ball forms and no dry flour remains.
  5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours or up to 18 hours.
  6. Lay 12 by 12-inch sheet of parchment paper on counter and spray generously with vegetable oil spray.
  7. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead 10 to 15 times. (I lightly flour my hands as well.)
  8. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. (For the best rise, you want to create a smooth, round, somewhat taut top.)
  9. Transfer dough, seam side down, to center of parchment.
  10. Pick up dough by lifting parchment edges and lower into heavy-bottomed Dutch oven. Cover with plastic wrap.
  11. Adjust oven rack to middle position and place a metal loaf or cake pan in bottom of oven.
  12. Place pot on middle rack and pour 3 cups of boiling water into pan below.
  13. Close oven door and let dough rise until doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with your floured finger, 2 to 3 hours.
  14. Remove pot and water pan from oven; discard plastic from pot.
  15. Lightly flour top of dough (I use a small sieve) and, using razor blade, kitchen shears, or sharp knife, make one 7-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough. (Using kitchen shears, I made a large # on the top of the dough instead.)
  16. Cover pot and place on middle rack in oven.
  17. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Bake bread for 30 minutes (start timing as soon as you turn on the oven).
  18. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. (I baked mine for an additional 22 minutes.)
  19. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

No-Knead Bread from Sullivan Street Bakery

Years ago, I bought a rusty old cast iron Dutch oven at a community sale. The sale was held at a local horse farm. It was so picturesque, I had to buy something! ūüôā (It’s hard for me to pass up on any cast iron anyway…) I cleaned it up and re-seasoned it, but, I will admit it has taken a back seat to my enameled cast iron pots. Finally, I know why I needed it! It was the absolute perfect vessel to bake this beautiful bread in.

This is one of the all-time most popular recipes ever published in the New York Times. It was adapted from Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery. The recipe is very forgiving and is practically effortless, but takes almost 24 hours to complete. The most difficult part for me was deciding what time frame would work the best to start the bread! (I decided to start at 3 pm, by the way.)

My house is too cold this time of year to let the dough rise at room temperature, so I used a proofing oven. I also used a greased bowl for the second rise because others had commented that the dough is so sticky it becomes difficult to manage. Next time, I would make 2 loaves at once. (Seems so obvious now!) I would also try incorporating whole wheat flour for half of the bread flour. This bread is so fabulous my family wants me to make it at least once a week!

I’m bringing my prize loaf to share at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #109 this week, which I’m co-hosting (fun!) with Lily of Little Sweet Baker. I am also sharing it at Throwback Thursday hosted by Mollie, Quinn, and Meaghan. Come join us! Enjoy!

  • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting (preferably King Arthur)
  • ¬ľ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 ¬ľ teaspoons coarse salt
  • cornmeal or wheat bran, as needed
  • cooking oil spray, as needed

  1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt.
  2. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. IMG_3225
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a cotton towel. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees. (I put the covered bowl in the oven under a proofing setting (85 degrees) for 6 hours, left it in the closed oven for 10 hours, and then returned it to the proofing setting for the remaining 2 hours.) Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. IMG_3240
  4. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, wash the bowl.
  6. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball.
  7. Coat the bowl with cooking oil spray and sprinkle with cornmeal.
  8. Place the dough seam side down into the bowl. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. (I placed mine back in the oven on the proofing setting.) When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
  9. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. (I used the convection setting.) Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats.
  10. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven.
  11. Coat the top of the dough with cooking oil spray and lightly sprinkle with cornmeal.
  12. Turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. (It may look like a mess, but that is okay.) Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
  13. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack. Enjoy! 

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