A year ago today, I made my first ever loaf of sourdough bread. Since then, I have been using the same recipe every single time I want to make a loaf of sourdough. My Everyday No-Knead Sourdough Loaf recipe has become a staple recipe in my household and its high time I shared the recipe so you can make it yours too.
Sourdough has become a fascination of mine lately, and although I’ve shared other sourdough recipes on this blog (Sourdough Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls, Sourdough Breakfast Marmalade Buns, Sourdough Strawberry Shortcakes), asides from my Traditional Country Bread Loaf recipe, I’ve never shared a SOURDOUGH bread loaf. This Everyday No-Knead Sourdough Loaf requires minimal ingredients, and minimal effort, but it’s delicious.
I’ve been working on this recipe for a year now, and in recent months it has never failed to turn out successful. In this year, I’ve gotten through many forgotten about or moldy starters, but have finally committed to my most recent starter (her name is Sybil) and she stays in the fridge when I’m not using her to prevent waste and mold. If you would like a mini guide on how to make a sourdough starter and look after one, let me know! I’m eager to create more content for you all.
The sourdough starter is the life force behind any sourdough recipe. They’re not too tricky to look after, but characteristics do change throughout the season. In the summer, I like to keep my sourdough starter in the fridge until I need it. In the morning, I remove my starter from the fridge and leave it to come to room temperature. By around mid-afternoon I give the starter a good feeding (usually a couple big spoons of plain flour and a glug of room temperature water – I don’t measure exactly).
After a few hours in the warmth of my kitchen, the starter has more than doubled in size and is ready to use. To start the dough, I pour a good helping of starter into a large mixing bowl, along with room temperature water and a quick splash of extra virgin olive oil. Mix all of that together thoroughly until just about combined (it’s important not to overmix as you’ll knock out all the air bubbles in the starter).
I then add the flour (I use organic strong white bread flour every time) and a good helping of sea salt to form a yummy crust. Using my hand, I squish all of the ingredients together until all the flour has absorbed and a dough forms. The dough should be fairly dry and flaky. Shape the dough into a rough ball and place it back in the bowl for around 30 minutes.
This begins the stretch and fold process…
Instead of kneading my sourdough, I prefer to complete iterations of a stretch and fold process. To stretch and fold the dough, take the top half of the dough, and stretch it out away from you (but do not pull it apart). Fold this stretched out half over the top of the rest of the dough. Turn the whole dough 90˚ and repeat the whole process until you’ve gone all the way around. I then place the dough back in the bowl and leave it for an hour before repeating again.
At the end of the stretch and fold process your dough should no longer be dry and flaky but elastic and fairly smooth. Place your dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel (this stops it from drying during the overnight prove). Leave the dough in a warm place to prove overnight.
In the morning, the dough usually fills the bowl after rising so much. Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and leave it to sit for 15 minutes. This is called the autolyze process and helps the gluten in the dough to relax (I don’t know if this is scientifically correct, but whenever I don’t let my dough autolyze, I find that it doesn’t hold its structure very well). Once the dough has sat for a good while, shape into a ball and place inside a bowl lined with a well-floured towel. For me, this ensures that the bread keeps it’s height and doesn’t spread out upon baking (before I used this method I used to always end up with frisbee loaves).
To bake, I use a Dutch oven, but you can use any oven-safe pan that will fit the dough inside it. For the first 20 minutes, keep the lid of the Dutch oven on, to help the centre of the bread loaf to cook without over browning the surface. Take the lid off after this time and bake for a further 40 minutes to ensure the loaf forms a good crust and a golden-brown surface.
It’s important to let the loaf sit for a few minutes after baking before handling so that you don’t knock any air out. After 5-10 minutes, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool for around 1 hour. Who else absolutely adores that crackling noise that comes from a cooling loaf of sourdough? I let my bread loaves cool properly before slicing to maintain that beautiful sourdough structure in the centre. Once cool enough, slice, and top lavishly with plant based cream cheese and Four Fruit Marmalade.
If you make My Everyday No Knead Sourdough Loaf make sure you leave a like and a comment down below! I absolutely love hearing from you guys, and you can be sure that I’ll try my best to get back to you soon! And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @amongsttheflour I love seeing the photos of recipes you’ve all made!
Have a beautiful weekend, happy July, and I wish you a safe and warm Summer! I look forward to hearing from you soon!
My Everyday No Knead Sourdough Loaf
- this recipe serves: 8
- prep time: 2 hours
- ferment time: 12 hours
- cook time: 1 hour
- 150g bubbly sourdough starter
- 250ml water, room temp
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
In the evening
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sourdough starter, water, and oil until just combined.
- Add in the flour and salt. Using your hand, work all of the ingredients together until the flour is fully absorbed and a dough has formed.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and roughly shape the dough into a ball. Cover with a damp tea towel, and leave in a warm place to rest for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, its time to stretch and fold the dough. Take the far side of the dough and stretch it away from you. Fold the stretched out dough over the top of the rest of the dough. Turn the dough 90˚ and repeat the process for the other 3 sides until you’ve gone all the way around.
- Place the dough back in the bowl, cover, and leave to rest in a warm place for 1 hour. After this time, repeat step 4 again (completing another stretch and fold). Once completed, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl (seam side down), cover with a damp tea towel, and leave in a warm place to prove overnight (8-12 hours).
In the morning
- The dough should have risen plenty overnight. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and leave to sit for 15 minutes.
- To shape the dough, place your hands on the upper half of the dough and drag it across the work surface towards you. Turn 90˚ and repeat until you’re happy with the shape and height of the dough.
- Place a well-floured tea towel into a large bowl. Onto the floured surface of the tea towel, place the dough seam-side up into the centre and cover with the towel. Leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, preheat your oven to 210˚C (450˚F) and line the bottom of a Dutch oven pan with parchment paper. Place the dough seam-side up in the Dutch oven pan and score (optional).
- Once the oven is up to temperature, place the bread in the oven with the lid to the Dutch oven on, and bake for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove the lid and leave to bake for another 40 minutes until golden brown on the surface.
- Remove the bread from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Once handleable, remove the loaf from the Dutch oven and leave to cool completely (1 hour minimum) on a wire rack.
- Slice and serve slightly warm with plenty of butter or cream cheese and marmalade. Enjoy!