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Oct 29, 2012

No Knead San Francisco Style Sourdough Bread

I've tried many sourdough bread recipes. In fact, great sourdough is my favorite kind of bread and the reason why I caught the bread baking bug.

With this one, you mix the dough and then don't touch it for about 30 hours so it can develop flavor. I've got to say, this bread, while not my prettiest, has the most developed sourdough flavor I have ever been able to bake at home. It's not too strong, but it is distinct, and the aroma, can I just tell you!

This dough was very wet, and I had a lot of trouble tightening it up even when using the stretch and fold method. It kind of stayed wet and sticky, and I was a little worried about adding too much flour. The loaf ended up being about 9 inches in diameter and 3 inches high. Kind of flat, right? And slashing it? Forget it.

The crumb is full of large airy holes, but it is also quite moist. I am definitely going to continue working with this recipe, because the sourdough flavor is amazing. Seriously. It's worth it.

I found this recipe on Farine, and it was inspired by Kneadlessly Simple by Nancy Baggett. I've just ordered the book based on the flavor of this bread (My name is Karen, I'm addicted to cookbooks).

No Knead San Francisco Style Sourdough Bread


496 grams unbleached all purpose flour, plus extra for generous dusting
13 grams salt, I used Kosher
1/4 tsp instant yeast
12 grams of vegetable oil
368 grams mature sourdough starter, 100% hydration
350 grams ice water


In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.
Whisk the water, starter, and oil together in a small bowl or measuring cup and dump into the dry ingredients.
Using a large spoon or dough whisk, stir the ingredients until fully blended. Use a dough scraper to scrape down the sides and pick up dry flour from the bottom of the bowl to blend it into to the dough. 
Spray the dough with spray oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. 
Refrigerate the dough for 3 to 10 hours.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it rise at room temperature for 18 to 24 hours. The dough gets HUGE!
Stir the dough (I just used my hand), adding more flour to make the dough very stiff. Like Farine, I couldn't bring myself to add a lot more flour at this point. 
Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a well floured surface and do a "stretch and fold," folding four sides of the dough onto the top of the dough mass from all four sides, like an envelope. 
Let the dough sit for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the top of the dough and the work surface with flour, do another "stretch and fold" and then shape the dough into a boule, or at least try. 
Spray the dough with spray oil, and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rest for 20 minutes. 
Oil and flour (I used brown rice flour) a Brotform or a flour lined bowl. I used a plastic Brotform for this bread and the dough slipped out easily without sticking. 
With floured hands, shape the dough into a boule and place it into the Brotform or bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Let the dough rise for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. 
Place a cast iron Dutch oven (you can also use a baking stone with a roasting pan cover, the whole idea is to create self generated steam) in your oven and preheat it to 470 degrees F.
When the dough is ready, carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and sprinkle the bottom with semolina or corn meal.
Dump the dough out onto the bottom of the pan and cover. Place the Dutch oven back into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. 
Remove the Dutch oven from your oven and, using potholders, move the bread to a baking sheet, and place it back in the oven. Continue to bake for about another 15 minutes, until the bread reaches about 200 degrees F. 
Cool the loaf on a rack. Do not slice the bread until it has fully cooled. If you prefer warm bread, reheat it at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. 

Submitted to Yeastspotting.

Would you like to comment?

  1. Hello, I don’t have a dutch oven. Thai recipe sounds great. Any ideas for an alternative? Could I construct something out of tinfoil do you think? Thanks 😊

    1. An upside down metal bowl or large foil roaster over a baking stone works very nicely!


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