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Jun 18, 2019

No-Knead Sourdough Bread

This no-knead sourdough bread, with its airy yet substantial crumb and  chewy crust, will become your new favorite loaf.

No-Knead Sourdough Bread

Making this sourdough loaf takes a little bit of time but very little effort. You'll be rewarded with an amazing rustic loaf of sourdough bread.

I have been on a sourdough obsession for about nine years, ever since I bought some dried starter and brought it back to life. After making my first loaf, I was hooked. There is something about the process that is deeply therapeutic.

No-Knead Sourdough Bread baked in a long baker

What is a sourdough starter?

Sourdough starter is, according to Josey Baker, essentially a "zoo of wild yeast and bacteria." It picks up the microorganisms from the air as well as the flour and begins to ferment. The trick is to strike the right balance for making bread by adding water and flour to coax out the yeasties. 

Keeping your starter healthy requires striking the right balance between feeding it, using it, and tossing out the excess before your starter grows so much that it takes over your house. 

After lots of practice, I've found the right balance for keeping my starter healthy while not creating too much excess starter. I rarely have to throw out excess starter, both because I keep just enough, I keep it in the refrigerator, and I often bake with the excess. 

When I do have to throw out excess starter, I don't beat myself up either. When I was new to bread baking, I threw out a lot! It's okay! 

You can also use excess starter in muffins, crackers, waffles, and pancakes. This is where a kitchen scale comes in very handy, because you can calculate the flour to liquid ratio by weight to substitute some sourdough. 

How do you feed your sourdough starter?

Skim off about four ounces of your starter and feed it with four ounces of water and four ounces of flour (by weight). If your starter is pretty dormant, skim off about two ounces and feed it with the flour and water, along with a tablespoon of rye or whole wheat flour, which will aid in giving your starter some ooomph! 

Once your starter is all bubbly, it's ready to use. 

No-Knead Sourdough Bread slices

Normally, I'll shape a rustic sourdough loaf into a round boule and bake it in a Dutch oven.

This time, I wanted to make a loaf that I could slice for sandwiches, but still had the texture of a rustic bread.

I baked this loaf in this covered baker that is made of the same material as a baking stone. Rather than preheating the baker in the oven, you actually let the dough rise in the covered baker.

By the way, even though I have the covered baker, I've been coveting this Emile Henry long baker. It's sturdy enough to survive a wood fired oven, and it's so pretty!

No-Knead Sourdough Bread slices with cheese

How to make no knead sourdough bread:

Just mix all of the ingredients in a big bowl or or dough rising bucket. 

Let the dough rest for an hour, and then stretch and fold the dough three times, once an hour. Then you refrigerate the dough for at least eight hours and up to two days. 

Once you are ready to bake your loaf, shape the dough into a log, and place it in a parchment lined baker (skip the parchment at your own risk) and cover with the lid to rise for about three hours. 

Place the loaf in a 500 degree F oven with the cover on, reduce the heat to 450 degrees F, and bake for 45 minutes with the lid on, and 10 to 15 minutes more with the lid off. 

Sourdough bread using the no knead method

No Knead Sourdough Bread

Yield: 1 large loaf
Author: Karen Kerr


  • 1 cup (227 grams) fed and bubbly 100 percent hydration sourdough starter. 
  • 1 3/4 cups (397 grams by weight) lukewarm water
  • 5 cups (602 grams) bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon (17 grams) salt
  • 2 teaspoons Diastatic Malt powder


How to cook No Knead Sourdough Bread

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl or dough rising bucket with a large spoon or dough whisk until you have a shaggy dough. 
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rest for an hour. 
  3. Fold the dough over itself several times, and then let rest for another hour. 
  4. Repeat two more times, letting it rest an hour between each stretch and fold session. 
  5. Immediately after the last stretch and fold, place the dough in the refrigerator for 8 to 48 hours. 
  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn it out onto a floured surface and shape it into a ball. Let it sit, covered, for 15 minutes, to rest. 
  7. Form the dough into a 13 inch log and place it into a parchment lined long baker. 
  8. Cover with the lid. 
  9. Let the loaf rest for 3 hours at room temperature. 
  10. Heat the oven to 500 degrees F. 
  11. When you are ready to bake, dust the top of the loaf with flour and slash the dough on the diagonal lengthwise. 
  12. Cover and place the loaf in the oven. Reduce the heat to 450 degrees F and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the cover, and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. The interior temperature should be 210 degrees F. 
  13. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely. 
sourdough, bread
sourdough, bread
Created using The Recipes Generator
I found this recipe in one of my King Arthur Flour catalogs. It immediately caught my eye. If you are not on their mailing list, you need to get on it. Plus, their flour is amazing. The recipe is also on their website, along with many other amazing recipes.

Would you like to comment?

  1. Aren't those Baker's to be soaked in water before they go in the oven hand resting 3 hours it would dry out wouldn't it

    1. This one should not be soaked in water. You can season the bottom with a little oil to prevent sticking, but I just use parchment.

  2. The crust! The crumb! The ears! The everything!

    in awe, Karen!

  3. I don't know what diastatic malt powder is. Is it mandatory for this loaf?

    1. It's kind of an enzyme rich barley malt. I should have mentioned that you can use sugar or barley malt syrup instead. Diastatic malt powder helps the crust brown and the yeast grow.

  4. WOW, that looks amazing. And now I have another item added to my wish list on Amazon.sigh. I want one of those covered bakers.

    1. I know what you mean. Thank goodness for wish lists!

    2. Walmart has one that is less expensive. Just ordered ot for around $60!

  5. Gorgeous loaf- I'm loving the look of that crust!

    1. Thanks Sue! Kind of rustic, but very crusty =)

  6. As usual Karen! You are an expert bread baker, love all your bread bakes You are an expert in sourdough baking too, too good crusty bread you have baked.

  7. It looks so beautiful!! I was looking forward to what you were going to bring to this Food Fight and I wasn't disappointed :)

    1. Thanks so much Sarah! Thanks for picking this theme.

  8. I'm quite envious of your Sassafras clay baker! The Emile Henry baker does look nice, but unglazed clay is SO wonderful.

    Lovely crust and beautiful crumb on your no-knead bread!

  9. This bread is so good!! I've made it several times and it always turns out perfect!

  10. Thank you for this recipe, Karen. Unfortunately for me, though the crust came out superb, and the flavor was good, the crumb was dense and gummy. My oven could only go up to 240C- could that be the problem? Also, I baked the bread in a loaf pan with another loaf pan clipped over it as a lid ( poor man’s Dutch oven ). Would appreciate any advice you can give as I love this method since it works well with my schedule. Thank you, Lyn

    1. If the loaf pan prevented full rising, the lid could be it if it's pressing on the loaf as it rises. It's best not to cover it unless it has plenty of room to rise... Other options are immature starter or too short of bulk fermentation time. Your oven temp is fine. The flour I used is 12.7% protein.

  11. Can you tell me how to bake this using a stone pizza pan? Open oven?

    1. You can shape it into rounds or batards and place a steam pan under the pizza stone and the bread on the stone. Keep the oven door shut.

  12. I’ve been trying to make my sourdough starter using King Arthur’s recipe. I’ve gone through their instructions for 2 weeks, but can’t get my starter to rise. I feed twice a day.

    Do you have a sourdough starter recipe I can use to get baking?

    Thanks! Love your site.

    1. Thank you! I actually bought starter from King Arthur and revived it from there. I believe they still sell it too. I've kept it alive for about 14 years now. So, I kind of cheated at the beginning but everytime I tried on my own it didn't work.

    2. P.S. I've heard really good things about this formula and instructions...


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