My House Smells Amazing- No-knead Sourdough Bread #recipe

Updated: May 13

Y'all.

I'm not sure what took me so long to attempt bread, but lets just say I basically #nailedit the first time around. *Pats self on back*

My house smells amazing, the bread is freaking delicious, and I cannot wait to start really experimenting with different additives! I'm already dreaming of cranberry walnut bread, olive bread, rye bread, and I really want to try to figure out Cheesecake Factory's brown bread! I promise to update you guys as I explore the possibilities.


Now, you can really go nuts with the baking accouterments, and lets be honest, I probably will eventually, haha.

But I want you guys to know that you can do this with whatever you've got handy. You do not need fancy proofing baskets, you don't need your own grain mill, and if you don't have a dutch oven, you can easily DIY something that will work!

What you DO need, is sourdough starter though!


Pain is just a French word for bread.

- unknown


Ingredients:

Sour Dough Starter

Whole Wheat Flour

White Flour

Water

Salt


Other Materials to Have Handy:

Large Glass Mason Jar (or something else to keep your starter in)

Measuring cup

Parchment Paper (this made the process so simple and mess free for me!)

Aluminum Foil (for DIY-ing a Dutch Oven)

Large Ceramic or Glass Bowl

Container for baking your bread (Pyrex, ceramic, or metal loaf pans can all work for this)

Danish Dough Whisk (a spoon works for this to start!)

Bread Lame (a VERY sharp knife will work for this short term, but a bread lame works soooooo much better. It was a worthwhile expense for me.)

Cooling rack


Instructions for Sour Dough Starter

The beauty of sour dough starter is that although it takes a couple days to get it going, once you've got your starter you can keep it going indefinitely. Just one pack of starter can get your started at least 3-4 times, but you won't need to do it that many times. You only use a small amount of your live starter each time you make bread, and you just "feed" it flour and water in between bread batches to keep it alive. I know people that have had the same starter for years! How cool, right?


I bought Breadtopia Dry Sour Dough Starter on Amazon, and I love how my bread tastes (and it got the nod of approval from the picky husband and the 3 kids old enough to eat bread, so I definitely recommend this one)!


Then I followed the instructions on Breadtopia's site for reviving my dry starter. This is also a great resource for how-to videos and recipes. They have a lot of fancy gadgets that you definitely don't need to make amazing bread though! Day 1: In a mason jar, soak 1 ½ teaspoons dried starter in 1 Tablespoon lukewarm purified or spring water for a few minutes to soften (full disclosure- I used tap water). Then stir in 1 Tablespoon all-purpose or bread flour, close the lid and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

Day 2: To the above mix, stir in 1 Tablespoon of flour and 2 teaspoons of water and let it continue to sit covered as before for another 24 hours. Day 3: Stir in 1 more Tablespoon of flour and just 1 teaspoon of water this time. Within the next 12 to 24 hours you will likely start to see some bubbling action of fermentation. The warmer the room, the faster the activation.

**Note: It occasionally takes an extra day or two, but even in NY, my starter was bubbly by the end of day 3.** Now stir in 1/3 cup flour and 1/4 cup of water. Within about 12 hours you should have a lively, spongy starter. Continue to build the starter with once or twice daily feedings until you have a sufficient quantity to use for baking. You may double or triple the quantity of starter with each feeding. Feeding with approximately equal weights of flour and water (vs. equal volumes) will result in a good starter consistency.


Recipe:

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 34 minutes Servings: 1 Loaf

Ingredients

  • 260g (~2 cups) whole wheat flour

  • 260g (~2 cups) white flour

  • 10g (~1 ½ tsp. salt)

  • 438g (2 cups minus 2 Tbs water)

  • 70g (¼ cup) sourdough starter


Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, stir 1/4 cup starter into water.

  • Add combined dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated. You can use a Danish Dough Whisk for this, or a simple spoon does the trick too.

  • 2 stretch and folds at 15 minute intervals.

  • Cover bowl and let sit roughly 10-12 hours at room temperature.

  • Sprinkle flour in proofing basket, stretch and fold dough and place seam side down in basket. For this part I improvised. I placed a clean cloth inside a bowl, sprinkled flour on it, and placed my dough on top. I then covered with a second clean cloth.

  • Cover proofing basket and let rise about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Proofing times can vary quite a bit based mostly on your ambient room temperature. Experience will be your best teacher when it comes to judging when your dough is ready to bake. Mine was ready at the 75 minute mark.

  • Bake in preheated (500ºF) covered baker for approximately 17 minutes.

**Note: I didn't have a bread baker or Dutch Oven so I placed two metal loaf pans in the oven and allowed them to preheat. I also split my dough in half before allowing it to rise a second time since I knew I didn't have a large enough bread baker. I used a piece of parchment paper, sprinkled flour on it, placed my dough on that and used the parchment paper as a sling of sorts to move my dough into my preheated pans. It also made removal of the finished bread onto a cooling rack super easy. It didn't stick to the pan, my pans were still clean, and it mitigated my risk of getting burnt. It's important to note that having your pans or baker preheated before adding your dough is important! I also just loosely covered my loaf pans with aluminum foil for the first portion of baking since I didn't have a covered baker.**

  • Remove baker cover and continue baking an additional 17 minutes.

  • When internal dough temperature reaches 200-210ºF, remove from oven and let cool completely.

  • Consume bread, be happy.


Additional Notes

The Key to Everything There are countless variations of this basic recipe. Following this recipe should produce a desirable outcome. But what if you prefer a mostly white flour version, or mostly whole wheat? How should you vary the recipe to compensate for the changes? This is where using "baker's percentages" and understanding hydration levels comes in handy. Baker's percentage is simply a way to indicate the proportion of a recipe's ingredients relative to the total flour used in the recipe, when making baked goods. For example, if the total flour used in a recipe is 1000 grams and the amount of water used is 750 grams, then the Baker's Percentage of water is 75% (750 is 75% of 1000). In this example you can also say the hydration level of the dough is 75%. If the total amount of salt in this example recipe is 20 grams, the Baker's Percentage of salt is 2%. I think the main beauty of knowing and using Baker's Percentages is that it allows you to easily scale a recipe (adjust the size and hydration) to suit your needs. If a loaf of bread using X grams of flour is bigger or smaller than you want, you can reduce or increase the amount of flour by however much you want but keep the proportions of the other ingredients accurate when you know their relative weight to the flour. Getting back to this No Knead recipe post, the amount of water I used is 85%, by weight, of the amount of flour I used. The hydration level is 85%. This percentage works well for a recipe that is ½ white flour and ½ whole wheat flour. But if I decide instead to bake an all whole grain bread, I'm going to have to increase the amount of water used in the recipe or decrease the amount of flour. In other words, I need to increase the hydration level to maybe somewhere in the neighborhood of 90% to achieve the same consistency of dough. This is simply because whole wheat absorbs more water than the same amount of white flour. Conversely, if I want an all white flour bread, I'll probably drop the hydration level to somewhere around 80%. Just knowing this gives me a framework to go by. If my dough turns out too wet or too dry to be easy to work with at whatever hydration level, I'll tweak the level up or down the next time until I get it to about where I want it.

Update: Now lets talk about some other variations I've tried! I've had some really great success adapting this recipe a few different ways, so if you've been wanting to try cranberry/walnut bread, cinnamon raisin bread, or a really awesome rye adaptation; read on!

Cranberry Walnut No-Knead Sour Dough Bread


Recipe:

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 34 minutes Servings: 1 Loaf


Ingredients

  • 3 cups white flour

  • 1 cup rye flour

  • 1 tbs salt

  • 2 cups minus 2 Tbs water

  • ¼ cup sourdough starter

  • 1 cup walnuts

  • 1 cup dried cranberries


Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, stir 1/4 cup starter into water.

  • Make sure that your walnuts are lightly toasted. 10 minutes at 200 degrees in the oven works, or you can sprinkle a few drops of water on them, toss them on a plate and microwave them at 10 second intervals, mixing in between, for about 1 minute.

  • Add combined dry ingredients (white flour, rye flour and salt) and stir until well incorporated. You can use a Danish Dough Whisk for this, or a simple spoon does the trick too.

  • Add cranberries and walnuts and stir thoroughly.

  • 2 stretch and folds at 15 minute intervals.

  • Cover bowl and let sit roughly 10-12 hours at room temperature.

  • Sprinkle flour in proofing basket, stretch and fold dough and place seam side down in basket. For this part I improvised. I placed a clean cloth inside a bowl, sprinkled flour on it, and placed my dough on top. I then covered with a second clean cloth.

  • Cover proofing basket and let rise about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Proofing times can vary quite a bit based mostly on your ambient room temperature. Experience will be your best teacher when it comes to judging when your dough is ready to bake. Mine was ready at the 75 minute mark.

  • Bake in preheated (500ºF) covered baker for approximately 17 minutes.

**Note: I didn't have a bread baker or Dutch Oven so I placed two metal loaf pans in the oven and allowed them to preheat. I also split my dough in half before allowing it to rise a second time since I knew I didn't have a large enough bread baker. I used a piece of parchment paper, sprinkled flour on it, placed my dough on that and used the parchment paper as a sling of sorts to move my dough into my preheated pans. It also made removal of the finished bread onto a cooling rack super easy. It didn't stick to the pan, my pans were still clean, and it mitigated my risk of getting burnt. It's important to note that having your pans or baker preheated before adding your dough is important! I also just loosely covered my loaf pans with aluminum foil for the first portion of baking since I didn't have a covered baker.**

  • Remove baker cover and continue baking an additional 17 minutes.

  • When internal dough temperature reaches 200-210ºF, remove from oven and let cool completely.

  • Consume bread, be happy.

Cinnamon Raisin No-Knead Sourdough Bread


Recipe:

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 34 minutes Servings: 1 Loaf

Ingredients

  • 3 cups white flour

  • 1 cup rye flour

  • 1 tbs salt

  • 1 tbs cinnamon

  • 2 1/2 cups of water

  • ¼ cup sourdough starter

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup raisins


Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, stir 1/4 cup starter, maple syrup, and salt into water.

  • Add combined dry ingredients (white flour, rye flour and salt) and stir until well incorporated. You can use a Danish Dough Whisk for this, or a simple spoon does the trick too.

  • Add cinnamon and raisins to mix and stir thoroughly. (Note: This dough will be much stickier, more similar to a batter, this is normal.)

  • 2 stretch and folds at 15 minute intervals.

  • Cover bowl and let sit roughly 10-12 hours at room temperature.

  • Sprinkle flour in proofing basket, stretch and fold dough and place seam side down in basket. For this part I improvised. I placed a clean cloth inside a bowl, sprinkled flour on it, and placed my dough on top. I then covered with a second clean cloth.

  • Cover proofing basket and let rise about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Proofing times can vary quite a bit based mostly on your ambient room temperature. Experience will be your best teacher when it comes to judging when your dough is ready to bake. Mine was ready at the 75 minute mark.

  • Bake in preheated (500ºF) covered baker for approximately 17 minutes.

**Note: I didn't have a bread baker or Dutch Oven so I placed two metal loaf pans in the oven and allowed them to preheat. I also split my dough in half before allowing it to rise a second time since I knew I didn't have a large enough bread baker. I used a piece of parchment paper, sprinkled flour on it, placed my dough on that and used the parchment paper as a sling of sorts to move my dough into my preheated pans. It also made removal of the finished bread onto a cooling rack super easy. It didn't stick to the pan, my pans were still clean, and it mitigated my risk of getting burnt. It's important to note that having your pans or baker preheated before adding your dough is important! I also just loosely covered my loaf pans with aluminum foil for the first portion of baking since I didn't have a covered baker.**

  • Remove baker cover and continue baking an additional 17 minutes.

  • When internal dough temperature reaches 200-210ºF, remove from oven and let cool completely.

  • Consume bread, be happy.

Simple Rye No-Knead Sour Dough Bread


Recipe:

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 34 minutes Servings: 1 Loaf

Ingredients

  • 3 cups white flour

  • 1 cup rye flour

  • 1 tbs salt

  • 2 cups minus 2 tbs of water

  • ¼ cup sourdough starter

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, stir 1/4 cup starter into water.

  • Add combined dry ingredients (white flour, rye flour and salt) and stir until well incorporated. You can use a Danish Dough Whisk for this, or a simple spoon does the trick too.

  • 2 stretch and folds at 15 minute intervals.

  • Cover bowl and let sit roughly 10-12 hours at room temperature.

  • Sprinkle flour in proofing basket, stretch and fold dough and place seam side down in basket. For this part I improvised. I placed a clean cloth inside a bowl, sprinkled flour on it, and placed my dough on top. I then covered with a second clean cloth.

  • Cover proofing basket and let rise about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Proofing times can vary quite a bit based mostly on your ambient room temperature. Experience will be your best teacher when it comes to judging when your dough is ready to bake. Mine was ready at the 75 minute mark.

  • Bake in preheated (500ºF) covered baker for approximately 17 minutes.

**Note: I didn't have a bread baker or Dutch Oven so I placed two metal loaf pans in the oven and allowed them to preheat. I also split my dough in half before allowing it to rise a second time since I knew I didn't have a large enough bread baker. I used a piece of parchment paper, sprinkled flour on it, placed my dough on that and used the parchment paper as a sling of sorts to move my dough into my preheated pans. It also made removal of the finished bread onto a cooling rack super easy. It didn't stick to the pan, my pans were still clean, and it mitigated my risk of getting burnt. It's important to note that having your pans or baker preheated before adding your dough is important! I also just loosely covered my loaf pans with aluminum foil for the first portion of baking since I didn't have a covered baker.**

  • Remove baker cover and continue baking an additional 17 minutes.

  • When internal dough temperature reaches 200-210ºF, remove from oven and let cool completely.

  • Consume bread, be happy.

Have you tried any other variations?

I'd love to see pictures of your bread making and hear about what you've tried!


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