5 Ingredients or Fewer

Minimalist No-knead Sourdough Baguettes (2-3 days)

January 12, 2013
0 Stars
Author Notes


  • Makes 3 baguettes
  • bread dough
  • Refreshing the starter
  • 25 grams 80% hydration starter* (about 1/4 cup)
  • *note: after first round the starter above will be already be measured out and stored in fridge, see Step 9 below**
  • 75 grams unbleached AP flour (about 3/4 c. + 2 tsp.)
  • 60 grams filtered water (about 1/4 c. + 2 tsp.)
In This Recipe
  1. REFRESH THE STARTER: 12-24 hours before baking refresh the 25 grams starter with the flour and water. Allow to double in volume then store in refrigerator until ready to make dough; can store in fridge for up to two days.
  2. MIX THE DOUGH: Mix the flour and water until it becomes a "shaggy mass." Allow to rest in fridge for 12-24 hours. Remove a portion of this dough that weighs 25 grams and store it in a lidded container; this will be a new starter, see Step 9 below.** The remainder of the dough will be the baguettes.
  3. GET READY TO NOT KNEAD: Pull dough and starter out of the fridge and let warm up a little for about an hour. Pour salt and oil into shot glasses if desired. It makes the following steps more manageable.
  4. ADD STARTER & SALT TO DOUGH: After it has rested overnight in the fridge the "shaggy mass" will be now very smooth and supple. With a large stainless steel spoon or rigid plastic spatula incorporate the starter and the salt. Mash the dough to the sides of the bowl and add the starter in small chunks. Sprinkle in about half of the salt and mash. Scrape sides and fold over the center. Mash down and add remaining salt. Scrape and fold again and allow to rest. The starter and salt does NOT need to be well incorporated at this point.
  5. STRETCH AND ROLL: Scrape dough out of the bowl with a spatula. Stretch into a horizontal oblong about 24" in length and let the right end drop into the bowl. Pick up right edge of dough with right hand and roll dough up from one to the other. Grab each coiled end of roll and stretch; roll ups and pinch ends then wrap under. Drizzle a little oil on dough, wipe it around top of dough with your hand and place in bowl oil side down. Allow to sit for a half hour.
  6. 3 HOURS - MORE STRETCH & ROLLS: Continue to make two stretch-and-rolls as above every 1/2 hour or so for about three hours; all salt should be incorporated into dough by third or fourth S&R. Oil dough as needed after each S&R. Cover and store in the fridge for another 12-24 hours.
  7. DIVIDE & SHAPE: Turn cold dough onto an oiled surface. Cut into three equal pieces and shape each into a baguette. Place in a linen or parchment paper couche to proof, about 2-4 hours, see poke test below. See my separate post on making a couche and shaping high hydration dough baguettes.
  8. POKE TEST: Stick an index finger into the loaf. If dough springs back and dent disappears they are not ready, or under-proofed. If dent stays and does not spring back at all then loaves are over-proofed and will not rise fully. But if the dent fills in about halfway then they are ready to bake.
  9. SLASH & BAKE: Place cast iron skillet and baking stone - or upside baking sheet - in the oven and preheat until 460 degrees Fahrenheit. Slash baguettes with a serrated bread knife and slid onto hot stone/sheet, drop ice cubes into the skillet and close oven door, lower temp to 450. Bake 10 minutes; turn stone/sheet around. Lower temp to 425 and bake another 11 or 12 minutes. Allow to cool one hour before eating.
  10. **NEW STARTER: Allow container of starter to develop at room temperature for 4-8 hours or until doubled in volume, then place in fridge for next time. It can be stored for about a week or so before it will need to be refreshed. This will need to be refreshed before baking again.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • aargersi
  • Sadassa_Ulna
  • Becki Jameson
    Becki Jameson

Recipe by: Sadassa_Ulna

Growing up I was the world's pickiest eater, that is, until my children were born. Karma. Neither of my parents were much into cooking; it was the height of eating fat-free or anything with oat bran added. I taught myself some basics, mostly baking, following the guidelines of a well-worn copy of Joy of Cooking. I was a ballet dancer and a teacher suggested I lose weight. As I began reading about diet and nutrition I became interested in natural foods, which led to a job at a macrobiotic natural foods market in Center City Philadelphia; this was way before Whole Foods came to the area. I learned a lot about food in general. I ate strictly vegan for a while, although I don't now, but I still like it when a recipe can taste great without butter or bacon! In short, my approach to cooking is idiosyncratic, and I don't know very much about cooking meat or proper technique. I love to bake and I am still working on expanding my palate and my repertoire. The hardest part is getting the whole family to try new things! So aside from my food status, I am an architect who likes to garden and play music. I'm married with two kids, and I hope to get a dog someday.

6 Reviews

Becki J. February 11, 2017
I'm a group admin for a sourdough bread baking group on Facebook. A group of about 30 of us followed your recipe and made the baguettes. We have found 3 problems with the directions: 1. None of our baguettes browned. We believe the directions should be to start at 500F and work down the temps incrementally as you have posted, but definitely starting at a higher temperature. Narrow breads need to bake fast and high because the inside comes to the right temperature much faster than with thicker loaves. 2. We can find no demonstration anywhere on YouTube on how to do a "stretch and roll." Tutorials abound for "stretch & Folds." was this a mistake in terms? The directions to leave the right edge of the dough hanging in the bowl, then to grasp the right edge and roll it up don't make sense. 3. How can the 25g taken from the newly mixed flour and water that is being called dough be used as a starter for the next bake? It contains no sourdough culture. How then can it develop at room temperature for 4-8 hours? There is nothing to develop. The recipe states that 25g of "mature starter" will be necessary to create the levain of which 60g water and 75g flour has been added and combined. You don't get mature starter from mixing flour and water afresh, then letting it sit at room temperature for 4-8 hours, then refrigerate it. A sourdough culture takes at minimum 5 days of attentive, twice-daily feedings of equal weights of flour and water (or at a percentage hydration less than 100%) at room temperature.
AntoniaJames January 13, 2013
So glad you got a scale!! It makes life so much easier, doesn't it? ;o)
aargersi January 13, 2013
I have just started making baguette too - sort of like this but not completely - I will try this next time!
Author Comment
Sadassa_Ulna January 13, 2013
Please let me know if you do try it! What recipes are you using for yours?
aargersi January 13, 2013
My brother walked me through this one then I did it myself - it was better with him holding my hand :-)

Author Comment
Sadassa_Ulna January 13, 2013
That's the recipe I used for a while too (I added that in my headnote). The long rests in the fridge really make a difference. Txfarmer is one dedicated bread baker, her blog at TFL is great.