5 Ingredients or Fewer

DAILY Perpetual Minimalist No-Knead Sourdough Baguettes OR PRETZELS

January 28, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Makes 3-4 baguettes or 9-12 pretzels
Author Notes

This recipe is my attempt to streamline the daily breadmaking in my house. A saltless dough is mixed up using a stiff levain type sourdough starter and a portion is set aside which becomes the exact amount of levain needed for the next day's batch. I don't like the clean-up and fiddly-ness of refreshing aseparate starter every day. This recipe also serves as a cheatsheet for making the other chewy rustic not-so-sour baguettes I posted prior to this.
Also this dough makes excellent soft pretzels! Which I will post sometime soon.

What You'll Need
  • 515 grams unbleached AP flour (about 4-1/4 cups)
  • 410 grams filtered water (about 1-3/4 cups)
  • 160 grams REFRESHED 80% hydration starter (about 3/4 cup + 1 T.)
  • 12 grams salt (about 2 tsp.)
  • 15 grams or so olive oil for the bowl (a few teaspoons)
  • 2 two shot glasses or tiny bowls for salt and oil - optional
  • 4-5 ice cubes for baking
  • 1 cast iron skillet for steaming
  1. overnight / MIX THE DOUGH: Mix the flour and water until it becomes a "shaggy mass." Allow to rest in fridge for 12-24 hours.
  2. 1 hour / ADD STARTER: Mash in small chunks of cold starter into the cold dough; then stretch and roll. Let sit 1/2 hour. Stretch and roll. Let sit 1/2 hour.
  3. 1 minute / REMOVE PORTION FOR NEXT STARTER: Make a third stretch and roll. Remove a portion that weighs 160 grams (about 3/4 c. + 1 T.) Allow this to sit out - covered - at room temp until doubled in size, then refrigerate.
  4. 3 hours / S&R + ADD SALT: Scrape out dough with spatula and oil bowl with one hand while holding dough in other. Continue to do "stretch-and-rolls" every half hour, except this time you are sprinkling salt after the stretch and before the roll. Get all salt in by fourth S&R.
  5. overnight / BULK RISE: Cover and store in fridge for another 12-24 hours.
  6. 4 - 5 hours / DIVIDE, SHAPE, PROOF: Divide dough into 3 pieces, shape and place in couche. Do POKE-TEST to determine readiness.
  7. 10 mins. / HEAT OVEN, SLASH & BAKE: Heat oven to 450 deg F. Place cast iron skillet on bottom rack. When hot. slash and slide into oven. Add ice to skillet and close door. 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.

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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.

2 Reviews

Becki J. February 11, 2017
Thank you for changing your previous recipe. Three factors caused confusion for our sourdough bread baking group on Facebook. We followed your previous recipe, but there was confusion about the "stretch & roll" and none of our baguettes browned when started at 460F like your previous recipe indicated. I see here that you've lowered it even further, just 10 degrees lower. I would think that a higher initial temperature would help the oven spring as well as the browning. Especially thank you for changing the time when to remove 25 grams of dough to use as starter for following bakes. In the previous recipe, you had it to be done after the flour and water were mixed for the dough, but before the levain containing starter had been incorporated. This way makes much more sense. Can you please explain the stretch and roll as well as the lack of browning when starting them baking at 460F?
Becki J. February 11, 2017
1. Thank you for changing your recipe to be taking the 25 grams of dough from the combined refreshed starter and simple flour & water dough before salt is added. Our Facebook group was wondering how this portion could be used in the following bake when it contained no starter. 2. You have now lowered the temperature recommendation to starting at 450F. Many of the members of the group participated in a baguette bake where we used your first publication of this recipe on YouTube and here on Food52. In that first version, you directed to start baking them at 460F. None of us experienced any browning of our loaves. We are wondering whether starting the baking temperature at 500F would produce browning? 3. What is a Stretch & roll? We cannot find any video of this method. All videos we find are demonstrating Stretch & fold.