No-Knead Sourdough Bread

November  3, 2021
38 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 14 hours
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • Makes 1 large loaf
Author Notes

A riff on Jim Lahey's popular no-knead method, this bread uses a sourdough starter instead of commercial yeast. You can adjust the fermentation (rising) time to make a tangier, more sourdough-forward loaf. If you have a Dutch oven or pot that you can preheat empty, do that! You'll get an even better crust on your loaf. But if you can't (and check, not all pots are safe to preheat empty), it'll be deliciously crusty and chewy regardless.

Helpful tools for this recipe:
- Food52 x Staub Round Cocotte
- Mason Cash Cane Mixing Bowls
- Five Two Airtight Silicone Lids

Posie (Harwood) Brien

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with Miele. Posie, who developed this amazing no-knead sourdough bread recipe, shared some more tips and tricks to get the best results from this baking project. She writes, "No-knead bread is a fantastic place to start experimenting with your sourdough starter, because it’s relatively easy to execute. Jim Lahey popularized this technique in the 2000s, and it’s won over many a baker. I fell for it five years ago, and have been baking it ever since.

"At its core, the original no-knead bread recipe requires you to do little more than mix together your flour, water, salt, and commercial yeast (which you can find at the grocery store, and is what many bread recipes call for). Once mixed into a shaggy dough, you let it rest and rise. After a long rise, you plop the dough into a Dutch oven and bake it.

"The recipe creates an artisan-style loaf with a chewy-crispy crust and a soft interior. You can easily adapt it to use other flours (like spelt or rye) or flavors (like herbs or cheese). So naturally, I turned to sourdough. To create a sourdough version, I used the same technique as the original Lahey recipe, but skipped the commercial yeast and used ripe sourdough starter instead.

"So feed your sourdough starter (or get started by finding one!) and give it a shot. This is one of the most accessible recipes for embarking on your journey of sourdough baking, and I suspect you’ll fall in love with it just as I have." —The Editors

What You'll Need
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No-Knead Sourdough Bread
  • 4 cups (480 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) ripe sourdough starter
  • 1 1/3 cups (303 grams) room-temperature water
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the sourdough starter and water until no bits of starter remain.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the starter mixture and stir (a wooden spoon is helpful here) until it just comes together. You don’t want to see major dry spots, but don’t worry about getting everything perfectly combined; it’s okay for it to look shaggy and not smooth.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a reusable bowl cover and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  5. After 1 hour, uncover the bowl and fold the dough over onto itself a few times. The best way to do this is to grab the dough with your hand (or use a dough scraper), starting at the top of the bowl furthest from you, and pull it over onto itself toward the bottom of the bowl closest to you. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat, doing 4 folds in total.
  6. Cover the bowl again and let it rest at room temperature overnight (aim for 8 to 10 hours).
  7. After this rise, scoop the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using your hand or a dough scraper, repeat the four-time folding motion, shaping the dough into a ball as you go, leaving it seam-side down. Cover the dough lightly with a flour-dusted tea towel and let it sit for 1½ hours, or until puffy and almost doubled in size. (It’s nice to let the shaped dough rise on a piece of parchment paper or another floured towel, as this will make it easier to move into the pot.)
  8. Just before the end of the rising time, heat the oven to 450°F. Once risen, carefully transfer the dough to a Dutch oven or other heavy pot; arrange seam side up.
  9. Using a very sharp knife or bread lame, slash the top of the loaf once, making a ½-inch cut down the center. (Feel free to get fancier if you like!)
  10. Cover the pot with the lid and bake the bread for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is a deep golden brown all over. If you have a digital thermometer, the internal temperature of the loaf should register 210°F. Remove from the oven and flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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159 Reviews

Stormyk August 7, 2023
OK, this is not the first time I have made bread, so I'm not sure what happened? I could not get this recipe to rise? Sourdough starter seems to be working well and I have made no knead regular bread before and no problems, so I'm not sure what has happened. It didn't fall it just never seem to start rising?
Tamileen August 7, 2023
I do love this recipe! But I’m still having trouble with it after three loaves. The instructions on my Dutch oven are not to heat over 450°. So I cook with a lid on for 20 minutes and 20 minutes with a lid off. The bottom of my loaf is over cooking. It is so hard to cut it. And sometimes after proofing when I go to put it in to the Dutch oven, it just flattens and spreads out like a blob. I’m not giving up, but I am frustrated.
Heather W. August 7, 2023
Disclaimer: I'm not an expert. :) But what I would try: lower the heat on your oven by 25 degrees, but cook the bread longer (if necessary). And if possible, move the rack up one notch (so your dutch oven is farther from the lower heating coil or heat source).
Tamileen August 7, 2023
I did move up the oven rack high as I could to accommodate the Dutch oven and the lid. So I was still experiencing that issue. I will try lowering the temperature to 425° and see what happens. Thanks for your advice.
klk7956 June 26, 2023
I don’t have a Dutch oven. Can I bake it on a preheated stone and add steam with water or ice in a separate pan?
itsizzi June 26, 2023
You really need something with a lid to trap the steam inside. But any covered dish, that will take the heat, will do. Even a heatproof bowl with aluminum foil, just seal it tightly. It's really a forgiving recipe. :)
klk7956 June 26, 2023
Thanks! That’s a great idea!
itsizzi June 26, 2023
I forgot to add, that whatever you use, to be sure you leave enough room at the top for it to rise, because it will almost double.
Catherine M. February 20, 2023
This is the recipe I've been using for my first-ever sourdough. I love it! I wish I had the details on how to double it.
Valerie G. January 30, 2023
Have you made this with some percentage of whole wheat flour, say 1/4. If so, any recommendations on adapting the recipe to include whole wheat flour? Thank you!
Tamileen August 7, 2023
I use 3 cups unbleached flour and 1 cup wheat flour. I have no trouble with it..
SomeName123 January 4, 2023
Thank you for sharing this recipe! I'm a beginner in sourdough baking and this was a great success with little effort. After making this several times, I scaled the recipe a bit for a smaller loaf and decreased amount of flour to my preference: 300 g AP flour, 1 1/4 tsp salt, 90 g starter, 228 g water. I bake for the same amount of time and don't preheat the dutch oven. I found that it didn't noticeably improve the result and extra risk of burning is not worth it.

This is a very flexible and forgiving recipe too. Once I forgot to mix starter with water and just put everything in the bowl. Sometimes I do an extra fold after an hour and sometimes I stick it in the refrigerator overnight if I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to bake in the morning. Out of the fridge, I leave it to raise for about 2 hrs. Never had a bad result, it's always good.
Darlenie November 16, 2022
Amazing! We just returned from France and had sourdough leavened bread from a wood fired stone oven. It inspired me to make my own sourdough starter. This was my first bake with it. The results were pretty close to the authentic bread from France. The crust had a nice crunchy bite. The sourdough flavor had a nice subtle tang that you don't get from a yeast leavened bread. The inside texture was a nice airy pockets of gas. I will continue to use this recipe. Thank you!
Myfood52/0812 June 12, 2022
Love this recipe - it is my go to for easy sourdough bread. Today I have added Jalapeños and sun-dried tomatoes. It has proofed beautifully.
Dawn February 25, 2023
In what stage of the recipe do you add these additional ingredients?
Meganjoys February 19, 2022
I used this recipe for my first time baking sourdough bread and it is so fantastic! My bread turned out great and I will definitely use this again. I appreciate everyone’s comments as I want to try everything you mentioned!
Mitsuyo R. February 14, 2022
This is the one of the best easy recipe.We went to Alaska last summer and picked up Alaskan sourdough starter. Finally, I started my sourdough starter, tried this recipe along with other recipes too. If you want simple sourdough loaf, this is the best! (super easy too) Thank you for the recipe.
itsizzi February 5, 2022
This calls for more flour than my regular no-knead recipe, and the initial dough is much drier. I thought there was no way it was going to rise. but it did just fine and the loaf turned out perfect. I followed the recipe as is and I got the largest rise loaf I've ever gotten when using instant yeast. Just super!
Bread January 27, 2022
Do I have to adjust temperature for a convection oven?
itsizzi February 5, 2022
I used convection at 425 and reduced the last bake to 20 min. Turned out just fine.
Heather W. January 25, 2022
I was so nervous about this, because after 12 hours of resting it hadn't risen very much, and I was thinking maybe I should have added yeast (like a lot of sourdough recipes do) but I decided to go ahead with it, and I am so glad I did because wow, it was beautiful. Perfectly round loaf with a beautiful crusty "ear" on top, big air pockets inside, chewy texture, great flavor. Our guests were so impressed. And I'm so happy that it has so few steps, unlike some other "no-knead" recipes that require more work and manipulating the dough than a traditional kneaded dough.
Ardis January 24, 2022
after making this recipe a times I started adding 1/4 C more flour, and that helped me work the dough better. And I preheated my dutch oven.
It is OMG delish.
Dane H. May 11, 2021
I just made this with excellent results. I did add a little extra water and I let it rise for 12 hours. I also preheated my Dutch oven. End result was perfect, with a flaky, chewy crust. Great recipe@
Jennifer M. May 4, 2021
This recipe is great! I am new to bread baking and have been able to consistently make beautiful, tasty sourdough. Thank you!

One question...when I turn the dough over after the final rise what had been the bottom and is now the top is still a bit wet and sticky. I’ve been letting it sit for about 10 minutes under the towel before scoring but I am always nervous and the scoring is never clean. Do I need to flip it? What is the benefit of doing so?
Heather W. January 25, 2022
I let mine rise on a smooth dish towel - I sprinkle flour over the towel first, then use a flat hand to smear it all around. You can use as much flour as you want. That helps with the wet/sticky. There will still be some slight towel impressions on the dough when you flop it over, but it doesn't stick too much and the impressions bake out.

For what it's worth, I don't score the dough - it can be a bit tough to do, and a dough like this will split on its own anyway if you're baking it in a dutch oven. Some people say getting the blade wet before you score will help prevent sticking - maybe try that?
Angiecooksalot April 8, 2021
I’ve made a lot of advanced sourdough recipes, and in my experience the best sourdough is no knead. So in my search for a new no-knead I was drawn to this one because it requires a much more reasonable amount of starter than most recipes. I made a few tweaks, half AP and half bread flour, increased hydration by 25%, added 1tsp of diastatic malt powder, and let it ferment overnight. What I ended up with was the BEST BREAD OF MY LIFE!!! Best bread I’ve ever made, and best I’ve ever eaten. Hands down. This recipe is magic. I will never bake another sourdough recipe again! I wish I could post pictures because wow, these loaves are gorgeous. The color and the open crumb are out of this world. Make this bread ASAP!
chic1134 November 24, 2021
I am just getting into making bread. My dad used to bake a lot of bread with a bread machine-mixer/baker with mixed results. Would you explain what AP is? And have you ever added any other ingredients like nuts, cheese, garlic?
BarnOwlBaker December 3, 2021
AP = All Purpose Flour
Winny J. April 10, 2022
Did you let it ferment in the refrigerator over night or out on the counter? I’d like to know if after mixing all the ingredients I could just let it rest in the fridge over night and continue with the rest of the process the following day?
Martann November 17, 2022
But I just got called into work for tomorrow morning.
It’s 8:00 pm now, I just did my first fold before over night rest. I’m going to put it in the fridge. I’ll be home at noon. I’ll take it out then for, IDK 5 hours? Shape, Then bake 🤞
Martann November 17, 2022
Re-thinking…I’ll put my dough in the fridge at 9pm when I go to bed, take it out at 7am ish. Proof around 2.
I’ll let you know how it turns out
This what works with my schedule. Going out for an early dinner anniversary dinner tomorrow evening. Busy busy busy. LOL
Timothy S. March 18, 2021
This is an excellent recipe since even a beginner like me can make tasty sourdough loaves! To add to the rise, I've used diastatic malt powder, which helps give a nice "wholly" final product.
The only thing I would like is to have nutritional information available as one member of my family has to be on a heart-healthy diet.
Beginner1 March 10, 2021
I made this today for the first time. I doubled the recipe for two loaves and I must say that I loved it. The two changes I made were, I replaced half the AP flour for bread flour and I preheated a cast iron dutch oven for one of the loaves. I definitely recommend preheating the dutch oven.
Mary W. March 3, 2021
I've made this recipe (doubled for two loaves) three times now with excellent results. However, I find I have to add significantly more water than the recipe calls for. My starter is at 100% hydration. I weigh all ingredients so the issue is not packed flour. Has anyone else shared this experience?