Go Back

No-Knead Beginner Sourdough

The perfect no knead, rustic sourdough bread for beginners! This recipe will produce a crunchy crust, yummy middle and it does all the work itself in this relatively hands-off sourdough made with no commercial yeast. It's the perfect starter recipe if you are new to sourdough.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting/Rising Time 23 hours
Course Bread, Sourdough
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf


Levain(3-4 hours until peak)

  • 90 grams ripe sourdough starter
  • 90 grams water warm or cool depending on the temperature
  • 90 grams all purpose flour

Dough (8-36 hour rise)

  • 230 grams levain about 1 cup
  • 400 grams water, room temperature about 1 3/4 cups
  • 600 grams bread flour or all purpose (see recipe note) about 4 1/2 cups
  • 12 grams salt about 2 teaspoons


Build the Levain (3-4 hours before peak)

  • To a clear liquid measuring cup add 90 grams of starter, 90 grams of water and 90 grams of flour. Mix together. Cover and let sit at warm room temperature (78 F) for about 3-4 hours until the mixture has doubled in size. Once the levain has doubled in size and has reached it's peak height, it is ready to use.

Sourdough Bread

  • Mix 230 grams of ripe levain (you will have some leftover), room temperature water, flour and salt in a bowl using a wooden spoon or dough whisk (affiliate link). The dough will look “shaggy” but will come together. 
  • Cover the bowl and let it sit for an hour. After an hour, uncover the bowl and do a series of three "stretch and folds". To do this, pick up the underside of the dough and fold it on top of itself, turning the bowl after each fold and picking up a different section of the dough to fold and turn. An example of this folding technique is found here (halfway through the video).
  • Cover the bowl again and let it rest for another hour. Notice how the dough is coming together. It doesn’t feel shaggy anymore and is becoming more stretchy and cohesive. For the second time, do the series of three stretch and folds.
  • Cover the bowl again and let it rest for its third and final hour. Repeat the series of three stretch and folds.
  • Let the dough rest for it's final hour. At this point, the dough should have risen 30-40%, have some scattered bubbles over the top of the dough, pull away from the sides and start to dome toward the center and feel more elastic. If it doesn't look that way, let it keep fermenting for another 30 minutes and check again. Check your dough temperature and make sure your dough is in the 78 degree F range.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and put it in the refrigerator to rest overnight. The dough can stay in the refrigerator for 8 to 48 hours. See recipe notes for instructions on baking the same day.
  • The next morning (or whenever you are ready to bake your bread), put a dutch oven (affiliate link and see recipe notes for more options) into your oven with the lid on and set the oven to 500 degrees. Preheat the dutch oven by leaving it in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Immediately after setting the dutch oven to preheat, pull out a piece of parchment paper. Take your dough out of the fridge and shape into a round ball. Do not punch down the dough, just lightly form with the palms of your hands. It should be fairly easy to work with because it is cold. 
  • When your dutch oven has preheated for 30 minutes, score the top of your bread with a bread lame (affiliate link), sharp knife or razor.
  • Take the dutch oven out of the oven. Warning: This is a VERY HOT dutch oven. Keep those oven mitts on and be very careful not to burn yourself. Take the top off the dutch oven and place the dough and parchment paper into the dutch oven. Place the top back on the dutch oven and close the oven door.
  • Immediately decrease the baking temperature to 450 degrees and bake for 25 minutes.
  • After 25 minutes, take the top off the dutch oven and continue baking for 20 more minutes. This will produce the crisp crust you are looking for.
  • Pull your bread out of the oven. Wait (if you can) to cut into it until your bread has cooled. Enjoy!


Bread Flour: If you don't have bread flour on hand, you can substitute all purpose flour and vital wheat gluten. Use 600 grams of all purpose flour and add a Tablespoon vital wheat gluten. 
Instructions for Baking without Refrigerating the Dough: The sourdough flavor comes through the most and is more complex the longer you refrigerate the dough. If you want to bake the bread immediately without refrigerating, once you finish your series of stretch and folds, let the dough rest in the container a couple of hours to rise. Once it is puffed up and doubled in size, preheat the oven and pot. Gently shape the dough into a round ball, doing your best not to deflate the dough. Cover and let sit for another hour while the oven preheats. Then score and bake according to the recipe.
Dutch Oven: This is the dutch oven I have used for many years. I recently purchased this bread and potato pot and love the bake I get with it. If you don't have a dutch oven you can also heat a pizza stone to 500 degrees. Once the pizza stone is pre-heated, throw a handful of ice cubes into the hot oven and place the bread on the pizza stone. This will mimic a dutch-oven bake.
Keyword artisan sourdough, artisan sourdough bread, beginner sourdough, easy sourdough, easy sourdough banana bread, easy sourdough bread recipe, easy sourdough recipe, fluffy sourdough bread, no knead bread, no knead sourdough, sourdough, sourdough made easy