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Overnight Sourdough Bread

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If you’re looking to get started with sourdough (or natural yeast) then you are in the right place. All it takes is flour and water and a little time to be able to make your own bread from a sourdough starter. You’ll be amazed at how easy this overnight sourdough bread recipe is. No kneading or heavy mixing is necessary. So, let’s make some delicious artisan bread!

staub dutch oven with a loaf of overnight sourdough bread cooling

Sourdough Starter

First thing’s first: The best sourdough bread starts with an active, bubbly sourdough starter.

You’ll need an active starter to make any sourdough recipe. I’m linking my easy sourdough starter recipe. This fast sourdough starter is literally fail-proof thanks to my pro tips. And it has step-by-step instructions – perfect for a beginner.

If you don’t have a sourdough starter, you can make this Easy Sandwich Bread or Grandma’s Potato Rolls instead.

Slices of Sourdough natural yeast bread

What is Natural Wild Yeast?

Sourdough is wild, natural yeast. It comes from mixing water and flour together and letting it ferment in a warm spot. Natural yeast is a living organism, so it needs nutrients and air to thrive.

The kind of yeast you buy in the store is referred to as commercial yeast. It is quick and easy to use.

Using natural sourdough yeast has gained popularity recently when commercial yeast was in short supply. Why rely on getting yeast from the store to make homemade bread when you can make your own?

photo of natural yeast starter

Plus, you can use your starter to create other things, like a sourdough pizza crust, sourdough stuffing, pancakes, sourdough banana muffins, sourdough banana bread, or even soft-crusted sandwich bread!

This overnight sourdough recipe yields a perfectly soft but chewy pizza crust. And it’s our favorite pizza recipe.

Sourdough Bread Benefits

The natural, wild yeast used to create sourdough bread offers several health benefits as this Healthline article discusses:

  • Natural yeast slows digestion to help you feel fuller for longer. The lactic acid and natural salts in sourdough slow down digestion.
  • The organic acids produced during natural yeast fermentation lower the glycemic index of sourdough bread. This helps keep your blood sugar in check.
  • Due to the natural yeast in sourdough bread, consuming it lowers the body’s glycemic response to all carbohydrates. Amazingly, it was even more so than if the person had whole wheat bread made from commercial yeast. This response to carbohydrates remains lower for hours after the natural yeast is consumed.
  • Natural yeast has been shown to help strengthen the immune system. And, the lactic acid produced by sourdough bread inhibits the growth of certain bacteria and mold.

As you can see above the health benefits of sourdough bread are numerous.

Learn more about why sourdough bread is healthier and more nutritious in this article on the health benefits of sourdough.

a collage of my favorite sourdough supplies
See my recommended sourdough essentials: https://liketk.it/3zt4F

This sourdough bread recipe uses an overnight rise that allows the grains to ferment with the starter.

The fermentation process creates gut-healthy enzymes and acids. Most other types of bread do not provide these healthy enzymes and acids.

Hooray for freshly baked bread that’s yummy and healthy!

green bowl with a loaf of no knead sourdough bread

Why Overnight Sourdough Bread?

This overnight sourdough recipe does not require kneading, unlike many other recipes. Instead, it uses an easy folding technique that stretches the gluten.

Natural, wild yeasts need a longer rise than doughs with commercial yeast. This fermentation allows the natural yeast the time needed to raise the bread. An 8-10 hour rise is common for this overnight fermented or “bulk” rise.

So, preparing the sourdough in the evening, and letting it rise overnight is ideal. Within a few hours of waking, you’ll have fresh sourdough bread.

How to Make Artisan Sourdough Bread

In the morning, feed the starter to get it active and bubbly. Wait at least 6 to 12 hours before using it so that it’s at the optimal activity. Below is an example of the rise and activity after a feeding:

photos of natural yeast sourdough starters

In the evening, stir down the starter and remove 1/4 cup (or 60 grams) to make the bread.

Since I am an infrequent baker, I put the rest of the starter in the fridge until I need it. Refrigeration hibernates the sourdough starter, allowing me to feed it every week or two, instead of daily.

bag of King Arthur Flour and sourdough natural yeast mixed

Mixing Easy Sourdough Bread

In a large bowl, add the 1/4 cup of sourdough starter. Mix in 1 2/3 cups of warm, filtered water until dissolved. Add 4 1/4 cups of bread flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons of fine sea salt.

Stir with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until a thick, shaggy dough forms. Wet your hands, and finish mixing dough by hand. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

No Knead Sourdough Folding

Coax the dough from the bowl and fold the dough for 15 seconds. Grab part of the dough, stretch it out, push it into the center of the dough, then turn the dough 1/4 a turn.

Pull, stretch, push and turn in a clockwise rotation.

Sourdough
King Arthur Flour

Overnight Fermented Rise

Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp clean towel, and let rise overnight (at least 8-10 hours) on the countertop or an area that is ideally about 75º Farenheight.

Sourdough needs a long rise to allow the dough to ferment and activate.

Do not refrigerate the dough! This sourdough recipe uses a bulk overnight rise at room temperature.

In the morning, lightly flour your countertop and shape the dough by folding it aIn the morning, lightly flour your countertop and shape the dough by stretching and folding it again.

Use a banneton proofing bowl or line a medium bowl with a towel and dust with flour. Let dough rise for 30 – 60 minutes.

Sourdough bread rising in baneton basket
sourdough recipe

Baking Dutch Oven Sourdough Bread

Preheat your oven to 450º. Cover the dough bowl with a long piece of parchment paper, and turn it over onto the countertop. Next, slash the top of the sourdough with a sharp serrated knife.

Gently lower the parchment paper dough into a cast iron dutch iron, with a tight-fitting lid.

a loaf of easy sourdough bread ready to bake in the oven

Bake the bread covered for 30 minutes. Then, remove the lid and bake for 20 minutes. After that, carefully remove the bread from the pot and bake it directly in the oven each for 10 minutes to crisp the exterior.

Let the artisan sourdough bread cool for at least one hour before cutting. Otherwise, the loaf of bread will deflate if cut too soon.

Cut natural yeast sourdough bread shown

Just look at this beautiful loaf of artisan sourdough bread! With this easy sourdough bread recipe, you’ll soon have your own beautiful bread, too.

Troubleshooting Sourdough Bread

My sourdough bread did not double in size overnight.

If your starter is active (it doubles in size 4-6 hours after feeding and has been fed within 12 hours of baking. Then, it’s possible that your sourdough wasn’t warm enough during the overnight rise. Find a warm place (ideally 75º- 80º F) like a cool oven with the light on, a warm window, or above the refrigerator or dryer to set the bread for 2 hours.

How can I keep the bottom of my bread from turning so brown?

An easy fix is to add a layer of cornmeal to the bottom of the dutch oven and place the parchment paper on top of that. Or, use a 9″ round Silpat silicone sheet, as I do. I place it in the bottom of my Staub cast-iron Dutch oven.

Dutch ovens that are darker in color tend to brown the bottom of the bread more.

See Below for the Complete Sourdough Recipe with Video!

Common Questions

Can I make sourdough bread without a cast iron dutch oven?

Yes, a heavy oven-safe pot with a lid will work. Use one that is about 9″ to 10″ in diameter and 6″ high.

I ran out of parchment paper. Can I use wax paper instead?

Don’t use wax paper. The wax will melt in the oven at this high temperature and you’ll have a mess on your hands. Instead, use a long sheet of aluminum foil that has been sprayed with cooking oil.

Sodium in sourdough bread – how much is in it?

As made, this sourdough bread recipe contains 241mg of sourdough in each slice. A slice is 1/12th of the loaf.

Will this overnight sourdough bread recipe work with all-purpose flour?

Sure, though you will experience a slightly smaller loaf. If you have vital wheat gluten, use 4 cups of all-purpose flour and 4 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten in place of the bread flour.

How will I know if my sourdough bread is done?

If you’re unsure if the sourdough bread is fully baked, the internal temperature should be around 195º – 200ºF.

What can I use stale sourdough bread for?

You can easily soften stale bread in the microwave. Cover it with a damp paper towel and microwave it at 50% power for 30 – 60 seconds. However, I like using my leftover, hardened sourdough bread as Sourdough Stuffing or Air Fryer Croutons.

sliced sourdough bread from this 
Sourdough bread recipe

Easy Overnight Sourdough Recipe

Overnight Sourdough Bread
Print Pin
4.93 from 39 votes

Easy Overnight Sourdough Bread

This is the perfect sourdough bread for a beginner! It is easy and forgiving and virtually foolproof. Just follow the process and you'll be rewarded with an amazing loaf of sourdough. I recommend starting this bread in the evening and letting it rise overnight.
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Keyword Breads, Sourdough, sourdough bread, homemade bread
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Combined rises are approx. 12 hours 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 155kcal

Equipment

  • Heavy Dutch Oven with Lid
  • Parchment Paper

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (60g) sourdough starter
  • 1 ⅔ cups (350g) warm filtered water (95º to 100º F)
  • 4 ¼ cups (500g) bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons (9g) sea salt

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add the starter. Mix in warm, filtered water, stirring until dissolved. Add bread flour and salt. Stir with a dough whisk or wooden spoon until a thick, shaggy dough forms. Wet your hands, and finish mixing dough by hand. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  • Lightly flour your countertop. Coax the dough from the bowl onto the countertop and stretch and fold the dough for 15 seconds. Grab part of the dough, stretch it out about 4 inches and push it into the center of the dough, Then, turn the dough 1/4 a turn. Pull, stretch, push and turn in a clockwise rotation. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let rise overnight (at least 8-10 hours) on the countertop or an area that is between 70º and 75ºF degrees. Do not refrigerate the dough overnight.
  • In the morning, lightly flour your counter-top and shape the dough by stretching and folding it again. Let the dough rest 10 minutes. Line a medium bowl with a towel or use a banneton with linen cover (see photo), and dust heavily with flour. Let dough rise in it for 30 – 60 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 450º. Cover the dough bowl with a long piece of parchment paper, and turn it over onto the counter top. Slash the top of the loaf with a lame or sharp serrated knife. Gently lower the parchment paper dough into a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid (see photo). The pot does not need to be preheated.
  • Add the covered pot the the oven and bake the bread covered for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake 20 minutes. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the bread from the pot and bake it directly on the oven rack for 10 minutes to crisp the exterior.

Video

Notes

Let cool for at least one hour before cutting. Store sourdough bread at room temperature in a bag for up to 5 days.
Can I make sourdough bread without a cast iron dutch oven? Yes, a heavy oven-safe pot with a lid will work. Use one that is about 9″ to 10″ in diameter and 6″ high.
This sourdough recipe was adapted from the Everyday Sourdough recipe in Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 241mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

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113 thoughts on “Overnight Sourdough Bread”

  1. 5 stars
    Best recipe I have found so far. That said, the bottom of the bread burned quite badly. I have not had that issue when using a preheated dutch oven with other no knead recipes. Am going to preheat the dutch oven tomorrow to see if that solves that issue.

    Reply
    • In the post, I mention that since my Dutch oven has a black coating, I use a Silpat when baking it to prevent the bottom from darkening too much.

      Reply
  2. Hi-
    Can I use this process to make a sourdough recipe with 75% hydration?
    Also, if I’m doubling the recipe when should I separate and shape my loaves?
    Thanx so much

    Reply
    • I have not tried this recipe with different hydration levels. If I were doubling the recipe, I would separate the dough after the bulk fermentation rise then follow the recipe directions for shaping.

      Reply
  3. 5 stars
    This recipe has become my Friday night/Saturday morning routine! I double it and have bread for the week. My youngest will ONLY eat sourdough and when we lived in California that wasn’t a problem but when we moved to Tennessee we couldn’t find real sourdough anywhere. Got my starter and this recipe made it so simple!

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    Hi! This recipe was the first sourdough loaf I’ve ever tried and it works like PERFECTION!

    Quick question- How can I double this recipe to make 2 loaves? When do I split the dough – right before baking or during one of the rises?

    Reply
    • I am so happy to hear that! Although I haven’t tried doubling the recipe myself, others have. I would split the dough in the morning, before the second rise. Let them rise in a banneton or bowl. If you can’t bake them together, then bake them one after the other.

      Reply
  5. 5 stars
    Good afternoon,
    I have a question. I’ve made your recipe several times. And I just seem to be doing something wrong. My question is in your detailed instruction you say in the morning to fold and stretch and let rest 10 minutes before putting in a proofing basket. But in the video you do not fold and stretch. You just kinda tuck around. Was wondering which is the best to do. The bread is good, great recipe but my parchment paper seems to always stick to bottom and bread is always burned. Can you help me?

    Reply
    • Yes, you do lightly flour your countertop and shape the dough by stretching and folding it again in the morning, then let it rest for 10 minutes. It’s possible that part was accidentally deleted from my video or that I forgot to do that when filming it. Stretching and folding it is best, though sourdough is very forgiving if you forget. I have no idea why your parchment paper is sticking – is it to the bread? I haven’t had that happen. As far as the burned bottom, I use a cast-iron Staub Dutch oven which has a black bottom. As I mention in the post, I use a 9″ round on the bottom of the pot, then place the parchment paper/bread dough on that. It helps to prevent burning with the dark bottomed pots. If my loaf looks too brown when I take the loaf out of the oven, I have skipped the last 5 minutes of baking it on the rack. Even though I have made this bread at least 50 times, every loaf is different – even when using the same starter and flour.

      Reply
  6. 5 stars
    This was only my second go at a sourdough loaf and boy was I pleased!

    I did change up a couple things. I wasn’t ready to bake it in the morning so I checked it for readiness, shaped it, then put it in the fridge for about 5 hours. I took it out and scored it and baked it immediately. I also chose to preheat my cast iron dutch oven – I preheated at 500 for 1hour then cooked with lid on for 20min and with lid off for about 20min.

    I am just shocked at how easy this recipe is and how different it is compared to so many that I see. 15 seconds of stretch and folds at that is it? How does it get so tall and airy without more active manipulation?! It came out gorgeous. A little dense in a few areas but much taller than my first try (with a totally different recipe).

    Thank you!

    Reply
  7. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! It comes out perfect every time! Question…Can you make two small loaves with this recipe and not have to double it?

    Reply
    • Someone else asked me this and I do believe you could make two small loaves. I recommend using a smaller pot for baking (around 2.5 quarts and 3.5 quarts) and cutting back on the baking times. My suggestion is: to bake it covered for 15 minutes, then without the lid for 12-15 minutes, and for up to 5 minutes on the parchment paper alone. I hope you’ll let me know how it turns out!

      Reply
  8. I love the idea of an overnight rise with less involvement, as I can be pretty forgetful and my days are kinda busy for constant kneading cycles..so I went ahead and tried this recipe..I am still waiting for my dough to rise..I did everything exactly as instructed, and put my dough in the fridge overnight to rise..when I took it out in the morning, it was pretty much the same size as it was the night before. I decided to proof it in the oven with the light on, and 2hrs later it’s not doing much..maybe my fridge was too cold?? I know it wasn’t my starter, as it was bubbling like crazy when I added it to the mixture..any ideas as to what could have gone wrong here?

    Reply
    • This recipe does not use a refrigerated rise, rather the overnight rise is done right on the counter. I just added more wording in the instructions and recipe to make this more clear. My suggestion is to either continue to let it rise in your oven with the light on or on the counter if your room is warm for the next 3-4 hours. If the dough has risen and looks bubbly and active, then go ahead with the recipe. By the way, Iif you are an Instagram follower, I have some sourdough bread prep right in my stories now at @thefeatherednester .

      Reply
    • Any tall pot with a fitted lid will work, like a stock pot or large saucepan. I do not recommend using a cast iron skillet with aluminum foil for this recipe.

      Reply
  9. 5 stars
    I have been baking bread for 10+ years and my wife said this was my best loaf ever. What I like best about the recipe is it’s very practical, especially with the timing sequence. Mixing it up the night before, just makes this so much easier (we had for lunch today). Some notes:
    1) I didn’t feel like it had risen enough in the morning after having left it out on the counter for 12 hrs in my air-conditioned home (we live in Florida and the temperature was about 75 F). In the morning, I decided to do the 2nd rise in my oven using its proofing mode. I did that for about 2 1/2 hours.
    2) I have a wicker banneton with no liner, and I floured it with bread flour, but it turns out not sufficiently (some of the dough stuck). I ended up reshaping the loaf on the counter before putting it into my ceramic bread dome.
    3) Mostly due to habit, I spritzed the dough with a mist of water before covering it.
    4) I followed the oven timing you suggested and after the cover off time took the temperature, and it was 207 F and the color was really good and already crisp. I put it back in on the rack for ~5 minutes instead of the full 10 minutes you suggest as I felt it was done enough.
    5) For next time, I bought myself a liner for the banneton and also bought some rice flour for dusting it.
    P.S. You inspired me to buy Emilie’s book 🙂

    Reply
  10. I’m starting this right now! About 9pm. It’s winter in North Carolina and 68° in my kitchen. Do you recommend leaving it on the counter overnight for bulk rias or to put it in the fridge? Worried about over proofing it but I guess because it’s chilly inside, it will be ok? Or could it take longer? Would you recommend extending the proofing time in the proofing basket?

    Reply
    • This sourdough bread recipe uses a room temperature rise. In the winter, it could take 10 to as many as 12 hours for the bulk rise. You should not have to increase the proofing time in the banneton basket if you kitchen is warmer during the daytine.

      Reply
      • 5 stars
        MY NEW FAVORITE RECIPE!! I’ve tried so many and most of them very complicated but this one is absolutely perfect! I have a hard time baking sourdough in the winter because the rise time is extended so much from the cold but I love how this recipe does the bulk rise overnight without any need for kneading, or folding. I doubled the recipe and got 2 beautiful loaves! And amazing height which I haven’t gotten in a long time! Will be using this recipe from now on!!!!!! I cannot express how excited I am to have found the perfect sourdough recipe! Wish I could share a photo of my loaves!

        Reply
        • I’m so happy to hear this! If you are on Instagram or Facebook, I hope you will share a photo of your loaves and tag me @thefeatherednester

          Reply
  11. I’m giving this a try tonight. Cross your fingers:)
    I would really like to utilize my whole wheat I have stored. Can I use whole wheat flour? Longer rise?

    Reply
    • You can use 1/2 whole wheat flour in place of the white flour. Let it rest for 30-45 minutes once you mix it before doing the first stretching. Other than that the recipe is the same. I just finished recipe testing this with whole wheat and I’ll be publishing a new recipe using whole wheat flour.

      Reply
      • Thanks Renae. I will for sure give it a try with whole wheat next time. I would, however, really like to find a 100% whole wheat sourdough bread recipe too.
        So far so good, I think. Can’t wait to try this loaf I’m making now – all white bread flour this time.

        Reply
        • I am working on a 100% whole wheat sourdough bread recipe. The recipe will be out next month. You should try this recipe with whole wheat flour (and 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten). Increase the rise time as I suggested. I think you will be pleased with the results.

          Reply
      • 5 stars
        Bread came out beautiful and tasty. For a first-time sourdough attempt, I was pleasantly pleased. The only thing for me… the bottom was a bit browned/tough. I read some of the hints above and will try them next time. Thank you so much.

        Reply
  12. This is my 1st time making Sourdough. I feel like my Sourdough isn’t right (I didn’t use your recipe), but I’ll know tomorrow I guess.
    The written directions don’t say to flour the surface for the first kneeding. I watched the video later & heard you say that. Mine was sticking to the counter really & extremely sticky all over my hands. 🤞🏼

    Reply
    • Thanks, I clarified in the recipe that the countertop needs to be floured prior to the stretch and fold. If you are starting with sourdough, I would definitely recommend getting a bench scraper if you don’t already have one. Even with flouring, working with sourdough can be messy and it makes clean up a breeze.

      Reply
  13. Two questions: do we let it bulk rose on the counter top or on fridge over night? Also, can it go longer on bulk rise than 8-10 hrs or is that max? Bulk rising now and won’t want/need until dinner tomorrow night.

    Reply
    • The bulk rise is at room temperature. You can let it rise longer than 10 hours, though I have not gone longer than 14 hours. The focus of the bulk rise should be more about the rise and how the dough looks. The dough should be nearly double in size and show large bubble activity. You could refrigerate the dough overnight, then let it warm and rise for at least 2 hours before baking.

      Reply
  14. I have a smaller Dutch oven. Can I halve this recipe? If so, do you know what adjustments I would need for baking time?

    Reply
    • How small is your Dutch oven? I generally use my 4 quart size for this sourdough bread recipe. You can use any pot with a lid – it does not have to be a cast iron pot. If you decide to half the recipe, here are my suggestions: bake covered for 15 minutes, then without the lid for 12-15 minutes, and for up to 5 minutes on the parchment paper alone. I hope you’ll let me know how it turns out!

      Reply
  15. 5 stars
    I made this bread three times now & every time it’s turned out gorgeous! Tastes wonderful. Looks like yours!🤗 I have made other recipes but yours turned out better & was so easy!
    I confess that I didn’t have bread flour so did 3 1/2 cups all purpose, 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour & 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten to equal your amount of bread flour. I wanted some wheat flour in it. It’s soooo good! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  16. 5 stars
    I just made your sourdough bread recipe and it’s so very easy and delicious. Your directions were clear land concise. I’ve baked bread before but am a beginner with sourdough. Your recipe gives me the confidence to try more sourdough recipes candy I thank you for that. I will be making this recipe again and again.

    Reply
  17. Thank you so much for this! I wanted it to work for me so badly but every time I’ve tried and I mix the ingredients in the beginning – it’s just SO WET! Like not even close to being ok to stretch and fold,.. any ideas?

    Reply
    • Some ideas: if you’re using cups measurements, try using weighted measurements or vice-versa and let the dough rest longer between mixing and stretching. I live in a very dry climate so if you are in a more humid climate, you might want to add a little more flour – 1/4 to 1/2 cup more. Let me know if you need more ideas!

      Reply
      • Thanks so much! I thought that too but it turns out ok but in the initial phase of mixing the flour,water,starter, etc is when it’s so wet. In your video I see you even take it out of the bowl to mix with your hands before letting it rest the 30min but mine it too wet. I think probably the only solution is more flour? I thought the issue was that it’s not bread flour but not sure… I really appreciate all your help and any tips!

        Reply
        • Hi Gaia, I can’t recall if I mentioned this but my starter is 100% hydration – meaning that I use equal weights (not cups) of water, starter, flour. Flours can make a difference. I would recommend my Dutch Oven Sourdough Bread if you’d like to use all-purpose flour.

          Reply
  18. Hello! I bought a new starter, and am trying your recipe for the first time, because I love the overnight idea a lot with my schedule.I’ve been baking bread for many years, but just started sourdough this year. With your recipe though, ( I doubled it) I couldn’t use all the flour. 3 1/3 cups water, 8 1/2 cups flour and I only used 6 cups and my dough seems too stiff. Did anyone else experience this?
    Also, my former recipe said to line a bowl with parchment paper then lift it into the heated Dutch oven. Any thoughts on that? I’m trying your instructions this morning but I’m not quite done. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Although I have never doubled this recipe, I have no idea why with the water, starter, and flour the dough was too stiff. Someone else just commented that theirs was too wet. I usually weigh my measurements, though I have made this same recipe many times with the cups measurements. This recipe does NOT use a heated Dutch oven. The dough rises and bakes in a cold Dutch oven. Using it heated could affect the baking time so I don’t recommend preheating your pot.

      Reply
  19. Hello. If my starter only increases 30% in about12 hrs should I feed it every 12 hrs or every 24 hrs until it’s fully active?

    Reply
    • It depends on how old your starter is, if it’s less than a week old just keep feeding it once a day (24 hours). As the starter matures it will get strong enough to double in size within 6 hours as long as it is kept at least 75ºF. If your starter is older than that and it is not doubling in size within 6 hours, I would check to see if the starter is kept warm enough, that you are not using bleached flour (or organic flour) for feedings, that you are feeding the proper ratios of water and flour, and that you are using filtered water. If you are already doing those suggestions, then you could try feeding your starter every 12 hours.

      Reply
        • I highly recommend organic flour and use it myself. When I wrote this post a few years ago, I wasn’t using it to feed my sourdough starter (and this is a good reminder to update it!). This is my new recommendation on sourdough starters: “Although some don’t recommend organic flour for feeding sourdough starters, I used organic rye flour to create this starter. And, I have successfully fed my starters with organic all-purpose flour. organic flour, try using non-organic flour for several feedings.” That’s from my sourdough starter post https://thefeatherednester.com/homemade-sourdough-starter/

          Reply
  20. Hi,
    This recipe looks super easy and I have to try it soon. I was wondering why I can’t rise the dough in the Dutch oven if it doesn’t need to be preheated? It just sounds so much easier that way. Thanks for a great recipe.

    Reply
  21. 5 stars
    I’ve made this bread a ton and I love how easy it is! If I wanted to add olives/rosemary/etc. when would it be best to do that? Thanks!!!

    Reply
  22. Please add a jump to recipe button! It’s hard for some people like me to scroll like I had to in order to get to the recipe.

    Reply
      • Everytime I press that button it takes me to the top of the main page instead of a printable version. Loaf turned out beautiful but I’d like to print a hard copy too to save me all the scrolling!

        Reply
    • An oven-safe, heavy pot with a well-fitting lid. Fox example, a stock pot or soup pot. The idea is to keep the steam generated during baking inside the pot.

      Reply
  23. I didn’t put the pot into the oven to preheat, but I did have it sitting on the stove top as the oven was heating.
    I got really nice oven spring and the loaf was pretty crusty after 20 minutes with the lid off. I took it from the pot and placed on the rack but it only needed about 5 minutes to finish. Internal temp was 209 degrees and crust is beautifully browned and crisp.

    Reply
  24. One question I have…other recipes have told the baker to put the cast iron pot into the oven to preheat, putting the risen dough into a hot pot.
    Is this recipe not doing that?

    Reply
  25. OK now waiting the 8-10 hours for the sourdough to rise. This will be my third try but with a different recipe. It’s actually more simple than the other recipes but I don’t have a dutch oven. Any suggestions? I’ll just use a casserole dish with tin foil for a cover. Hopefully that will do, until I get a dutch oven. Thanks for the recipe and I will post the results.

    Reply
  26. Would it be possible to take the loaf out after the 20 minute bake without the lid, then hold it at room temperature until later in the day to conduct the final 10 minute crisping an hour before serving?

    Reply
  27. I love this recipe however the last few times I’ve made it my loaf isn’t rising as much as it was before. I waited the right time after feeding my starter. What am I doing wrong

    Reply
    • If your starter is as active and bubbly as it was before, then I could suggest either letting it rise longer or find a warmer location for the rise. Keeping it warm is essential to the bulk fermentation (overnight) rise. 75ºF to 80ºF is ideal.

      Reply
  28. Hi, I love to bake bread in the afternoon so it’s warm for dinner. How can this be adjusted so I would bake around 3-4:00 in the afternoon? Thank you!

    Reply
    • That’s a good question. In the winter, I have had to use a longer bulk (overnight rise) because my house is cooler overnight, meaning I’m baking my bread later in the morning or early afternoon. If you house isn’t noticeably cooler in the winter and you want to bake bread in the afternoon, then my suggestion would be to mix the dough very early in the morning (preferably before 6 am) using 100ºF water and keep it in a warm place like an oven set to 85ºF or your oven with the interior light left on. Be sure to let the bread cool for 1 hour before slicing. Let me know how this turns out 🙂

      Reply
      • Hi, it’s 4/30/22 and I have started using this recipe and just started learning about sourdough starter and baking. Because of my recent schedule this is what I have done. I’ve only made this recipe twice. The first time the dough was too wet I think and I got a rubbery texture. It wasn’t good. Gave the loaf to some pigs. The second time which was today it turned out better. My loaf didn’t have any holes. I think that’s because I degassed it. But I fed my starter yesterday evening and let it sit in the oven (off) with the light on until 5:30am. Then I got up to start my dough. By the time it finished baking it was approximately 5pm. I cut into around 6:30pm. For the bill rise I put it in the oven with it off but the light on. My house is naturally cool and we also have the AC on so there really isn’t a warm room in the house. My starter is 100% hydration. I used a cast iron pot with a lid and parchment paper as directed. Wish I could post a picture so you could see what possibly went wrong. I’ll try another loaf and will do my best not to degas sometime this week, hopefully.
        Thank you.

        Reply
        • There are a lot of variables when working with sourdough, which is why I will be coming out with a troubleshooting sourdough blog post soon. As you probably know, a sourdough starter is created by fermenting flour and water. The fermentation process needs a warm environment for activating and sustaining it. If your starter is active (doubles in size 4-6 hours after feeding – this is essential to raise a loaf of bread) then it is possible that your dough needs a longer fermentation due to the cooler conditions of your home. I have found the ideal temperature for an overnight (8 hour) rise is 75º to 85º. At 70º I usually need about 10 hours and if it is cooler than that, I allow for 12 hours. As for how the dough should look, there are step-by-step images above the recipe. I do not degas the loaf (that is more for sandwich-style loaf bread) and handle it gently when moving it from the banneton to the parchment paper. I hope these tips help.

          Reply
  29. Hi
    I’m new to the world of sourdough. I made your recipe and it came out beautiful! How can I get a more sour taste?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Jodie, I’m so glad you sourdough loaf came out beautiful! The way I made my sourdough starter have more of a “sourdough” taste is by feeding it less frequently. Younger starters often have a more mild taste. I suggest you try googling how to make a sourdough starter taste more sour if you’d like a quicker process.

      Reply
  30. This recipe worked great. I’ve now made it twice and with different starters and both were good. I have a tip for baking it . It did get dark on the bottom the first time I made it so I used a roasting rack underneath it for the second time.. I just put the parchment paper with the loaf on top of the rack. It worked great. The parchment paper keeps it from sinking through the rack. The bottom is beautiful. If you have a rack, try it underneath. I made all the difference for me.

    Reply
    • Using a rack is a great idea! I use a round Silpat under mine, but I bet the metal trivet from my Instant Pot would work perfectly here.

      Reply
  31. Tastes good every time, and is simple to follow. The only problem I have is my dough rises so much it sticks to my damp cloth during the overnight rinse. Should I flower the top of my dough, or deal with losing some dough everymorning?

    Reply
    • Have you tried using plastic wrap instead? I spray the underside of the plastic wrap with cooking spray to prevent sticking. If you don’t want to use plastic wrap, I would sprinkle flour over the loaf before covering with a towel.

      Reply
  32. Hi! I was wanting to make smaller rectangle loaves to give out for gifts to neighbors. Can I bake these somehow in foil loaf pans?

    Reply
    • I think the best way to do this would be to get small round foil pans and bake them individually in a Dutch oven. I’m coming out with a sourdough country bread recipe soon that is baked in rectangle bread pans.

      Reply
  33. Thank you so much for this! Got my first sourdough starter as a gift, and all the other recipes were excruciatingly specific about times, temperatures, prep… awful intimidating. But I’ve tried this recipe 3 or 4 times and gotten a beautiful loaf with the most casual treatment, it makes me feel so accomplished! Me and my roommate thank you.

    Reply
  34. This is an amazing recipe! Easy to follow and the results are a very beautiful and delicious loaf. I din find that the heat might be too high though. I only cooked the first 30 cover and the 20 uncovered, I skipped the extra 10 direct on grill as it looked already too done. Can I reduce to 425 or 400?

    Reply
    • I wouldn’t change the temperature unless your oven runs hot. You need the high heat to help rise the loaf quickly. If your loaf was done in that period in your oven, I’d just keep baking it the way you did.

      Reply
  35. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe. It’s excellent.
    Also, thanks for all the sourdough information.
    Your blog is beautiful.

    Reply
      • 5 stars
        Hi 🙂 in the video you don’t knead/fold it in the morning, but just shape it, but in the written recipe it says to fold? I had the most beautiful dough in the AM but I managed to break it by folding and kneading, making it a wet sticky mess. Is it easy to break sour dough? I am going to try again and do like you do in video, gently rounding and not folding again.

        Reply
        • Definitely stretch and fold it in the morning, I’m not sure why yours turned out wet and sticky. If that happens again, flour your hands well so that a little more flour gets mixed in. I might have accidentally edited that from my video, but I’m so glad you let me know. It needs a new video anyway!

          Reply
          • 5 stars
            I had this exact same question, the video does not show that, but the recipe says it. I made two loaves and did one each way. They were both beautiful – the first one is delicious, haven’t cut into the second one yet. Probably won’t help me much though, because I’ve lost track of which is which!!!

            But it is a WONDERFUL and easy recipe. THANK YOU!!

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