Sourdough doesn't need to be complicated

Sourdough doesn't need to be complicated

Sourdough bread it doesn't need to be complicate. It can be a fast simple daily bread. Sourdough is the stuff of legends, with its tangy flavor and signature crackly crust. But for many, the price for artisan sourdough can be prohibitive and the process seems daunting – hours of kneading, complicated schedules, and a starter that feels like a finicky pet. It really does not need to be this way.

So fear not, fellow bread enthusiasts! Today, I am diving into the wonderful world of no-knead sourdough. This is the method I use for our daily bread and with three growing children and a farmer to feed we need a lot of bread. Sliced shops bread just doesn't fill bellies and these days it becomes hugely expensive to buy enough not to mention the preservatives used to keep it soft.

This method requires minimal effort yet yields stunning results, perfect for busy schedules or novice bakers.

The Magic of Sourdough

Sourdough is a fermented bread made with a natural starter culture. This starter, a bubbly concoction of flour and water if you can't source one locally through friends try facebook marketplace, gumtree or your local crop swap and if that fails make your own it's easy! The starter  harbors wild yeasts and bacteria that give sourdough its unique flavor and rise. Unlike commercial yeast, our sourdough starter needs minimal fuss – just a daily feeding to keep it active admittedly I don't always remember to and I have found every second day suffices BUT if you do feed daily you have a better rise.

The Easy No-Knead Method

The beauty of no-knead sourdough lies in its simplicity. Here's what you'll need:

  • Active sourdough starter
  • Bread flour: High-protein bread flour provides the structure for a good rise but if you can only afford the cheapest flour you can still make tasty bread. You do you and don't let anyone shame your flour choice! 
  • Water: Room temperature water is ideal or body temperature but have used cold with a longer fermenting time. 
  • Salt: Sea salt adds depth of flavor.
  • A large bowl: For mixing and bulk fermentation. Beware! sometimes a really active dough will go on adventures so a pizza tray under the bowl will save much messy clean up time 
  • A Dutch oven or baking dish with a lid: This traps steam and creates a perfect crust.

The Recipe: Easy No-Knead Sourdough 


  • 1 cup (226 grams) active sourdough starter
  • 3 ¾ cups (440 grams) room temperature water
  • 5 cups (680 grams) bread flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (18 grams) sea salt


  1. Mix & Rest: In a large bowl, combine the starter and water. Gradually add the flour and salt mix with a spatula or wet hand until a shaggy dough forms. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes or until you walk past and rememer. I make dough in the morning and stir through the day as I walk past to bake the following morning. 
  2.  Stretch: .Anytime you walk past the dough through the day give it a stretch and fold. If you don't like getting your hands dirty then use a spoon or spatula. This can be done in the bowl no need to mess up the bench if you don't want. 
  3. Bulk Fermentation:  At this point you can cover the bowl tightly and let the dough rise at room temperature for 8-12 hours, or until it doubles in size. You'll see bubbles on the surface and the dough will feel puffy. Personally I don't cover the bowl and I don't put it in the fridge just pop it to the side however if you are in a hot climate you might need to put your dough in the fridge overnight. 
  4. Shaping: I don't shape anymore I instead grease a bread tin or cast iron baking dish and just slop the dough in while I wait for the oven to warm. If you want a more artisan style loaf a optional step is on a lightly floured surface, gently scoop the dough out of the bowl. Fold the edges towards the center, creating a tight ball. Place seam-side down in a floured proofing basket or a floured bowl lined with a clean cloth. Cover and let it rise for 2-3 hours at room temperature. Either way still turns out a great loaf. 
  5. Bake: Preheat your oven to 450°F (220°C) with a Dutch oven or bread tin Carefully transfer the dough (seam-side up) to the hot Dutch oven. Score the top with a sharp knife (optional). Bake for 45 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown and crusty.
  6. Cool & Enjoy: Let the bread cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Savor the delicious tangy flavor and airy texture of your homemade sourdough masterpiece!


  • If your kitchen is cool, extend the bulk fermentation time. Warmer temperatures will speed up the process.
  • A wet dough can be tricky to handle but a slightly wetter dough makes a great soft bread. Using dough scraper/spatula to minimizes sticking.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment with different flours after you master the basic recipe! Whole wheat flour or rye flour can add a unique twist.

With a little patience and this easy no-knead method, you'll be baking beautiful sourdough bread in no time. So, fire up your oven, embrace the magic of fermentation, and enjoy the heavenly taste of homemade sourdough! 

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