No Fuss, No-Knead Sourdough Bread

This is a an easy, foolproof method of making a beautiful sourdough loaf without needing to be a professional baker. And you can make it in a normal oven - all you need is a cast iron pan and a sourdough starter. You'll always have a beautiful, dense and moist bread that is especially delicious for bruschetta or as an accompaniment to cheese. 

In this recipe, I'm not using instant yeast, but a sourdough starter. You can find my recipe for sourdough starter using wild yeast here.

I've made this several times, with many different sourdough starters, and it works out every time. The only technique I didn't have down was using the baking paper. I tell you, this completely changes the game on this simple bread making recipe. You don't need to deal with burned flour in your cast iron pot, or the mess of having to transfer a very sticky sourdough lump from a kitchen towel to a bowl. Simply grab the dough in the baking paper and transfer easily, mess-free to your cast iron pot. Easy! 

No-Knead Sourdough Bread using Starter

180g sourdough starter
300g lukewarm water
425g plain flour
1 tsp salt

Add your active sourdough starter to a bowl and mix in your water until well combined. Add in your salt, then your flour. I didn’t do it in that order in the video, but…you know, details. Mix well until it forms a dough. 

Add a couple of drops of olive oil to your bowl lid or some saran wrap. You want to do this because your dough will be proofing for a long time, and might form a dry skin on the top - the olive oil helps stop this skin from forming. 

Cover your dough and let rise for 12-18 hours, if not more, at room temperature or in a spot that's slightly warmer than room temperature. You’re looking for a dough that’s stringy when stirred and with lots of bubbles on the top. Once your dough has risen, grab your cast iron pot and line it with baking paper. Sprinkle in some flour and plop in your dough. Let rise for 2 more hours at room temperature. 

After the 2 hours is up, take your baking paper with dough out of the cast iron pot. Heat up the cast iron pot (without dough) in the oven at 250C until it’s nice and hot. Take out the cast iron pot carefully with lots of oven mitts and protection. Lift the lid, and plop in your dough on the baking paper. Carefully cover, making sure all the baking paper is in the pot, so it doesn’t burn. Bake for 30 minutes at 250C, then take off the lid and bake for 20 minutes at 250C until your bread is nice and golden. 

Take your bread out of the oven and leave to form a nice crust for 30 minutes. (You can hear it crackle if you listen closely - just don’t burn your ear!) 

Now isn’t that a good looking loaf?! Enjoy your freshly baked bread!

Recipe adapted from the New York Times.