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Apr 17, 2011 04:32 AM

Bread formula for no-knead sourdough?

Can anyone suggest a by-weight formula for a sourdough country-style loaf using the no-knead bread technique? Here's one that I use when baking the old way, on a stone:

12 ounces starter (ab 1 1/3 cups)
34 ounces flour (ab 7 cups)
18 ounces cool water (ab 2 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup raw wheat germ (optional)
4 1/2 tsp. sea salt

I'm supposing that a loaf using the no-knead approach (i.e., baked in a covered vessel) might use a somewhat wetter dough, or?


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  1. Hey Bada Bing (aka big brother!!)

    Here's one to try:

    It looks like it uses the same basic no-knead approach (that is, initial rising for about 18 hours; and cooked in a covered enameled cast iron dutch oven). The recipe calls for:

    15 oz bread flour (about 3 cups measured with the scoop and sweep method
    )1.5 tsp salt
    11 oz warm filtered/bottled water (1.25 cups, plus a tablespoon)
    1/2 cup sourdough starter

    I haven't tried it, but it looks terrific.

    I miss you!
    Little Sister.

    5 Replies
    1. re: emc2d

      How swell of you to come through, Sis! Thanks!

      Actually, I've experimented already with this in the last few days. My own recipe makes one very large loaf or two or three smaller ones. I made one Sunday that turned out to look awesome, but I ended up giving it to some neighbors who were unexpectedly grieving a family death. (Honestly, it felt like I had a little demon on each shoulder--SELFISH: "That bread looks amazing. You must try it." and CARING: "They're in shock and have a house full of family.")

      So I gave away the first bread in the end and made another as quick as may be, but that's still a two-day process. Today was a second big success, and it tastes perfect. I tossed in some flax seed as well as wheat germ, and a little whole wheat.

      My conclusion so far is that the recipe proportions really don't differ too much with this technique (as compared to making to loaf on a stone), provided the initial dough is relatively moist. I splashed a few ounces of extra water into each dough but didn't measure exactly either time. I just tried to make sure it was about the consistency of the original Leahy recipe.

      Thanks again!

      1. re: Bada Bing

        Sounds delicious! Where did you get your sourdough starter? I have been thinking of ordering a starter from King Arthur's Flour company; but I am afraid I won't be disciplined enough to keep up with it.

        Mom and I are thinking of trying to come out sometime this summer (August, perhaps?) Maybe I can use some of yours and cultivate a family sourdough starter!

        1. re: emc2d

          I made my own starter the old fashioned way. I'll dry some out on a sheet pan and then send it to you as chips to be reconstituted. If it required much discipline to keep these things alive, mine wouldn't be 10 or 12 years old now. More soon!

          1. re: Bada Bing

            I would love to get some of your starter! Make sure you include clear instructions on how to reconstitute/reactivate it. I am a true newbie at sourdough baking (an old pro at sourdough eating, though!)

      2. re: emc2d

        Got to try that one - thanks for the info.

      3. The recipe that got me started on no-knead bread was on the King Arthur website ( I use a Lodge Logic dutch oven (about 30 bucks) and it works every time. A little smokey in the oven, but not bad at all.

        2 Replies
        1. re: thechefenamateur

          Thanks for that link. I read the recipe on the King Arthur's website, and it is quite different than the no-knead breads I have made--which generally bake in a covered dutch . I look forward to trying this one.

          1. re: emc2d

            Just make sure to judge how much dough to actually cook at a time. I plopped the whole recipe in my dutch and ended up with a basketball sized loaf the first time, lol. It tasted good on the outside but wasn't quite done all the way through.

        2. Cook's Illustrated No Knead Bread V.2. IIRC, the recipe is not by weight.

          1. I purchased a dried sourdough starter from Alaska last summer. Got it started two days ago but its just barely bubbly and does not smell yeasty. Use it or toss it? I have 2 other active starters in my fridge so I know what starter should smell and look like if it's active.