No-knead sourdough bread is a simple yet tasteful bread you can make at home with surprisingly little effort. The sourdough bread is doubtlessly our favourite, not only for the easy recipe and its simplicity, but also for its beautiful soft crumb and crispy, crackling crust.
Healthy, real bread – there’s nothing more rewarding. And if you have time to wait, this recipe is pretty fool proof too!
The perfect casrolle for no knead bread
As most people don’t have a full sized traditional bread oven at home we need to recreate the intense heat and damp that a oven generates. A good quality casserole, that can withstand heat and are safe to use. No plastic or poor quality; look for large, heavy cast iron, ceramic, stainless steel or enamel casserole. I have the 20cm Elysees Yellow from the new Bloom Signature Cast Iron Round Casserole series by Le Creuset (£145 at House of Fraser). The kitchen classic is normally associated with slow-cooked stews and tender, juicy roasts. But in fact, for the no knead bread – there’s no more important kitchen cookware.
For the new Signature Round Casserole, new features include easy-grip with larger handles, easy clean toughened enamel interior (this is something I noticed straight away – everything comes easily off without scrubbing), the stainless steel knob is heat resistant and the lid is improved, more tight-fitting – all in all creating the perfect mini bread oven! The freshly baked bread rise to perfection and bake evenly in the round cast iron casserole, which will make the most amateur baker look like a professional!
White flour (Shipton Organic Strong Plain White) 530g (I replace use 1/6 with wholemeal from Shipton)
For the sourdough starter, if you don’t happen to have a friend that are willing to share his or hers starter, you can easily start your own; Sourdough starter recipe here. I recommend feeding the starter the day before you bake so it’s ready for action!
Add the flour and salt to a large bowl and mix briefly with a spatula. Then add the starter and the water and mix thoroughly to form a rough dough. Cover in plastic bag / clingfilm and leave in a warm place over night. I place it on the kitchen table with is close the our central heating.
Place your dough on to a well floured surface, fold a couple of times like an envelope and shape. (The dough is quite sticky, so use plenty of flour.) Place your shaped dough in a well floured lined wood basket (if you have one, if not – back into the bowl) to prove. You are after bubbles and activity as much as increasing the size.
Leave in a warm place to prove. It usually takes 3-4 hours to double in size – or sometimes longer. Have patience!
Pre-heat the over to 235C. Place the casserole in the hot oven and allow to heat up. Remove the casserole from the oven, sprinkle some flour before adding the dough. Put the lid back on and place the caserolle straight back into the oven.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove lid for the last 5 minutes to achieve a golden crips crust.
With a hectic life I find baking bread rather therapeutic. Especially with having all the hard work with kneading and the sourdough starter that creates all the action, making the whole experience less of a gamble. It’s also something about the smell of fresh bread, from when you open the oven, allow to cool (almost) before you cut through the crispy crust, add butter that almost melts and a bit of spread -and that first bite! Happy baking!