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Classic Sourdough Bread Machine Recipe with No Yeast

Preview: Make this Sourdough Bread Machine Recipe (with no yeast added) using the DOUGH cycle of your bread machine. All the hard work of mixing and kneading happens in the machine, but you do the shaping and baking (in a conventional oven) for a superior crust. This is a traditional naturally-leavened sourdough recipe with only 4 ingredients: starter, water, flour, and salt.

Have you ever wondered if it was possible to make sourdough bread without yeast in your bread machine? What if you could use the DOUGH cycle to accomplish the mixing and kneading phases instead of using your hands?

You can! Basically, you will use the bread machine as a mixer instead of using your hands.

When the kneading is finished, remove the dough to a separate container for the bulk rise. You still need to do a few folds to build strength.

When the dough has risen sufficiently, shape the dough and refrigerate it overnight. Bake the next morning. No one will ever guess you used a bread machine to mix up this light and airy sourdough bread.

When I first googled the idea of using a bread machine, some people said it was impossible to produce a high-hydration sourdough loaf using a bread machine. Perhaps they are thinking about making a traditional sourdough loaf from beginning to end in the machine including the baking. I agree that you cannot make a great loaf of sourdough bread without any commercial yeast with one button.

Every naturally-leavened sourdough loaf is slightly different, so it would be almost impossible to put the whole process on a timer. Besides that, a bread machine oven doesn’t get hot enough to produce a good oven spring or a crisp crust that many like and expect on their sourdough.

sourdough no yeast bread mixed in a bread machine

The few bread machine sourdough recipes I’ve seen were not the simple traditional recipe. They call for extra ingredients such as sugar or butter and often, a small amount of instant yeast thrown in for good measure. That is a hybrid sourdough. Not the same!

My mission?–Make a simple sourdough bread with only starter, water, flour, and salt in a traditional shape with a traditional texture and a hydration level of at least 65% or higher. Of course, it had to taste and look fabulous.

NOTE to all my readers: As I continue to refine and simplify my basic No Yeast Bread Machine Recipe, I have revised these notes and the written recipe to reflect my current experience.

I continue to try different ways of folding and shaping the loaf and encourage you to do the same.

Recipe Inspiration:

I’ve been making loaf after loaf of sourdough bread without yeast using my bread machine. Success and failure visited often, sometimes on the same day. But finally, success has prevailed, and failure only visits when I push the window too far. (Only my trash can knows how many bread frisbees I’ve made.)

Making sourdough without yeast is a lot like making yogurt. There are as many ways to produce good yogurt as there are to make a loaf of good sourdough bread.

The secret to complete happiness with either yogurt or sourdough is fine-tuning the process to work for you – in your kitchen, with your equipment, your schedule, and your taste preferences.

Figuring out a schedule that works with your lifestyle can take time and experimentation. I hope this recipe inspires you and gives you a place to start.

What makes this sourdough recipe different from other bread machine sourdough recipes?

  • Only 4 ingredients (no fat, sugar, or commercial yeast added)
  • Yields a 1.5 lb. loaf that is easily mixed in most home bread machines
  • The recipe can be doubled. Be careful not to exceed the recommended amount of flour for your bread machine. Observe how your machine handles the dough. If it doesn’t seem smooth and elastic when done, you might need to go back to a smaller batch.
  • Bread can be made from start to finish in less than 24 hours – including an overnight final rise in the fridge.
  • Only a bread machine and a conventional oven are required. I’m particular about the crust on my bread, so I always bake it in my oven. Why? A bread machine barely heats to 300˚F. There is no way you can get a thin, blistered, and crispy crust, much less the boule or batard shape with an ear and big cracks on top that we all enjoy.
  • Speaking of crust: I like a blistered crust that’s crunchy but tender and golden brown in color. To that end, I don’t use any flour on my work surface or when shaping the dough. A handy spray bottle full of water keeps my hands, bench knife, and work surface damp and stick-free.
  • No custom bread machine cycles are required for this recipe. If your machine has the capability, you can use them to make the whole process more convenient.
  • Although not required, digital scales, a bench knife, and a quick-read thermometer are extremely helpful.
  • Hydration is a common word in sourdough circles. The hydration of this recipe is 68%: 255 gr of water divided by 375 gr of flour = 68% hydration. I’ve also had success using 263 grams of water which translates to 70% hydration and even higher.

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • STARTER: If you don’t have a starter yet, your first step is to get one. The most basic starter contains flour and water. Because I’m a yogurt maker, I used a little yogurt whey to make my starter. The process can take 10 days or longer to create a starter strong enough to make bread.

    If you are impatient, I recommend buying the fresh starter offered by King Arthur Flour. Once you receive it in the mail, follow the directions. You’ll have a starter that’s ready to bake within a couple of days. I’ve tried it. Works great!

    I use 100% hydration with my starter. That means the amount of water is equal to the amount of flour in WEIGHT. But water is much heavier than flour, so don’t use the same volume of both. My starter looks like a thick paste before it starts to proof.
  • WATER: I often use refrigerator-cold bottled water or tap water (chill after it sits on the counter for 24 hours to let the chlorine evaporate). Why cold? Because the paddle action of a bread machine can heat up the dough to nearly 90˚F which can make the dough a bit sticky to knead well in my experience. (Note: This may not be necessary during the wintertime or if your kitchen is quite cool.)
  • FLOUR: My recipe calls for 15 grams (2 tablespoons) of whole wheat flour and 360 grams (3 cups) of bread flour. The higher protein in bread flour helps when using a bread machine. However, I’ve produced good loaves with all-purpose flour, too.

    Regarding the whole wheat: I think a small amount improves the taste, gives the starter extra energy, and enables a higher level of hydration. Whole grains absorb more water than white flour. You can substitute bread flour for whole wheat flour if you prefer, but you may have to adjust the water down a bit.
  • SALT: Fine sea salt or table salt will dissolve quickly.

    You can cut back the amount of salt if you like, but don’t cut it out completely.
ingredients needed to make this bread recipe

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What equipment do I need to make sourdough bread?

The only thing you must have with this recipe is a bread machine with a DOUGH cycle and a conventional oven. Everything else helps you get better results.

BREAD MACHINE: A fancy bread machine is nice but not required for this recipe. You will only be using the DOUGH cycle. Some machines have a timer that will control the DOUGH cycle. So convenient! If your machine has a custom cycle option (most often seen on the more expensive models), use it to customize this recipe to your schedule or lifestyle.

DIGITAL SCALES: In my opinion, you really need digital scales to measure the ingredients with accuracy, especially the flour. You can get this one for around $14.

CLEAR CONTAINER for PROOFING: Look for something no smaller than a 2-qt glass bowl or plastic container. It doesn’t have to be see-through, but visibility helps. If it has markings on the side, that’s even better.

equipment for sourdough bread
One thing I left out: a sharp knife or lame to score the bread.

BENCH KNIFE: A bench knife or scraper is SUPER helpful in moving the dough around while you shape it. The less you touch the dough with your fingers, the less likely you are to get into a sticky mess. Instead of using flour, keep your water sprayer handy to wet the bench knife, the work surface, and your hands.

BANNETON, mixing BOWL, or COLANDER for PROOFING: A banneton is a type of wood basket that is traditionally used for holding the bread dough as it rises. If you don’t want to purchase one, use a small colander or mixing bowl along with a cotton or linen tea towel to line your container. Rice flour works best to flour your liner or towels since it has no gluten and won’t dissolve into the dough as wheat flour does.

After making more than 100 loaves, I find it unnecessary to flour the linen liners of my bannetons any more. I don’t wash them. They seem to be “seasoned” like a good cast iron pan so you don’t want to wash out the floury seasoning.

QUICK-READ THERMOMETER: These are great for beginners who aren’t sure if their bread is done. This thermometer costs about 14$. I use my thermometer nearly every day whether I’m making bread or not.

Temperature is an important factor in how fast each stage of making sourdough progresses. Use your thermometer to monitor the situation and make decisions about whether you need more or less warmth.

CAST IRON DUTCH OVEN: (optional) You don’t have to have a Dutch oven to make sourdough bread, but it will give your bread more rising power than not using one. I used my Le Creuset DO at first. The high temperatures pretty much ruined the finish and made the crust a little tough. I had much better luck with a relatively inexpensive seasoned cast iron pot and lid that I could also use as a skillet. The lid holds the bread while the pot acts as a lid.

ADDENDUM: I now use the Challenger Bread Pan to bake my bread. It’s heavier than the iron Dutch oven I was using, so I store it in my second oven. The investment is worthwhile if you are hooked on sourdough and plan to make a lot of sourdough bread. You’ll see a visible difference in the oven-spring your bread experiences in the oven.

ALTERNATIVES TO A DUTCH OVEN: Check out this post from about creating steam in your oven for several methods you can use to get that all-important steam inside your oven if you don’t use a Dutch oven.

MISCELLANEOUS: Parchment paper is handy, especially if you need to use it as a sling to lift and lower dough into your Dutch oven or onto a cookie sheet or pizza stone. Lames are fun if you want to cut fancy designs on top of your bread, but a sharp knife or razor blade is sufficient for beginners.

Are you a beginning or an advanced bread baker?

Beginners might want to start out with lower hydration levels. Use 248 gr (66%), or 236 gr (63%) of water without changing the amount of flour in the recipe. Lower-hydration dough is easier to handle until you get some experience. If your dough seems sticky and unmanageable, reduce the water and gradually work your way up the hydration scale.

If you are used to working with sourdough with no yeast, you can easily increase the hydration by simply changing the amount of water. For example, If you want to try higher hydration levels for a lighter and more open crumb, use 263 grams of water for 70% hydration, 275 grams of water for 73% hydration, or 283 grams of water for 75% hydration.

Tips for making sourdough bread with no yeast in a bread machine:

One secret to making sourdough bread without yeast in a bread machine, especially when using higher levels of hydration, is to use COLD water.

Don’t worry. The kneading cycle will warm everything up in a hurry.

When the dough becomes excessively warm, the dough can get too sticky to pull away from the sides of the pan, making the kneading cycle less effective in building dough strength. This is my experience.

sliced sourdough bread--bread machine

3 tips for extending the bulk rise phase:

These tips are especially helpful during the summer or when doing the bulk rise overnight.

  1. Place the bread machine pan into the freezer for 15 minutes or longer to get it really cold before using it to make bread.
  2. Use less starter than the recipe calls for. The more starter you use, the less time the bulk rise will take.
  3. If you find you have to leave the house unexpectedly and you think the first rise (bulk rise) might be finished before you return, put your container of dough in the fridge to slow it down and buy more time. Take it out as soon as you can to finish the bulk rise.

FAQ about naturally-leavened sourdough bread:

How can I keep the bottom of my sourdough bread from burning?

Place a cookie sheet or broiler pan onto the bottom rack located directly below the rack holding your bread.

How can I keep the parchment paper from sticking to my bread?

1. Spray the paper with cooking spray. 2. Sprinkle the bottom of the dough with semolina flour or cornmeal before turning it out of the banneton or basket. 3. Use a grill sheet cut in the shape of the bottom of your pan instead of parchment paper (my favorite solution because it’s reusable).

How do I know when my starter has risen enough to use it in my bread?

The amount of time required will depend on the ratio of the original starter to flour and water, the starting temperature of the water and seed starter, and the vitality of your starter. If a small spoonful of your starter floats in water, most people would say it’s ready to use. This is not a guarantee that the starter is strong enough to make your bread rise nice and high, but it’s a clue.

Why can’t I bake my naturally-leavened sourdough bread from beginning to end with the bread machine?

A bread machine only heats up to about 290-300˚F – not hot enough to create a crispy and golden crust, a hallmark of naturally-leavened sourdough. Also, the rise cycles programmed into your machine are nowhere near long enough for a naturally leavened loaf. Your bread will be better when you shape it by hand and bake it with high heat to make it really pop and produce a lighter texture. Totally worth the trouble!

What is the advantage of using a bread machine to make sourdough bread over a stand mixer or by hand?

One advantage is the timer. Since the kneading is on a timer (as part of the DOUGH cycle), you don’t have to worry about how long to knead or if you’re doing it right.

The only thing you have to do by hand when using a bread machine is shaping it before the final rise, and baking it in your oven. (I like to do a few additional folds with the dough when I transfer the dough from the bread machine to the proofing container before the bulk rise. These are optional.)

For people who can’t physically knead dough or find the process uncomfortable, the bread machine is a life-saver.

Three secrets to successful naturally-leavened sourdough bread:


In my opinion, the secret to sourdough bread with no yeast is learning to read and handle the starter and dough. Knowing when to go to the next step is crucial…and hard to learn from pictures. Experience helps.


You can manipulate almost any stage of making sourdough by changing the temperature. Warmth speeds things up. Cold slows it down. This applies to how fast your starter grows, the bulk rise, and the final rise. In general, the slower the yeast develops, the better the flavor and texture of your final loaf of bread. When possible, don’t rush it.


Ratios make a HUGE difference when it comes to the timing of the rises and characteristics of the dough. For example, the higher the water percentage, the faster the dough will rise, the more open the crumb will be, and the greater the possibilities for a sticky mess. Even the starter is affected by the ratio of flour to water as well as the ratio of seed starter to the flour and water when you feed it.

I’m here to answer your questions, but honestly, experimentation in your own kitchen is key. Luckily, the ingredients aren’t expensive. The best way to be successful is to keep practicing and don’t let the failures get you down. I’ve heard that you’re still a beginner until you make at least a hundred loaves.

The sweet taste of success and a beautiful loaf of bread will be your reward. 

Are you ready? Let’s get started. Follow my picture tutorial below or check out the video.

p.s. Making sourdough bread is addictive once you get into it. You’ve been warned.

How to make Bread Machine Sourdough Bread – No Yeast:


adding water to bread machine pan
Add water to the bread machine pan. (I set the empty bread machine on a digital scale to measure the water and flour.)
adding whole wheat and bread flour to water in pan
Add both types of flour to the machine and start the DOUGH cycle. Allow the dough to mix just until all dough is barely moist. In my machine, this is less than a minute.
preparing dough with a spatula for autolyze phase.
Use a small spatula to ensure all the flour in the corners and the bottom is in contact with the water. The dough will appear dry and shaggy at first. Don’t add more water! Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes to a couple of hours. (This resting period is commonly referred to as the autolyse.)
sourdough starter--ready to use
Measure active and bubbly starter into the bread machine pan. I use 100% hydration when making my starter. In other words, the weight of the water is equal to the weight of the flour added to the seed starter. (This does not mean the volume measurement is equal as water is much heavier than flour.)
Adding the salt on top of the dough before the autolyze.
Add salt on top of one side.
Dough during autolyze with the salt on one side and starter on the other on top, not mixed in.
Add the starter on top of the other side.


Choose the DOUGH cycle on your machine and press START.

The dough should look similar to this picture when the kneading is almost done. It should stick to the sides, then pull away cleanly. Note that the sides of the pan are fairly clean while the dough is shiny and smooth. Using cold water helps to keep the dough from getting too hot and sticky while the bread machine kneads the dough.

Note: After experimenting, I’ve discovered that the dough doesn’t necessarily need to knead for the whole DOUGH cycle. I stop my machine after 13 minutes of kneading. Look for the dough to be smooth, stick to the side, then pull away fairly cleanly.


removing the dough from the bread machine to a clear container
When the bread machine stops kneading (it will go quiet), open the lid. Transfer the dough from the bread machine pan to a lightly greased clear container. The dough is not delicate at this point.
Grab the dough at the side. Pull up and stretch as far as possible without tearing the dough. Fold back over to the middle. Turn bowl. Repeat on each side going all the way around twice.
smoothing the dough and pressing it down at the beginning of the bulk rise
Round the dough with your slightly oiled hands and place it back into the container with the smooth side up. Do this stretching technique every 30 minutes three more times. This builds strength.
dough at the end of bulk proof
The dough is ready when it is light and airy. You should see a few larger bubbles on top (like the picture above), the sides, and the bottom. Warning: You won’t see much happening for the first hour or two. The rise starts out slowly, but once it gets going, it can grow fast. Most of the bubbles appear toward the end of the bulk rise. The process could take as long as 4 to 10 or more hours depending on the ambient temperature. Pay no attention to the time–only look at the dough. Getting this right is one of the hardest things about making sourdough bread with no yeast.

If you don’t allow the bread to rise long enough during the bulk rise, your bread may turn out too dense. Sometimes, it will have huge tunnels between the compact crumb. If you let the dough rise too long and overproof, the bread will have a tendency to spread out like a frisbee and develop large tunnels. The flavor and color may be off when you bake it. Oven spring will usually be less.

It’s sad, really. But don’t let it ruin your day. You’re one loaf closer to success. The silver lining is that the bread usually tastes good even if it doesn’t look like an Instagram photo.


letting the dough fall out of the container
Pre-shaping: Gently turn the container holding the dough upside down and let the dough fall out onto a damp surface. Be patient. If the dough is sticking to the pan, use a small spatula to loosen the dough from the sides and help it fall out.
stretching and folding the dough to build structure.
With wet fingers and a damp bench scraper, pull up each corner and fold it toward the middle. Press the seam lightly with your fingertips.
Work your way around the dough until the dough is shaped into a tight ball. Using a damp bench scraper and your damp hands, flip the ball over so the smooth side is up. Cover and let the ball rest for 15-30 minutes.


Flip the ball back over with damp hands and a bench knife. The smooth side should be next to the surface of your work area.

stretching dough into a large square.
Stretch dough into a large rectangle without tearing it.
forming the dough after stretching it into a large square.
Fold the sides into the middle. (See the video.)
rolling dough into a batard.
Starting at the top, roll the dough to make a batard. Pinch any air bubbles over an inch in size.
using hands and a bench scraper to make the dough more compact
Use fingers and a bench scraper to make the ball more compact.


Place your shaped dough into a lined basket or bowl with the seam side up. Allow the dough to rest for about 15 minutes.
stitching to improve tension
“Stitch” the dough to improve tension by using your fingers to overlap the dough. Cover with a shower cap or plastic bag and refrigerate for 7-24 hours before baking.


Preheat your conventional oven before taking the shaped dough out of the fridge. Set your oven to 500˚F or as high as it will go. Let it preheat for 45-60 minutes. Set your Dutch oven inside the oven to preheat at the same time.

Speaking of Dutch ovens, don’t exceed the manufacturer’s recommended maximum temperature. Some will tell you never to preheat your pan empty. If that’s the case, wait until your oven is preheated. Place the bread in the pan, then into the oven. The Dutch oven doesn’t have to be preheated (although I have much better luck when it is).

sprinkling semolina over the top of the crust
When your oven is thoroughly preheated, remove the dough from the fridge. Work fast. After sprinkling the dough with semolina or cornmeal, invert the shaped dough onto a piece of parchment paper. (The black sheet here is a grill sheet cut to fit the bottom of my Dutch oven.)
brushing and spraying the loaf with water--hoping for blisters
If you want blisters, spray the loaf with water. Use a brush to wet the loaf and remove any extra flour.
Scoring the loaf with a serrated knife
Use a sharp knife or razor blade to score the bread at a 45-degree angle if you want an “ear.” Or make a simple “X” or “+” sign. The slash should be 1/4 to 1/2-inch deep.
using a Challenger bread pan to bake the sourdough loaf
Place the dough into your Dutch oven, onto a preheated pizza stone, or a heavy cookie sheet. If using a Dutch oven, cover. Turn the oven thermostat back to 450 degrees and bake for 20 minutes.
taking the lid off halfway through the bake
Remove the lid. Continue to cook for 20 more minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 210˚F.
Baked sourdough loaf on a cooling rack
Some people like their sourdough baked to a darker color. This loaf is perfectly browned for us. Let the loaf cool for 1 hour before slicing. 2-3 hours is even better.
bottom crust on baked sourdough loaf
Truth in advertising: The bottom is crispy but not burnt.
sliced sourdough bread in front of a bread machine
It’s possible! You can make a traditional loaf of sourdough with no yeast using a bread machine.

bread machine crash course sign-up

Getting the hang of sourdough (in this case, with a bread machine) takes persistence and a willingness to experiment. I guess that’s why a successful loaf is SO SATISFYING. If you try making sourdough, I hope you’ll let me know how it goes.

p.s. A special thanks to Vanessa, one of my faithful readers and a fellow bread machine lover, who encouraged me through the frisbee failures to keep trying until I finally produced bread I could be proud of. May you have somebody in your life who will do the same.

More recipes and posts related to bread machines:

Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and me by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating in the recipe below. No comments required.

Hope to see you again soon!

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: paula at

Yield: 12 slices

Classic Bread Machine Sourdough Bread Recipe - No Yeast

Classic Bread Machine Sourdough Bread Recipe - No Yeast

Make this no-yeast sourdough bread recipe in your bread machine using the DOUGH cycle. All the hard work of mixing and kneading happens in the machine, but you do the shaping and baking in a conventional oven for a superior crust and a traditional appearance.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 22 hours
Total Time 22 hours 55 minutes


  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons ( 255 gr) water (refrigerator-cold)
  • 2 tablespoons (15 gr) whole wheat flour (substitute with bread flour if preferred)
  • 3 cups (360 gr) bread flour
  • 1-1/2 scant teaspoon (9 gr) table or sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 gr) bubbly and active sourdough starter


  1. AUTOLYZE: Add water to the bread machine pan, then both flours. Using the bread machine, choose the DOUGH cycle. Turn it on just long enough to moisten the dough. It will look dry and scraggly. Stop the machine and use a spatula to scrape any loose flour down from the sides and out of the corners.
  2. Place salt on top of one side of the dough in the machine and the starter on the other side. DO NOT MIX. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. KNEADING: Select the DOUGH cycle and press START. When the machine goes quiet, you'll know the kneading is finished. Transfer the dough to a lightly-oiled 2-liter clear plastic or glass container. You will not leave the dough in the machine until the end of the DOUGH cycle.
  4. FOLDS: Now that you have transferred the dough to another container, grab the dough at one end and stretch it upward without tearing the dough. Fold it over toward the middle. Turn the bowl. Grab the next side with your fingers and stretch, then fold it towards the center. Move to the next side and repeat. Do this until you have gone around the bowl or container twice. Cover. OPTIONAL: Repeat the stretchy folds about 30 minutes into step 5--the bulk rise to build structure.
  5. BULK RISE: Leave the dough on the counter to rise until bubbly throughout. The process may take 3-10 hours depending on the temperature of the dough and the vitality of your starter. Look for several larger bubbles and many small bubbles on the top of the dough along with lots of small bubbles on the sides and all over the bottom of the dough. I used to think the dough should double in size, but now I don't let it go that long. A 50% increase is plenty. You can influence the speed of proofing by moving your container to a warmer or cooler location. Hint: A microwave that has had a cup of water boiling inside it for a minute or two makes a humid and warm environment that sourdough loves if you're making bread in a cold kitchen.
  6. When the dough is proofed, gently turn the container with the dough upside down and let the dough fall gently onto a damp work surface. If it doesn't want to fall out, use a small, wet spatula to loosen the dough from the sides and try again. Be patient and let gravity do most of the work so the air bubbles will stay intact.
  7. PRE-SHAPING: Use your wet fingers and/or a wet bench scraper to pick up one side of the circle, then fold it toward the center. Use your fingers to gently tap the seams and "glue" them down. Move clockwise around the circle, picking up the adjacent dough and fold it toward the center. Repeat the process until your dough is in a shape that resembles a ball. Use a wet bench knife to help you flip the dough ball (boule) over so the smooth side is on top. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
  8. FINAL SHAPING: (If the dough flattened out a lot during the previous rest period, refold the ball starting with one edge and work your way around the circle just like you did in step 5. Flip over, cover, and let rest again before proceeding.) If the ball is holding its shape fairly well, use your hands and/or a bench scraper to refold the dough into a boule or a batard. (See the video.) Use your hands and a bench scraper to make the ball more compact. Only do this 3-4 times. Don't overdo it. NOTE: If your dough turns into a big gooey mess, it's likely that you have over-proofed it or let it stick to your fingers. Scrape the dough into a greased 8½ x 4½ inch bread pan. Cover it and place it into the fridge for the final rise. It might not be pretty but will probably taste good when baked.
  9. Place the dough with the smooth side down into a lined (can use a linen or cotton tea towel) and floured (I like rice flour) banneton, small mixing bowl, or a small colander. Cover and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes on the counter. If desired, "stitch" the dough in the banneton to make the loaf more compact. (See video.)
  10. FINAL RISE: Refrigerate 8 to 24 hrs inside a plastic bag sealed to keep out refrigerator odors and preserve the moisture inside the dough.
  11. BAKE: Preheat your oven to 500˚F for 45 minutes before you want to bake. If using a Dutch oven, put the lid on and place it into your oven while preheating.
  12. If using a Dutch oven, see the recipe notes below. Otherwise, set an iron skillet on the lower rack during the preheat.
  13. Remove the bread from the refrigerator immediately before you're ready to bake. Sprinkle the top of the dough with semolina or cornmeal while still in the bowl so it won't stick to your parchment paper. Turn the dough out of the bowl or banneton onto a piece of parchment paper. Brush off excess flour with a brush.
  14. If you want a blistered crust, paint your loaf with water, then spritz it a couple of times for a blistered crust. Slash the bread with a sharp knife or razor blade using any design you like. The main slash should be at least 1/2 to 1 inch deep. Make it at a sharp angle to the bread if you want a good "ear." Move the boule with the parchment paper under it to a cookie sheet or a Dutch oven.
  15. If using a Dutch oven, put the lid on and place it into your oven,
  16. If using a cookie sheet, place the tray holding the bread on the middle rack of your oven. Using oven mitts, pour a half cup of boiling water into the hot iron skillet. Do it quickly and close the oven door as fast as you can. Turn the temperature back to 435˚F.
  17. If using a Dutch oven, remove the lid after 20 minutes. If you want the loaf to brown more, completely remove the bread from the Dutch oven and set it on the oven rack.
  18. Bake for a total of 35-40 minutes total or until the bread reaches 207-210˚F in the middle using a quick-read thermometer and is browned to your preference.
  19. Let the bread cool on a rack for at least an hour or longer before slicing to avoid gumminess.


Baking with a Dutch oven:

If using a Dutch oven, place it onto the middle rack in your oven along with a heavy cookie sheet on the rack just below it while preheating the oven. Place the unbaked boule or batard onto parchment paper on the bottom of your Dutch oven. Put the lid on and place it onto the middle rack. After 20 minutes, remove the lid from the pan. Cook an additional 15-20 minutes or until bread reaches 207-210˚F in the middle using a quick-read thermometer.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 265mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

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Thursday 2nd of September 2021

Great idea! I will try this for my next loaf, thank you! A tip for the bulk rise is to let it rise 25% to 50% in the container. I mark the top of the dough level on the outside of the square container with a pen, measure it and put another mark where the 25% rise will be. When the dough reaches that height I know it's ready.


Thursday 2nd of September 2021

Hi Tam,

Thanks for leaving this tip. I have also used large rubber bands to mark where my dough is at the beginning of the bulk proof and another one where I want it to be at the end. It's easy to forget how far the dough has come, right?


Tuesday 22nd of June 2021

Hi Paula, I would like to make this recipe but put it in a pullman pan for a sandwhich loaf. Also want a soft crust. Should I put the top on the pullman pan? Any advice? I do not want to use yeast or sugar.

Thanks for your reply, PattiAnn


Tuesday 22nd of June 2021

Hi PattiAnn,

Yes, I have done this before. I would put a top on the Pullman pan for the first half of the baking time. Then remove the top so it can brown. With some experimentation, you might decide you need to leave the top on a little less or a little more time. I would love to hear how it turns out for you.

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