No-Knead Sourdough: How-To


From the Editor: Please welcome Erin, Cultures for Health Social Media Coordinator and Cultured Kitchen Keeper.

This is seriously the easiest sourdough sandwich bread that I have ever made. I now make loaves for my entire family. I give one to my mom, dad, brother and mother-in-law. Add in our loaf a week and I have to make 5-6 loaves a week! So it has to be easy right? IT IS! I originally picked up the recipe here.

I am now going to walk you through my process and how to make one loaf.

You will need:

1 9X5 loaf pan (I prefer the pans with straight sides, so my loaves come out well for sandwiches!)

2 cups of sourdough starter

3 1/4 cups of flour

1/2 TBS of salt

Up to 2 cups of water


catch yeast 1

1. If you don’t already have an established sourdough starter, then you need to make one or buy one. You can buy one here.


2. When your sourdough is bubbly and ready to be used, then it is time to make your bread! Look how bubbly it is!

3. Grease a large loaf pan with butter. I have found through trial and error that butter works much better than coconut oil in regards to creating a nonstick surface for this bread!

4. In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of your active starter, 3 1/4 cups of flour (I use sprouted wheat or spelt), 1/2 tablespoon of sea salt and up to 2 cups of water. Keep adding the water until you reach an oatmeal consistency. This is a no knead loaf, so you do not want it to be like regular bread dough! This dough is much, much wetter. (Then feed your starter and stick it back on the counter).

5. Mix this dough with a wooden spoon (or your hands :) ) for 5-10 minutes until you can see it starting to stick together a bit. The gluten has developed. It will be a lot like pancake or cake batter. Maybe a tad bit thicker, like thick oatmeal.

sourdough starter 3

6. Fill the loaf pan about 1/2-3/4 full and place it in a warm spot on your counter for 7 hours. (you can see my experiments in the above picture If you fill your loaf pan too full, you may get overflow! Sticky and messy, but still yummy!

7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the loaf for 1 hour -1 hour and 20 minutes. I live in a humid climate so need the longer bake time. Also, if you do more than 1 loaf, you may want the longer bake time as well. What a beautiful sandwich bread loaf right?!


Are you ready to try this?



Erin Gaines is a Nutritional Therapist and a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful babies. My favorite cultured foods are milk kefir and sauerkraut. I feel these are the easiest and most versatile cultures. I have taught many classes on fermenting kefir, veggies, and kombucha. Before I was a mom, I owned my own company selling sauerkraut, kefir, and lacto-fermented condiments.

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  1. Deb G says

    Sorry if this is obvious to some, but I’ve never made bread of any kind. You mention feeding the starter. What is is that you use to feed the starter? Thanks.

    • Mark. says

      Tried this after doing 18-hour to 24-hour no-knead rise with little starter and then trying to get the dough or batter or gunk into a hot Dutch oven, with or without waiting for it to rise again beforehand. Using a lot of starter and a shorter rise in a loaf pan does lead to less-dense bread, partly because the gluten hasn’t been trashed and partly because of less handling, but I miss the intense sourness I got with the longer wait. Maybe I should just try the 24-hour method in the loaf pan and hope that the result isn’t too dense… or add gluten (always reluctant to try that), or refrigerate, or…

      Turned out very nicely without the Dutch oven — gives me a bit of confidence to experiment.

      • says

        Mark – Like you, I am always torn between texture and flavor and fuller fermentation.

        I recently tried a 12 hour fermentation with a looser dough in a loaf pan. It was probably 12-15 hours by the time it baked and it was more dense than the loose-crumbed Dutch oven breads. I think the high heat produces amazing oven spring, so I’ll have to experiment with that.

        Let us know your thoughts!

  2. Norma Tumberg says

    I realize this is a sandwich bread, but have you tried making it into a round loaf? there’s just something special about a round sour dough loaf.

    I am going to try this recipe, I have tried only a couple different sour dough recipes, I’m kind of intimidated by sour dough but love it. thank you.

  3. Cathy says

    Looks yummy!

    Could I use a gluten-free starter from Cultures for Health? Then, what kind of gluten-free flour would I add to make the bread?

    Thank you.

    • John says

      I know you posted your question a while ago, but I wanted to let you know that Cultures for Health has a book for sale all about making healthy gluten free sourdough. It is loaded with all sorts of gluten free sourdough recipes.

  4. MCJam says

    How does this loaf slice? It looks like it has a firm crust , more like artisan bread. I am trying to find a Sourdough Spelt Sandwich bread that is somewhat softer than my artisan loaf (which is wonderful, just not soft like sandwich bread). I was wondering if it should be made somehow with milk, or fat in the dough to soften the crumb and crust. Just not sure of how to do it without it becoming too sour.

  5. katie says

    I made this following the Above Rubies youtube videos. It turned out horrible. You have given me hope to try again. Sourdough is new territory for me, as I am very experienced with yeast breads. It’s intimidating to try something new when you are good at something else. I do appreciate your wonderful photos though. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Terah says

    Hello — I have only been working with sourdough for about a year, I’ve accomplished many things but a loaf of bread is not one of them! I’ve had many failed attempts and finally just gave up on sandwich bread for awhile. But, I would like to try this and see if I can master it. I don’t keep my starter on the counter, I usually keep in the fridge and bring it out once a week to bake with for a couple of days. Will this affect my bread? Should I feed it multiple times before attempting this bread? Thank you!!

  7. Deborah says

    Bread looks yummy.
    Like Cathy posted, I would love to make this bread if it was GF. Celiac so no gluten tolerance. Ideas?

  8. Rebecca Steadman says

    Guess I’m confused. You show pictures at the very beginning of one cup of rye and one cup of water left overnight yet don’t mention that in your list of ingredients. Is this the 2 cups of sourdough starter you list in the recipe? If so, then I’m assuming I can simply use my starter (made with emmer flour) and skip the rye mixture. I’m anxious to give this a try as soon as I know how to proceed. Thanks. This looks so simple!

  9. says

    I’ve tried making non-sourdough bread before that required kneading and I’m not good at it! I want to try sourdough but am a bit concerned that my kneading skills kill my bread making efforts. Thanks for this recipe. I’m going to give it a shot!

  10. Mary says

    I made bread and out if habit input towel on top to rise. It dropped of course. I’m waiting to see if it will rise again. What can I do?

  11. Deanna says

    I made this and it turned out fantastic except the crust was hard. I am going to make it again and am wondering if I should add more or less flour. The bread itself was soft and moist, just a super hard crust.

  12. Sherry says

    I have placed my bread in a plastic bag shortly after it comes out of the oven and it softens the top of the loaf so it is not so crusty.

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