The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Radical approach

Cathryn K's picture
Cathryn K

Radical approach

Hello All,

Wanting the convenience of the "no knead" approach, but still wanting the flavor of sourdough, I've been trying a radical approach that seems to be working well. I have tried it on two recipes- yesterday, Peter Reinhart's Struan Bread from The Baker's Apprentice.

I add 1 C of 100% hydration whole wheat starter to the final dough, and mix in the bowl just enough flour to make it workable. I turn it out and gently knead just until it holds together in a smooth,( very moist, a little sticky) mass, then let it rise at room temp for fermentation, with a brief stretch and fold, then on to the final proof (I proofed in a lined basket) Half an hour before baking I put my dutch oven into the oven and set it for 450' (100' above the recipe temp). When oven and pot are up to temp, I sprinkle a handful of polenta in the dutch oven, flop in the dough, cover and bake for 15 minutes. Then the lid comes off and it bakes about 20-25 min more to brown. Beautiful loaf, great flavor, excellent crumb. I think I'm on to something! Has anyone else tried this???


DerekL's picture

Yes, I've been toying with something like for some time now.  IIRC the ABI5M book even reccomends it.

My method is to save a few hundred grams of the basic ABI5M dough from each batch and incorporate it into the next.

SourDeux's picture

Me too!  I follow something like this recipe:

I use a freshly refreshed all rye sourdough because it gives it that much more kick and moistness.  I also double the recipe because we eat bread like hogs, and bake it for about an hour or so.  I like moist bread, so I'll sometimes use buttermilk for the liquid.


Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete


Yes, I just baked a no knead sour dough loaf using a new 10 day old starter. I don't have a dutch oven so I use my wife's caserole dish using much the same time scale and method as you. It turned out great.

For general knowledge I have not had success with a sourdough starter until I read about using wholemeal flour with pineapple juice on this site. It is now up and bubbling and now living in the fridge. It is at a stage now where I no longer use pineapple juice but water instead when feeding it.

My wife and I couldn't believe the sour flavour we had from such a young starter. Now it just occurred to me if it is such a young starter I think I will call it "Junior". I've seen some other starters out there with some good names on this site.

So why not?