No knead sourdough bread

Knådfritt surdegsbröd

A no-knead sourdough loaf on a cooling rack

In truth, surdegsbröd (sourdough bread) in Sweden is no different to anywhere else in the world, but I have included a recipe on this site because it is becoming increasingly popular in Sweden. (There is even a sourdough hotel at Stockholm Airport!).

A no-knead dough is the ultimate slow food as it takes three days before you have anything to eat! Essentially you are relying on the natural yeasts present in the air and in the flour to do all the work, so there's not really very much for you to do! John Duxbury


Recipe summary for a white no-knead sourdough loaf 

To knead, or not to knead - that is the question

Two types of sourdough bread alongside each otherTwo types of sourdough bread (no-knead is on the right)

We have two recipes for white sourdough using exactly the same ingredients, so which is best? I don't think there is an easy answer as there are advantages and disadvantages of both methods.

Advantages of the no-knead method

• The no-knead method involves less work, only about 6 minutes, although the time is spread over 3 days,
• As everything is done in one bowl there is less washing-up,
• The timings are flexible, so they can be more easily adjusted to fit in with your lifestyle,
• A no-knead dough is slightly easier to manipulate,
• No-knead bread has a better, more complex, flavour, but the difference is fairly small.

Disadvantages of the no-knead method

• You've got to wait 3 days before you have anything to eat,
• You need to find space for the dough in your fridge,
• The dough has a tendency to stick to the banneton (proving basket),
• The crumb of a no-knead loaf is a bit denser, but the difference is fairly small.

In short, there is little difference, so I suggest you choose which ever fits in with your lifestyle most easily. (For our recipe kneaded white sourdough click here.)


A nice bubbly sourdough starter made using rye flour, water and honey

• The key to success is to use a nice bubbly starter (leaven). For our recipe click here.

Some sourdough starter (leaven) floating in water

• You may have read that if you drop a spoonful of sourdough starter into water it should float. Whilst sourdough starter that floats is definitely ready to use, don't panic if your starter does not float! As long as your starter is nice and bubbly it will be fine.

A selection of equipment used when baking sourdough bread

• For a guide to recommended sourdough baking equipment click here. In particular, I recommend using a baking dome (La Cloche) as it is like having a miniature brickoven in your kitchen.

A bag of strong white bread flour from Wessex Mill 

• Experiment with different flours until you find one you like. They alter the flavour, colour, crumb and crust.
• Try tweaking the flour to water ratio to change the texture. More water gives you a more open structure to the bread, but the dough is more likely to get stuck in the banneton (proving basket).
• Before handling dough in a mixing bowl, run your hands under some cold water to prevent your hands sticking to the dough too much.


200 g* starter (leaven)
325 g water at room temperature
500 g strong white flour (bread flour)
10 g sea salt
3 tbsp flour, for banneton (proving basket)
  semolina flour, polenta or baking parchment

*We recommend weighing all quantities in grams for bread


1. The night before you want to bake, prepare your starter and pour some water into a jug to give it time to come to room temperature.

Day 1

2. Add 200 g starter, 310 g of the water and 500 g of flour to a bowl. Using your hand like a large fork mix the ingredients for about 30 seconds until no flour remains. Cover and leave to rest for 60 minutes.

3. Add 10 g (1½ tsp) of salt and the remaining 15 g (1 tbsp) of water to the dough and then mix by hand for 30 seconds. Cover and leave to rest for an hour.

4. Transfer the dough to a fridge and leave to rest for 12-24 hours.

Day 2

No-knead sourdough being folded

5. Take the dough from the fridge and give it couple of folds. To do this, grab the underside of the dough furthest away from you with both hands and gently stretch it up and fold it over the rest of the dough. Rotate the bowl through 180º and repeat. Cover the dough again and leave for 30 minutes.

6. Repeat step 5, cover again and leave for 30 minutes.

7. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured worksurface. Using your hand and a dough scraper form the dough into a hemispherical shape.

Tension being built up on the surface of a no-knead sourdough

8. Move the dough from side to side a few times to build up tension on the surface. Leave uncovered for 10 minutes.

9. Meanwhile dust a 1 kg proving basket with 3 tbsp of flour, preferably rye flour.

10. Transfer the dough to the proving basket with the smooth side down. Cover and leave to rest for 12-24 hours in a fridge.

Day 3

11. Remove the banneton from the fridge and gently tease the dough away from the side of the banneton to ensure it won't stick when you want to tip the dough out for baking later on. Leave to rise for about 3 hours, until the dough springs back slowly when poked with a finger.

12. Heat a La Cloche, a Dutch oven or a baking stone to 220ºC (425ºF, gas 7, fan 220ºC).

13. a) If using a La Cloche or a Dutch oven, lightly sprinkle the base with semolina flour (or polenta), turn the dough out on to the base and, using a sharp knife, score the top of the dough as you like, replace the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake uncovered for a further 20 minutes until nicely browned.

13. b) If using a baking stone, spray the top of the oven with water and turn the dough onto a tray lined with baking parchment or use a baker's peel to slide the dough directly onto the baking stone. Bake for about 40 minutes until nicely browned.

14. Cool on a wire rack.


printer copy sb  printer version.pdf

Phone and tablet h32  phone & tablet version.pdf

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