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Overnight Sourdough Bread Recipe

Prep Time1 d
Cook Time45 mins
Servings: 2 loaves


  • 525 g water - 80°F - NO CHLORINE
  • 200 g very active sourdough starter - should float when dropped in water
  • 700 g all-purpose or bread flour
  • 1 tbsp salt


  • Combine water & sourdough starter until the starter is completely dissolved.
  • Add the flour and mix until you form a shaggy dough ball - don't overmix.
  • Let rest 1 hour for the autolyze process - that's basically the sourdough starter turning the rest of the flour mixture into sourdough. This can be extended up to 4 hours with no problems.
  • Add the salt using a downwards pinching/stabbing motion - so you don't knock out too much air.
  • Now you'll begin the slow knead. Looking at your bowl of dough, grab the far side of the dough and pull it up and towards you. Then turn your bowl a quarter turn and repeat - all the way around. That's one round of kneading - repeat that every 30 mins for the next 2.5 hours.
  • Let rest for 30 minutes or until the dough rises by 30%.
  • Cover your bowl with plastic wrap or put the bowl inside a large roasting bag.
  • Proof in the fridge - overnight - or for 12-15 hours.

The Next Day

  • Take your dough out of the fridge & allow 1-2 hours for it to come to room temperature.
  • Dump your dough out onto an unfloured surface, trying to handle as little as possible.
  • Divide the dough in half & shape into balls by sliding a dough scraper or spatula under the edge of the dough and scraping along the counter, around in a circle.
  • Let rest for 20-30 mins. They will spread, but should not become completely flat. If they entirely flatten out, reshape & let rest another 20-30 mins.
  • Heavily flour the center of two tight-weave tea towels. Slide bowls under your towels to prepare for another fridge rise.
  • Using your hands, spread the dough ball out into a rough square. Grab the left side and fold in a third, then the right side to fold on top of that third. Then grab the top and come down a third, and the bottom to fold ontop. Now start the spread that dough on top around the ball to seal it in. You'll need to quickly flip the dough ball over & pull all the loose edges around to form one seam on the opposite side.
  • Now pick it up by that seam & drop it onto your floured tea towel in a bowl. Repeat with the other loaf & put them both in the fridge to rest for another 2-4 hours.

Baking Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F - with your dutch oven inside, lid separated from the top. It's important the pan is scorching hot when the bread goes in. Heat for at least 30 minutes.
  • Pull your dough from the fridge and flip into the hot dutch oven pan.
  • Score the top of your loaf, put the lid on, and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and bake for the last 10 minutes.
  • Loaves should be crusty, golden brown, and sound hollow when you tap on the bottom.
  • Be sure to reheat your pan - with lid separated from the bottom - for at least 15 mins before cooking the second loaf.
  • Let loaves cool at least an hour before cutting. Pro-Tip: if you store the loaves in a sealed bag overnight, the hard crusty exterior gets softer & it's easier to cut into slices. We usually pre-slice both loaves & store them in the freezer. It will mold fairly quickly on the countertop because it's full of such living goodness.