Learn how to make Overnight Sourdough Bread with step-by-step directions. This simple bread has amazing flavor and is the perfect one for both beginner and advanced sourdough bakers!
Keyword overnight sourdough bread
Prep Time 8hours
Cook Time 40minutes
Total Time 8hours40minutes
Author Sue Ringsdorf
150gramsbubbly sourdough starter
295 gramsfiltered water- at room temperature
500gramsbread flour- unbleached or organic
9gramsfine sea salt
In a mixing bowl, combine all the carefully measured out ingredients. Use your hands to bring everything together. The dough will look scraggy. Cover with a damp towel, and set a timer for 30 minutes.
Do a stretch and folding of the dough for about one minute, rotating the bowl as you do the folds. Place the dough seam-side down in the bowl, and cover with the towel again. Leave it set on the counter-top for 6-8 hours, or overnight depending on several factors. The dough should double in size.
If you'd like, set the dough in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. This will add to the "sour" taste of the dough.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Use a dutch oven lined with parchment paper.
Dust your counter or a baking mat with a light amount of flour. Move your dough from the bowl to the counter and form into your desired shape. Don't punch down, but pull the outsides inward to form shape. Let the dough sit for five minutes.
Pull the dough towards you and away, trying to get the dough to be as tight as possible. (See photos.) Cover the dough lightly with saran wrap and let rest for about 30 minutes to an hour. Then use a serated knife to slash the top of the bread.
Transfer the dough to the dutch oven, using parchment paper as a liner. Add the lid and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove lid and bake another 20-25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and transfer the bread to a cooling rack. Let the bread FULLY cool before slicing.
Make sure your starter is ready. If you store your starter in the refrigerator between use, make sure it's active and ready to go before baking with it. I often feed it 2-3 times before using it after resting (i.e. sleeping in the refrigerator). You can test this with a float test. (See definition below.)
Be flexible. If you're bulk rise is taking longer than normal, or the starter isn't as bubbly as you'd like it, be flexible. You can add time to either of these, and still make delicious bread. Many factors will come in to play as to when your sourdough is ready. In the summer months, the humidity and heat will make the process shorter. In the winter months, the process may be longer.
Measure carefully and then adjust as needed. Make sure you use a digital scale to measure your ingredients in grams. This is important. Even with measuring carefully, you MAY need to adjust slightly. When your hands are on the dough doing stretches and folds, you will come to feel if more water/more flour is needed to make the dough pliable and soft. This comes with practice.
Practice. Like I said above, as you practice making this bread and enjoying the bounties, you'll learn all the little nuances to the sourdough process. Practice makes perfect!
Let the bread cool. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to slice the bread immediately after coming out of the oven. If you do this, it will be doughy tasting. Let the bread completely cool before slicing!