Today we are sharing a recipe for a sourdough bread that was baked without any yeast and in a dutch oven. Even though we already baked quite some breads, this is the first one that rose this high without any yeast being used. This shows you how powerful a sourdough starter can get.

Take a look at the pictures to see how fluid the dough was while doing coil folds. It is even more fascinating when you see what this fluid dough became when baking it. If you are working with sourdough starters, this is a great recipe to see what your sourdough starter is capable of!

Things to know before you start

Time Schedule

StepsWork timeWaiting time
Levain~5 minutes12 hours
Autolyse~5 minutes1 hour
Mix~20 minutes
Bulk Fermentation, Stretch & Fold~20 minutes5 hours
Shape~5 minutes
Proof2 hours
Bake~5 minutes45 minutes
Cool2 hours

This beautiful sourdough bread will be ready to be eaten in about 24 hours, but it is recommended to wait a bit longer after baking it. That is because sourdough breads develop their full flavour after waiting another 24 hours.

Total ingredients

60 gSourdough starter – Preferably from rye flour
510 gAll-purpose flour
60 gWhole wheat flour
12 gSalt
430 gWater

You will have a dough of about 1072 g in total.

As mentioned in the introduction we won’t use any yeast. A healthy starter, flour, water and salt is all you need to bake a great sourdough loaf.


The difficulty for this sourdough bread is in the moderate category. This is mainly because of the higher hydration of about 76% which makes the dough pretty fluid and harder to handle.

Consider having a look at our recipe sourdough bread for beginners if you have never baked a sourdough bread before to get some insight.

Baking tools

You will need a dutch oven, proofing basket that you can find in our should have baking tools and a non-reactive container of at least 25 x 25 x 7 cm (one made out of glass would be perfect).


1. Levain

60 gSourdough starter – Preferably from rye flour
60 gWhole wheat flour
60 gWater – 50°C (122°F)
  • Mix your starter with the ingredients above
  • Store sealed for 2 hours at 28°C (80,6°F)
  • Afterwards store for another 12 hours at 5°C (41°F) in the refrigerator

2. Autolyse

450 gAll-purpose flour
280 gWater – 60°C (140°F)
  • Mix the 2 ingredients together
  • Store sealed for 1 hour at 20-22°C (68-71,6°F)

3. Mix

60 gAll-purpose flour
12 gSalt
90 gWater – 25°C (77°F)
  • Mix all of the mentioned ingredients together with a stand mixer for 6 minutes on speed level one and 8 minutes on speed level two
  • The dough will still be relatively fluid and stick to the bowl at the end of the mixing

4. Bulk Fermentation, Coil Fold

  • Transfer your dough into a non-reactive container of at least 25 x 25 x 7 cm that you can seal (one made out of glass would be perfect)
  • If your container has no lid, just use clingfilm like we did
  • Cover the dough and let it rest for a total of 5 hours at 20-22°C (68-71,6°F)
  • During that time stretch & fold the dough every 30 minutes (6 times in total) and after the 6th time let it ferment further for 2 more hours until 5 hours in total are reached
  • As this is a pretty fluid dough we are going to use the coil fold technique:
  1. Remove the lid from your container
  2. Wet both of your hands in water
  3. Grab beneath the dough with both hands not directly in the middle but a bit more towards you
  4. Pull it up into the air until the bottom part of the dough doesn’t stick to the container anymore (be carefull so it doesn’t tear apart) and let the bottom part fold underneath the middle part
  5. Do the same with the top half of the dough
  6. Turn the container 90°C
  7. Repeat step 4 and 5
  8. If there are any bigger bubbles on top of the dough, just pinch them with your fingers
  9. Seal the container again
  • The dough will strengthen more and more after each coil fold
  • For example the first picture was taken after the first coil fold phase and the second one after the second coil fold phase
  • The third picture was taken before the second coil fold and the fourth one before the third coil fold

5. Shape

  • Flip your container upside down and get the dough carefully out on a floured surface
  • Afterwards get it in shape by long moulding
  • As the dough has a high hydration the long moulding could be tricky so just try your best

6. Proof

  • Dust your proofing basket with all-purpose flour until the bottom and all sides are covered
  • Put your previously shaped dough seam-side-up in the dusted proofing basket
  • Add a bit of flour on top
  • Cover it with a towel
  • Let it proof at 20-22°C (68-71,6°F) for 2 hours


  • Cut out a piece of parchment paper big enough that it covers the bottom and sides of your dutch oven
  • Place the parchment paper on the counter
  • Gently take your dough out of the proofing basket by flipping it upside down on the parchment paper
  • Make one long flat cut lengthwise (about 2 to 3 cm deep) on top of the loaf with a bread lame

8. Bake

  • Place your dutch oven with the lid on top in the oven preheat for ~45 minutes on 250°C (482°F) with the upper and lower heat function
  • Remove the lid of the dutch oven (use oven mitts so you don’t burn your hands!), place the dough inside and seal it again with the lid
  • After 20 minutes lower the temperature to 230°C (446°F) and remove the lid from the dutch oven so you get a nice crust on top

9. Cool

  • Let your sourdough loaf cool for 2 hours on some kind of grid
  • As mentioned in the beginning, you should wait a total of about 24 hours before you cut into the loaf for the very best taste



This full sourdough bread has a lovely brown and crunchy crust. It is mild and the perfect cover for the soft and slightly sour crust.


The crumb is soft and juicy with big and uneven pores.


As this bread is completely based on sourdough it has a mild but slightly sour taste. We disovered that the more you chew it, the more sour it gets. However, this doesn’t harm the taste at all and is a great alternative to all the other breads we baked so far.

Goes good with

As explained above, the taste of this sourdough bread is slightly sour but still mild. Therefore, we feel this is a bread that should be combined with more hearty things such as ham, cheese or eggs. We wouldn’t recommend to eating it with marmalde or honeys but of course this is entirely up to you.


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Sourdough Bread Baked In A Dutch Oven
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