If you prefer to avoid the labor-intensive process of kneading the dough by hand or in a stand mixer, you can try this recipe for no-knead sourdough bread. It can help you do away with the kneading process and also give the bread a better structure with a good network of holes.
- 1 cup of active sourdough starter
- 1 3/4 cups of lukewarm water
- 5 cups of any flour of your choice
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Combine the flour, salt, lukewarm water, and sourdough starter in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
- Stir together gently using a dough whisk or big spoon to form a rough and sticky dough. You can also beat the mixture at a medium speed in a stand mixer for about 30 to 60 seconds.
- Leave the dough in the bowl and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap or tea lid. Let it rise for about 1 hour.
- Pick up the dough gently and fold it over itself several times. Cover it again and allow to rise for another hour.
- Repeat the folding-rising process one more time and fold it again after the third hour.
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for a minimum of 8 hours. For better results, let it rest for a longer duration of up to 48 hours.
- When you are ready to bake bread, remove the dough from the refrigerator and keep it on a well-floured surface on the kitchen counter. Shape it gently to make a rough ball.
- Place it on the surface with its seam-side up, and cover it. Let it rest on the floured surface for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Shape the dough such that it fits the vessel in which you plan to bake it. Grease the base of the vessel lightly or dust it with semolina. Place the well-shaped dough into it. Cover the vessel with a lid.
- Leave the dough at room temperature for about 2 to 3 hours to allow it to become warm and rise.
- Preheat the oven to 500°F about one hour before you are ready to bake. Position the rack in the middle.
- Dust the dough gently with a fine coat of flour and make one or two deep slashes through its upper surface using a sharp knife. If you are baking a longer loaf, you can make one arched slash along the length of the loaf. If you are baking a round loaf, a crisscross or crosshatch pattern works better.
- Cover the baking vessel with a lid and keep it in the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 450°F and bake it for about 40 to 45 minutes.
- Remove the lid of the vessel and continue baking the bread for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove the bread from the oven once it appears deep golden brown in color. Transfer it to a rack and allow to cool completely.
- Serving it once it cools to a temperature suitable for consumption or store it for future use.