Overnight Sourdough Bread Recipe

1 serving


4 hours

active time

4 hours 45 minutes

total time


500 g Bread Flour (100%)

350 g Water (70%)

50 g Sourdough Starter (10%, Fed and Bubbly)

10 g Salt (2%, increase or decrease according to your taste)


Autolyse - Premixing The DoughWeigh out your sourdough starter and water into a large mixing bowl - whatever you have in the cupboard is fine!Glass is always good as you can see what's happening underneath your dough. But any plastic, ceramic, stainless steel or glass bowl is fine! Mix the water and starter together briefly. Then add your flour and salt and mix whole lot together to form a shaggy dough. The dough will be fairly shaggy and only just brought together (see photo). You might wonder how this will turn into bread, but just wait, time is your friend and the dough will change in around an hour.

Cover your bowl with an elastic food cover or plastic wrap and let it sit for around 1 hour. It's ok if it's a little bit longer, it's not going to matter too much.This process is called the "autolyse" and allows your flour to soak in all the water and become hydrated.

Forming Up The DoughAfter the dough has been through autolyse you need to bring it together into a ball. Work your way around the bowl, grabbing the dough from the outside, stretching it up and over itself, into the centre, until a smooth ball is formed. You shouldn't need more than about 20-25 stretches to form the ball.You'll notice that the dough is fully hydrated after soaking all the water up. It will be fairly sticky but as you bring it into a ball, it will become smoother and shinier.

Once the dough has formed into a smooth ball, pop the cover back on and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Stretch & Fold - Creating StructureOver the next few hours you need to create some structure for your dough by "stretching and folding". Aim to do around 4-6 sets of stretches and folds. For each set, stretch the dough up and over itself 4 times. Leave around 15 minutes in between each set. Again you do not have to be exact with time, but you need to do at least 4 sets over 2 hours.

Bulk FermentOnce you've finished your stretch and folds, cover the dough with a plastic cover (a recycled plastic bag is perfect) and allow the dough to double overnight (I have included a sample timeline for you to follow so that you can bulk ferment overnight in the post above).

Shaping The DoughOnce your dough has finished its first ferment, it's time to shape it into either a boule or a batard. You'll need to flour your counter top with rice flour for this (we use rice flour because it has no gluten). Try to be quite sparing with the rice flour, you only need a very light dusting.Use a dough scraper to gently ease the dough out of the bowl (your hands work just fine if you don't have one). You want it to land upside down on your counter so that the smooth top of the dough is on the countertop and the sticky underside is facing up. This will make it easier to shape.You want to pull the edges of the dough into the centre and then flip it over so that the sticky side is now underneath. Using the stickiness, gently pull the dough into a tight ball.You will need a proofing basket or container to put your dough into. You can find more notes on what to use as a banneton here.Whatever you're using needs to be liberally floured with your rice flour.

Placing Into A Proofing ContainerOnce the dough is shaped into a tight ball, place it into your proofing basket or container smooth side down, so your seam is on the top.If you're using a cloth or tea towel in a bowl it's ok to put your dough with the smooth side up. Just make sure the dough is tight.Lift your dough around the edges to pop a little more rice flour if you feel it needs it. Just try to handle the dough as little as possible and be really gentle as you really want to preserve all the gases and air bubbles that have formed during your bulk ferment.

Cold Ferment (optional)Now the dough is in its "shaping container" cover it loosely with a plastic bag and place into the fridge. I use a large plastic bag to cover it - I just reuse it each time. Try to leave it in the fridge for a minimum 5 hours. If you're following my timeline above, you'll leave it in the fridge for around 10 to 11 hours.Counter ProofIf you don't want to put the dough in the fridge for a cold ferment, you can leave it to proof on the counter for a little while. You do need to be careful not to let it over ferment. Ideally, you want the temperature to be on the cooler side (no more than 21C). Let the dough relax into the banneton (no more than 2 hours).

Preparing to BakeOnce you're ready to bake your sourdough, you'll need to preheat your oven to 230C/450F. Place your Dutch Oven into the oven when you turn it on so it gets hot. Try to preheat for around 1 hour to ensure your oven is super hot - but you know your oven so just adjust this time if you need to.Leave your dough in the fridge (or counter) until the very last minute - placing a cold dough into a hot oven will give you a great "spring".When your oven is at temperature, take your sourdough out of the fridge. Gently place it onto a piece of parchment paper or silicone sling if using. Gently score your bread with a clean razor blade or knife. At minimum a large cross is sufficient, but you can get as artistic as you like. You can find my full guide on how to score sourdough bread here.Carefully take your dutch oven out of the oven. Place the sourdough into the pot using the silicone sling or parchment paper as a handle. Put the lid on and place into the hot oven. If you want to you can spritz your dough with extra water before you put the lid on.BAKE TIME:30 Minutes with the lid on at 230C/450F plus10-15 Minutes with the lid off at 210C/410F

Finishing The BakeWhen you remove your dough from the oven, carefully remove it from the oven as soon as possible and place on a wire rack to cool.


Serving Size

100 g


1851 kcal

Total Fat

8 g

Saturated Fat

1 g

Unsaturated Fat

5 g

Trans Fat





3904 mg

Total Carbohydrate

372 g

Dietary Fiber

12 g

Total Sugars

2 g


61 g

1 serving


4 hours

active time

4 hours 45 minutes

total time
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