Skip to Content

Foolproof Faux Sourdough Bread Recipe without starter!

“Sourdough Bread Recipe without starter”! Can we make a sourdough bread without a starter. The fact is that, it is not possible. Because a bread is said to be a “Sourdough bread” when it is made with a sourdough starter. But we can make bread very similar to a sourdough bread both in it’s texture and flavor, without using a sourdough starter.

The secret to this Sourdough Style Bread Recipe is, “a high hydration dough” and “long cold fermentation”. In this Sourdough bread recipe without starter, we use 80 % hydration dough and overnight fermentation of dough in fridge for at least 18 hours.

Another way that we can make sourdough style bread, is by using a preferment like poolish or biga. While using a preferment, we can achieve very similar result. “Bread made with Biga” will have soft, moist, open crumb and crispy crust like that of a sourdough bread.

sourdough bread recipe without starter

Sourdough bread, with its crackly crust and soft, airy crumb, has captivated bread enthusiasts for centuries. The tangy flavor, complex texture, and artisanal appeal make it a favorite among bakers and eaters alike.

However, traditional sourdough baking can be intimidating for many home bakers due to the meticulous process of maintaining a starter, performing repeated stretch-and-folds, and kneading the dough.

In this recipe, we will explore how to make a delightful faux sourdough bread with just four ingredients and minimal effort. This recipe bypasses the need for a starter and complex techniques while still delivering a loaf that rivals classic sourdough in taste and texture.

Honestly, the bread made in this way looks very similar to a sourdough bread, it has got amazing crispy crackly golden caramelized crust and soft crumb with open pores.

But the taste of “real” sourdough bread is something unique and is the result of action of both bacteria and yeast; as a sourdough starter is a symbiotic culture of a variety of yeasts and bacteria.

But in this “fake” sourdough bread recipe we are using commercial yeast as the fermenting agent and the flavor will be slightly different to real sourdough bread.

If you are familiar with baking with sourdough starter, you will know that the taste of sourdough bread will be slightly different every time we bake. Its because lot of factors like the amount of sourdough starter, the ambient temperature of the dough, the proofing time etc will also play a role in determining its flavor.

So, as sourdough bread has a broad spectrum of flavors, I can surely tell that this No Knead Artisan Style Faux Sourdough bread can be included in any of the lower bandwidth of this spectrum.

sourdough bread without starter

INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING SOURDOUGH STYLE BREAD without adding a starter

  • Flour: 390 g (3 cups, loosely packed)
  • Water: 312 ml (1 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp)
  • Salt: 6 g (1 teaspoon)
  • Instant Yeast: 1.5 g (½ teaspoon)

HOW TO MAKE FAUX SOURDOUGH BREAD WITHOUT STARTER

We can make this sourdough style bread in Six simple steps

  • Prepare the dough
  • First proofing
  • Cold Retard in fridge
  • Pre-shaping and Shaping the dough
  • Second Proofing
  • Bake the bread

FAUX SOURDOUGH BREAD RECIPE WITHOUT STARTER: VIDEO

1. PREPARE THE DOUGH

Into a bowl, pour in the water. I have used room temperature – Water. Then add in the salt and yeast. Stir until salt and yeast dissolve in water.

Add in the flour. The flour I have used I call purpose flour with protein 10.4%. To make this bread we can use either plain flour with protein 10% or more or can use bread flour.

how to make sourdough bread without starter

Combine together to form a shaggy mass of dough. I have used the rear end of a wooden spoon to mix them all together.

Make sure the whole flour is hydrated properly (especially the bits at the bottom)

sourdough bread with yeast

Cover the bowl

2. FIRST PROOFING

Let the dough rise for about 2 hours in a warm place.

After 2 hours, the dough has proofed well. Now deflate the dough and smoothen the dough using our hands.

sourdough bread with commercial yeast

As the dough has already rested for two hours, the gluten strands will be developed by now and you will find it easy to handle the dough. Feel the dough and make sure the dough doesn’t have any lumps and it is smooth.

faux sourdough

3. COLD RISE/ COLD RETARD IN FRIDGE

Now cover the bowl and keep it in fridge for cold proof.

We can use this dough anywhere from 6 hours to 4 days in fridge.

This is a very flexible time.

However, for getting the best flavor to our bread, it is advisable to use the dough between 18 hours to 3 days; from the fridge.

4. PRE-SHAPING and SHAPING THE DOUGH

Preshape the dough

After 18 hours of cold rise in fridge, take the dough out from fridge.

The dough has risen. You will be able to see a few large air bubbles on the surface of dough.

faux sourdough bread

Dust the top of the dough with some flour. Then detach the dough from sides of the bowl using a silicon spatula.

how to make sourdough bread with yeast

Flip the bowl on to a well floured work surface.

The dough is very relaxed and can easily be stretched to form a thin sheet of dough.

Now fold the dough from both sides and then from top to bottom and then from the corners to the center as in the video.

how to make sourdough bread with instant yeast

Then flip it on to a non dusted surface. Drag the dough from top to bottom and shape it to form a tensive dough ball.

shaping sourdough bread without starter

Cover the dough and let the dough rest for 45 minutes.

Shape the dough

After 45 minutes the dough has slightly flattened and now it is ready for shaping.

Simply flip the dough on to a floured work surface with the help of a bench scraper.

fake sourdough bread with yeast

Gently flatten the dough. Take care not to deflate the lovely air pockets formed inside.

Pull and fold the dough from both the sides and then from top to bottom and then flip it onto a clean work surface.

Drag the dough from top to bottom with cupped hands and form a dough ball to create some tension inside.

making sourdough bread without starter

While doing the shaping, I had in mind, two intentions.

  1. Try not to degas the dough completely(so that there will be airbubbles of different size(small and big) in the bread.
  2. Try to shape the dough into a tensive ball of dough.(so that the dough will break open when baked at very high temperature and so we will get that rustic appearance on top of the bread.

Transfer the dough on to glass bowl lined with a parchment paper or on to a banneton for second proofing.

sourdough bread without sourdough starter

3. SECOND PROOFING OR FINAL RISE

Let the shaped dough rise for the second time again in fridge.

It may take 35-40 minutes. Wait for until the dough get good rise. When you poke the dough with your finger, it should spring back very slowly.

So after the second rise (after 35-40 minutes), the dough is now ready to get into the oven.

Place the dough onto the 250 C or 480 F preheated dutch oven or we can use any oven safe vessel with a lid.

At this point, you can score the bread using a sharp knife to help the dough expand well in the oven and to get a classic artisan look to the bread.

What is scoring a bread means

Scoring is slashing the shaped bread dough with a sharp knife or razor blade to allow it to expand during baking.

Why do we need to score the bread

The purpose of scoring is to control the direction in which the bread will expand during “oven spring”

By scoring a bread, we are intentionally creating a weak spot on the surface of the loaf preventing the loaf from bursting at any other weak spots created during shaping.

Thus scoring the bread dough will help the bread to expand beautifully and helps the bread to not to crack open at undesirable spots.

sourdough bread recipe without sourdough starter

When should you score the bread.

Scoring is generally performed just before loading the loaves in the oven

How to score bread effectively

  • Use a very sharp knife or razor blade or bread lame to quickly score the surface of the loaf.
  • I found smearing some oil on the knife will prevent the dough from sticking into the knife.
  • Use a firm, smooth and rapid motion while scoring bread. Make deep and slightly angled slash(The depth of the cut should be shallow-about 1/4 inch)

Why does my bread collapse when I slash it

If the bread dough is over proofed(if the second proofing took longer time than the recipe states),then the bread can collapse.

HOW TO FIX THIS:

  • Next time when you proof,reduce the proofing time(10-15 minutes). 
  • Shape the dough, once again and watch the rising. The dough will rise in around 35 minutes. And then slash it with a sharp knife.

6. Bake the bread

So transfer the dough on to a well preheated dutch oven( I recommend an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is hot enough) and close the pot with an oven safe lid.

Take care not to burn yourself during this step as the dutch oven is very hot.

Baking temperature and duration

Bake the bread inside the hot dutch oven (480 F or 250 C) for 25 minutes with the lid on.

After 25 minutes of baking, remove the lid and Reduce the oven temperature to 425 F or 220 C.

And then bake for another 20-25 minutes without the lid at 425 F or 220 C, until the top of the bread is nice and golden brown.

The more you bake at this point,the more crispy the crust become.

This extra baking will give that outer crust of the bread to get a more crisp and caramelized golden brown color and a nutty flavor.

When baking these last few minutes, heat is directly acting only on the surface of the bread. So reducing the temperature by 50 F will help not to over-burn the crust and at the same time will make it more crunchy.

You will be rewarded with a Bread, with a thin, crunchy brown crust and airy, soft and tender crumb inside. The bread is slightly chewy, flavorful and perfect texture.

can we make sourdough bread without adding starter

Wait for the bread to cool down, before slicing. It may take around 1.5 hours for the bread to cool down.

This cooling down process is still the part of cooking process, as the steam which has entrapped within the bread will help to cook the bread properly.

This fake sourdough bread made without sourdough starter is best when eaten fresh, when they are cooled but still slightly warm.

It is chewy, so flavorful and has the perfect airy, soft texture.

You can enjoy this bread by making amazing sandwiches with some smoked turkey or chicken or grilled cheese. Or they are simply delicious even with some plain butter or with some olive oil.

sourdough bread recipe without starter

Faux Sourdough Bread Recipe without starter !

Bincy Chris
Faux Sourdough bread recipe without starter is possible when we make bread with high hydration dough and through long cold fermentation.
Prep Time 6 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Proofing time 21 hours
Total Time 21 hours 51 minutes
Course Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine American, British
Servings 1 Bread

Ingredients
  

  • 390 g Flour 3 cups loosely packed
  • 312 ml Water 1 1/4 cup +1 tbsp
  • 6 g Salt 1 tsp
  • 1.5 g Yeast 1/2 tsp

Instructions
 

PREPARE THE DOUGH

  • Into a bowl, pour in the water. I have used room temperature – Water. Then add in the salt and yeast. Stir until salt and yeast dissolve in water.
    Add in the flour. 
  • Combine together to form a shaggy mass of dough.
    Make sure the whole flour is hydrated properly.

FIRST PROOFING

  • Cover the bowl
  • Let the dough rise for about 2 hours in a warm place.
  • After 2 hours, deflate the dough and smoothen the dough using our hands.
  • Feel the dough and make sure the dough doesn’t have any lumps and it is smooth.

COLD RISE/ COLD RETARD IN FRIDGE

  • Now cover the bowl and keep it in fridge for cold proof.
    We can use this dough anywhere between 6 hours to 4 days from the fridge.
    This is a very flexible time.
    However, for getting the best flavor to our bread, it is advisable to use the dough between 18 hours to 3 days; from the fridge.

PRE-SHAPING and SHAPING THE DOUGH

  • Preshape the dough
  • After 18 hours of cold rise in fridge, take the dough out from fridge. The dough has risen. You will be able to see a few large air bubbles on the surface of dough.
  • Dust the top of the dough with some flour. Then detach the dough from sides of the bowl using a silicon spatula.
  • Flip the bowl on to a well floured work surface.
    The dough is very relaxed and can easily be stretched to form a thin sheet of dough.
    Now fold the dough from both sides and then from top to bottom and then from the corners to the center as in the video.
  • Then flip it on to a non dusted surface. Drag the dough from top to bottom and shape it to form a tensive dough ball.
  • Cover the dough and let the dough rest for 45 minutes.
  • Shape the dough
  • After 45 minutes, the dough has slightly flattened and now it is ready for shaping.
    Simply flip the dough on to a floured work surface with the help of a bench scraper.
  • Gently flatten the dough. Take care not to deflate the lovely air pockets formed inside.
  • Pull and fold the dough from both the sides and then from top to bottom and then flip it onto a clean work surface. 
  • Drag the dough from top to bottom with cupped hands and form a dough ball to create some tension inside.
  • Transfer the dough on to glass bowl lined with a parchment paper or on to a banneton for second proofing.

SECOND PROOFING OR FINAL RISE

  • Let the shaped dough rise for the second time again in fridge. It may take 35-40 minutes. Wait for until the dough get good rise. When you poke the dough with your finger, it should spring back very slowly.So after the second rise (after 35-40 minutes), the dough is now ready to get into the oven.
  • Place the dough onto the 250 C or 480 F preheated dutch oven or we can use any oven safe vessel with a lid.
  • At this point, you can score the bread using a sharp knife to help the dough expand well in the oven and to get a classic artisan look to the bread.

BAKE THE BREAD

  • Bake the bread inside the hot dutch oven (480 F or 250 C) for 25 minutes with the lid on.
  • After 25 minutes of baking, remove the lid and reduce the oven temperature to 425 F or 220 C.
  • And then bake for another 20-25 minutes without the lid at 425 F or 220 C, until the top of the bread is nice and golden brown.
  • The more you bake at this point,the more crispy the crust become.
    This extra baking will give that outer crust of the bread to get a more crisp and caramelized golden brown color and a nutty flavor.
  • You will be rewarded with a Bread, with a thin, crunchy brown crust and airy, soft and tender crumb inside. The bread is slightly chewy, flavorful and perfect texture.

Video

Notes

The dough is sticky to handle. Dusting the surface of dough and counter top, generously with flour will prevent its tendency to stick and will help to handle the dough smoothly.
You can increase or decrease(1 or 2 tablespoons) the hydration of dough according to how easily you can manage the sticky dough.But the crumb texture will vary according  to the hydration of the dough. You will get a tighter crumb for low hydration and open crumb for high hydration.
Keyword Sourdough bread recipe without starter, sourdough bread with instant yeast, sourdough bread without starter
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating




Maxwell

Sunday 26th of May 2024

Can I use almond flour instead of wheat flour because I'm a diabetic.

Bincy Chris

Monday 27th of May 2024

Hi Maxwell, Sorry, we can't use almond flour to make this bread.