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Tom's Overnight, No-Knead Sourdough

A delicious loaf in 10 minutes (if you ignore the waiting and the cooking time!), great for busy people.

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This is a great recipe for you if you love sourdough, but just can't find the time to make it. With just a little forward planning to make sure your starter is up and running, you can produce a great sourdough loaf with just 10 minutes work.



Some time before

Feed up your starter and make sure it will be ready to go ...

Late evening

Add the flour and salt to a large bowl and mix briefly. Then add the starter and the water and mix thoroughly to form a rough dough. Cover in plastic bag / clingfilm and leave in a warm place over night.

Next morning

Place your dough on to a well floured surface, fold a couple of times and shape. (The dough is quite sticky, so use plenty of flour.) Place your shaped dough in a well floured bannetone to prove.

Leave in a warm place to prove. It usually takes 3-4 hours to double in size.

Pre-heat the over to 250C. I bake this loaf in an earthenware cloche at 250C for 15 mins and then at 220C for a further 20-25 mins. The cloche isn't necessary, but helps with the crust - the main thing is to start with a very hot oven, then to turn it down a bit to avoid burning. 

I'm told you're not supposed to, but we always eat the loaf hot, pretty much straight out of the over, when it is absolutely delicious!

NOTE - the precise quanitities of ingredients work very well for me, but try tweaking the flour to water ratio to change the texture. More water gives you a more open struecture to you bread, but is harder to handle; less flour and it's easier to shape, but more closed.

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment to let me know how you got on, especially if you've got any suggested improvements. Thanks

Added by: senrabmot

Tags: Bread White Sourdough No knead

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Adjusting your base recipe weights

As most bread flours are sold in 1.5kg bag, scaling up Tom’s no Knead recipe using 530gms flour to 750gms, thus using a half bag of flour, what would you consider the volume of starter,water and salt to now be?

Barry Topp 15 November 2020

RE: Adjusting your base recipe weights

Just did the baker's math on this. For 750g flour total (excluding starter), 210g starter, 420 water, 11 g salt.

Helene 15 November 2020

RE: Adjusting your base recipe weights

Thank you for that Helene ,the overnight mix with the revised weights has risen well!

Barry Topp 16 November 2020


At long last a no-phaff recipe that actually works. Delicious and easy peasy

LottieBaker 13 March 2020

Two loaves.

I split this loaf into two loaves then let it rise for 6 hours. Sprayed water in very hot oven. Popped in for half an hour and then another ten minutes at 180. Worked well. Needs more salt.

Sunslide 10 February 2018


So I've been baking with Chad Robertson's amazing but comparatively very complex Tartine recipe for years. The other night I had a really active starter but not enough time to begin one of those long bakes, I thought rather than simply discarding half for a feed I'd try using it in this recipe. Wound up being some of the best white sourdough I've ever baked; great crust, an airy, even crumb, and amazing flavour. I'm awed. Notes: I upped the hydration a little overall, and did a little working of the dough on the countertop during shaping, but I'd definitely say this recipe rests on having a really, really active starter (I actually had a little less than the amount needed in the recipe and it worked fine). Would also suggest baking in a heavy-lidded Dutch oven for the first 20-30 mins, and removing the lid for the last 20 (a la Robertson). Thanks for a great recipe!

merlinthegrey 01 February 2018

Undercooked & stuck to bottom of pan

I have a tendency to rear off and make it up as I go along but I followed this recipe to the T. Though I don't own a loaf stone I thought glass oven dish would have been fine?! But it stuck fast! Savagely removed poor sourdough from dish and the middle was raw.. though I timed as instructed.. any advice? Thanks :)

Badbakerpoopoop 20 November 2017

RE: Undercooked & stuck to bottom of pan

Thanks for your comment. I've re-read the recipe and realise that I've changed what do quite a lot over the 3 years since I posted it, mostly my cooking times and temperature have increased considerably. I've updated the recipe, so give it another try and see if that fixes the undercooked bit. Not sure about the sticking bit - I use a earthenware cloche these days and have no sticking issues.

senrabmot 21 November 2017

Toms overnight Sourdough

Tried this for the first time and it's a winner! Thanks for the warning of how sticky it gets. It did stick to the oven tray even with flour and polenta in place so will oil it next time too.

Aperry 17 September 2017

Crumb improvement

Tried this again, colder than my last successful attempt. My starter took a while to get going. Used warm water for the dough, left overnight. Dough felt too cold to touch next day with very little, if any, rise. Gave it some turns and folds mid day and before going to bed and left it overnight again. Next morning it had risen but left no marks at poke test. Again felt cold to touch so put it in oven that I slightly warmed , door open, for 40-45 minutes. Took a while to get dough ready for baking but patience paid off. The crumb is certainly much improved with the added turn and fold. Also cooked in my romertopf, definitely recommended.

Helene 05 February 2017

RE: Crumb improvement

Glad you got a good result. I do find that you need to make sure your starter is lively before you start - that might get it working over one night.

senrabmot 06 February 2017

re: hallelujah!!!

Come from warmer climes and struggled a bit with the cooler ambient temps here. This works well and super easy. Thanks.

Helene 02 August 2016


I have made this loaf twice now and it is great. Very tasty, beautiful crust and texture. I do stretch and fold a little but I have passed this recipe on to others and they agree that it works well either way.

Shauneen 19 December 2014

RE: Beautiful

Glad you're enjoying it. I've also been playing around and have tried adding kneading to the process, which also works well - https://www.shipton-mill.com/baking/recipes/easy-overni.htm.

senrabmot 19 December 2014

This recipe worked very well for me. I wasn't sure what will happen as the ratio flour/water I used was 1:1 but it turned out very well. This is definitely the easiest sourdough I've ever made.

Rayna Hollingsworth 10 November 2014


Good to hear it worked well for you. 1:1 will just mean that your dough is very slightly stiffer than mine. You can play around with the amount of water to see how it changes the bread - the numbers in the recipe are just what worked best for me. Thanks for the comment. Tom

senrabmot 12 November 2014

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