Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. More bread recipes you'll love.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Overnight Sourdough Bread Recipe

Homemade bread is a true masterpiece of the kitchen. This beautiful bread takes time but is straightforward and so worth it. It’s just like sourdough, but by using an overnight starter, it takes just a fraction of the work. This versatile artisan loaf can be served simply with a pat of butter or as part of a larger meal.

Why I love this recipe.

I shy away from sharing bread recipes unless they are easy and nearly failproof. Making bread takes time, ingredients, and energy. If it doesn’t turn out well, it is a letdown. That is why this overnight sourdough is my new favorite. Sourdough traditionally is a starter that is fermented over time with feedings of flour and water to develop a nuanced flavor. The start can take time, and needs to be fed daily. This recipe is different. Here I start with a poolish, a different type of start with a small amount of yeast and equal parts flour to water. The mixture sits overnight to develop flavor. The next day, more flour, water, and salt are added to create a wet dough. After folding and rising, the bread is baked in a hot Dutch oven to give the artisan-style crust. This bread is worth the time and will become a staple.

Red Dutch oven with piece of parchment with sourdough bread inside after baking in the oven with golden crust.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Instant dry yeast is different than active dry yeast. Instant yeast can be added to the flour and does not need to be bloomed.
  • Bread flour has a higher level of protein than all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour can work but will change the texture slightly.
  • Wheat germ is added to add a heartier wheat flavor to the bread.
  • Kosher salt is essential to bring out flavor in the bread. Without salt, the bread would be flavorless.
White marble surface filled with bread flour, yeast, water, salt, and wheat germ all to make overnight sourdough bread.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

  1. Create the poolish. In a small bowl, combine the flour and yeast together. Add the water and whisk. Cover and let sit for a minimum of 6 hours, but ideally 8 hours.
  1. Create the dough. Add the poolish to a stand mixer bowl. Add in additional flour and yeast. Add in the water and wheat germ. Using the dough hook on the mixer, mix until it has become combined. Add the salt and mix until it has worked into the bread.
  1. Let the dough rise. Oil a bowl and place the dough in it. Cover and let rise. Occasionally fold the dough into itself. Fold three separate times during the first 90 minutes, making four folds each time. After the third time, continue to let rise until the dough has doubled in size.
  1. Allow the dough to rise again. Heavily coat the inside of a proofing bowl with flour. Knead down the dough, pushing the air bubbles out of it. Add to the proofing bowl and coat with flour. Cover and let rise an additional hour. Meanwhile, place a Dutch oven in the oven and set to preheat to 475°F. Let the Dutch oven preheat for 1 hour.
  1. Bake the bread. Lightly flour a large sheet of parchment paper. Using your hands to hold the dough, flip the proofing bowl upside-down and lay it in the center of the parchment paper. Using a bread lame or sharp knife, create a deep relief cut across the top of the dough. Lift the parchment paper and gently lower the dough into the hot Dutch oven. Place four ice cubes on the outside of the paper, touching the Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the bread has reached an internal temperature of 205-210°F. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven to cool.

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • Using high-protein flour works best for this recipe. Bread flour works best, but all-purpose can also work. Some versions of all-purpose flour also contain high levels of protein, depending on the brand.
  • Adding salt later is important to make the bread rise properly. Salt can inhibit yeast, so it needs time to work into the dough. Adding the salt later allows it time to do so.
  • Folding the dough during the initial rise allows the bread to develop its structure. It pushes the protein strands to stretch out and develop further.
Sourdough bread sliced in half with two halves pressed against each other showing interior texture.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Can regular active dry yeast work for this recipe? Does it need to be instant dry yeast?

Regular active yeast can work with this recipe. Active dry yeast would need to be added to the water in the poolish and allowed to bloom before adding the flour.

Can this be made without a stand mixer?

Yes, it will take more elbow grease without a mixer, but it will still work.

Can this be made without a proofing bowl?

Yes, the proofing bowl helps shape the loaf, but a similar-sized bowl can work. The bowl will need to be lined with a cotton towel that is heavily sprinkled with flour so the dough does not stick.

How long does this bread keep after preparing?

As with most bread, this is best fresh. To keep fresh, slice and store the leftovers in the freezer, only thawing what is going to be used.

Slices of overnight sourdough bread resting on marble surface with rest of loaf in the background.

Watch how to make this recipe.

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you can let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they, too, can make, enjoy, and love!

Red Dutch oven filled with baked golden brown overnight sourdough bread on white surface.

Overnight Sourdough Bread

5 from 9 votes
Homemade bread is a true masterpiece of the kitchen. This beautiful bread takes time but is straightforward and so worth it. It's just like sourdough, but by using an overnight starter, it takes just a fraction of the work. This versatile artisan loaf can be served simply with a pat of butter or as part of a larger meal.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Resting Time 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours 20 minutes
Servings 1 loaf

Ingredients

For the poolish

  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 ½ tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water

For the bread

  • 3 ½ cups bread flour
  • ½ tsp instant dry yeast
  • 3 tbsp wheat germ
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt

Instructions
 

For the poolish

  • In a bowl, combine the flour and instant yeast. Stir and add the warm water. Mix to combine and dissolve the yeast. Cover and allow the poolish to ferment for 8 hours.
    1 cup bread flour, 1 ½ tsp instant dry yeast, 1 cup warm water

For the bread

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the poolish, bread flour, instant yeast, wheat germ, and water. Mix on low until the dough is combined, 4-6 minutes. Add the salt. Mix on medium until the salt is incorporated, 2-3 minutes. The dough will be sticky and wet.
    3 ½ cups bread flour, ½ tsp instant dry yeast, 3 tbsp wheat germ, 1 cup water, 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 ½ hours. During the resting and rising, stretch and fold the dough three times. Think of the dough as a compass with four quadrants: north, east, south, and west. Starting with the north, grab the dough with oiled hands. Stretch it up towards the sky and fold it over the dough to the south. Repeat with each quadrant. After 1 ½ hours, on the final stretch and fold, cover the dough and allow it to rise until it is doubled, 1-1 ½ hours.
  • Once doubled, punch and knead the dough into a ball. Prepare a proofing bowl with plenty of flour and place the smooth side of the dough ball down in the bowl. Flour the top and cover. Set the bread aside to rise for 1 hour.
  • During the rise, preheat a Dutch oven in a 475°F oven. After an hour, remove the Dutch oven from the heat.
  • Turn out the bread onto a piece of parchment paper. Make a ½-inch deep half-moon cut in the top of the bread and carefully use the parchment to set the bread into the hot Dutch oven. Add 4 ice cubes to the Dutch oven and cover with the lid.
  • Return to the preheated 475°F oven and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake until the crust is golden brown and the internal temperature of the bread reaches 205-210°F, 15-20 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and set on a cooling rack to cool before slicing.

Notes

Using high-protein flour works best for this recipe. Bread flour works best, but all-purpose can also work. Some versions of all-purpose flour also contain high levels of protein, depending on the brand.
Adding salt later is important to make the bread rise properly. Salt can inhibit yeast, so it needs time to work into the dough. Adding the salt later allows it time to do so.
Folding the dough during the initial rise allows the bread to develop its structure. It pushes the protein strands to stretch out and develop further.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.1loafCalories: 233kcal
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Baking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Bought a Banneton just to try this. Do you have a preference on lining the Banneton, or not? Mine came with linen liner, but I’m thinking a flour-sack towel might work just as well, maybe better.

  2. 5 stars
    Kaleb, this bread is fantastic!! Lots of steps, but so worth it. I think I should have left it in the oven a bit longer at the end ..like about 3 more minutes, but it came out fine even though it was only 203 degrees. Nice crust, nice texture and really tasty. I really enjoy all your recipes! You’re not bad at renovation and decorating your beautiful farm house either. You are a joy to watch! oh BTW I didn’t have a proofing bowl, just used a large bowl with ever so little oil and coated it with flour….It worked like a charm. Thank you.

  3. 5 stars
    I bought a Dutch oven a while a go to make bread but got busy with life. Your recipe inspired me to try and it came out so well. It looks beautiful, like a proper artisan loaf. I was worried because our ovens in South Africa don’t reach such high temperatures but it baked fully. I will try again without letting the dough over proof, it had an alcoholic smell.

  4. 5 stars
    this is the BEST bread that I’ve made in ages …. Tried out all sorts of recipes, but this turned out exactly like the video shows …. I couldn’t get hold of wheatgerm so substituted it with 3 tablespoons of Wholemeal bread flour and normal cooking salt. I’ll definitely be making it again (my son and grandkids were fans too). FYI – the banana and chocolate chip slices are also9 fabulous (I’m not a fan of frostings so just left that off and still amazing) – thank you!

  5. Kaleb, What about poolish pizza dough? Can you do a video for this? Apparently many restaurants use a police dough in place of s sourdough!?

    Thanks.
    Linda

  6. 5 stars
    Could you add ingredients such as cranberries with walnuts or cheddar cheese? Could this be the base dough? Thanks

  7. 5 stars
    Kaleb,
    Watched your sourdough bread recipe (need to get bread flour) and then, just for fun, your sucker video! Then I noticed – do you have old push button light switches in your kitchen? How fun is that! Keep doing what you do best!
    Karalee