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Can I Make The No-Knead Black Bread With A Sourdough Starter?

Asked by vtmrs. Answered on 16th April 2024

Full question

I love Nigella’s No-Knead Black Bread and wonder if you can use a sourdough starter with this recipe? Thank you!

Image of Nigella's No-Knead Black Bread with Smoked Salmon
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin
No-Knead Black Bread
By Nigella
  • 14
  • 2

Our answer

Nigella's No-Knead Black Bread (from COOK, EAT, REPEAT) is an easier version of a traditional Eastern European rye bread. The recipe uses fast-action or instant yeast that can be stirred straight into the flour.

Many traditional rye breads use a sourdough starter and the long rising time suits a sourdough bread. However, the quantity of starter to use is slightly tricky as the recipe contains so little yeast. Many suggest that any bread recipe should have a minimum of 100g (generous ½ cup) of starter, so we would suggest using this amount instead of the ¼ teaspoon of instant yeast. If using this quantity of starter then you should reduce the strong white (bread) flour in the recipe by 50g to 250g (2 cups). You may also not need to add all of the liquid as the starter contains some water, but as flours vary you will need to go by touch and add enough of the egg and Guinness mixture (plus any extra Guinness) to give a stiff but sticky dough. The dough should then be left to rise as in the original recipe. However, as we have not tried the bread with a sourdough starter ourselves, we are unable to guarantee the results.

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