Franco’s simple sourdough recipe

National Arts Centre Sous Chef Franco Colaco has a passion for bread making. Every weekend he makes fresh bread for his family and it’s always devoured in the blink of an eye. We are very pleased to share Franco’s no knead sourdough recipe which is both delicious and simple to make.

Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Makes: Two loafs

* For the overnight method, use COOL water and let the dough rest overnight for 12 hours after turning.


700g bread flour
300g rye or whole wheat flour
350g starter (see recipe below)
21g salt
750 or 800g water room temperature


4 or 5-quart Dutch oven works best. A large oven rated pot with a lid will also work.
Oven gloves
Large mixing bowl
Pastry scraper for shaping dough.
Parchment paper
Plastic wrap
Whisk and wooden spoon.


In a large bowl add water and starter and stir together. 
Add the flour, stir with a wooden spoon, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Add the salt and do a full turn of the dough.
Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes
Turn the dough again and let stand at room temperature for another 30 minutes
Repeat step 5
Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and sprinkle dough with a little flour. Using scraper fold dough over and shape into a ball.
Place in a parchment paper lined bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 12 hours.   Remove from the fridge, to counter top for about 4 hours
Place the Dutch oven with lid in a cold oven and preheat to 500° F.  After 30 minutes turn down 450° F
 Using oven gloves, lift the parchment paper and dough from the bowl and place gently into the hot pot.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
Bake uncovered for 15 more minutes.

Let it cool at least 30 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

To begin your starter
100g bread flour or all purpose flour
100mL cool water

To feed your starter
50g flour
50mL cool water lukewarm water


Day 1: Combine the flour with the cool water in a non-reactive container. Glass containers work well. Make sure the container is large enough to hold your starter as it grows.

Day 2: Add 50mL water and 50g flour, stir everything together thoroughly, cover the container loosely and let the mixture sit at warm room temperature for 24 hours.

Day 3: Repeat day 2. You may see a bit of growth and bubbling.

Day 4: Discard 150g because it’s not strong enough.  Add 100mL water 100g flour

Day 5: Add 100mL water 100g flour.

Day 6: Repeat step #5

Day 7: If it’s not bubbling, Weigh out 200g starter, and discard any remaining starter.

Repeat step #5 the starter should be ready to use at this stage.

Store this starter in the refrigerator, and feed it after it’s been used. We recommend feeding it with a scant 150g cup flour and 150mL cup water. It will live in your fridge 3 weeks without feeding, (or in your freezer forever!)

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