Fraudulent Sourdough Bread

January 26th, 2015

Sourdough Bread 2

I am always inspired by fellow bloggers.  I sometimes wonder why we even bother with cookbooks when we have such talented people who blog about food on a regular basis.  Monique from La Table de Nana is one of those bloggers.  Among several recipes in one of her recent post, I was attracted to this round of crusty bread full of seeds.  She adapted the recipe from another blogger, Lady and the Pups.  The premise behind the sourdough bread is that you don’t need a sourdough starter.  The sour taste comes from the yogurt that is a part of the mixture.  It is so easy, especially if you kneed it in a stand mixer.  The only difficulty is time.  Time to let it ferment for 6 to 18 hours.  But you might as well just go about your business while the dough does its thing.  There is very little hands on work.

Staub Cookware


One of the reasons that I wanted to try this bread is because it is supposed to be baked in a heavy covered casserole.  I have been waiting to share this news with you.  I was fortunate to win a set of Staub Cookware from one of my favorite sites, the folks at Food52.  Food52 was founded by former New York Times food editor Amanda Hesser and food writer Merrill Stubbs.  The site offers home cooks everything from recipes to food related articles.  It has an active community of over 300,000 members.  They offer recipe contests in which I have participated.  So far 2 of my recipes have been selected as “Community Picks”.

With the publication of Mimi Thorisson’s cookbook My Kitchen in France, they held a contest offering a set of the beautiful French cookware from Staub.  All that was necessary to win was to leave a comment on their website each day of one week.  They gave away 4 sets.  I won one of them.  I was expecting, perhaps, some small individual cocottes, . . . maybe a small oval baker.  Much to my amazement, right before Christmas three large boxes were delivered.  I received a 5 quart round cocotte with lid, a 9.5 inch oval baker, and a 12 inch skillet (not shown here).  I told David I needed nothing more for Christmas.  Staub is amazing cookware, much like Le Creuset.  The matte black pieces are all featured in Mimi’s cookbook.  By the way, I also won one of her cookbooks.  Since I had already purchased mine, I gave this one to my talented daughter-in-law for Christmas.

Sourdough Bread 1

The bread baked in the casserole couldn’t have been better.  I’m sure any heavy duty casserole would do, but there is something satisfying about cooking in beautiful vessels.  I highly recommend this bread.  I love the cracked appearance of the loaf.  It is hard on the outside and soft inside, just as a good sourdough loaf should be.  You can make it without the sunflower and flax seeds as the original recipe suggests.  Monique even suggested that I try it that way first, but I loved this version.  Thank you for a great recipe Monique.


  • 3 cups (405 grams) bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp (8 grams) salt
  • 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast (if fermenting for 18 hours), or 3/4 tsp instant dry yeast (if fermenting for 6 hours)
  • 1 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (385 grams) plain unsweetened yogurt containing active cultures
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, optional
  • 1/3 cup flax seeds, optional


  1. In a stand-mixer with dough-hook, or in a large bowl by hands, mix bread flour, instant dry yeast, salt and plain yogurt, plus seeds if using, on medium-low speed for 2 min until a dough forms. If the dough is too dry and has difficulty coming together, add 1 tbsp more plain yogurt. If you’d like, continue to knead the dough on medium-low speed, or with your hands, for a few more minutes until springy. The dough should be very sticky, but able to retain shapes.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let ferment at room-temperature for 18 hours (NO MORE than 20 hours or the yogurt may spoil and become bitter!), or 6 hours depending on your schedule (note that the amount of yeast varies). The dough should almost doubled when finished.
  3. After fermentation, dust the counter with flour then transfer the dough on top. Use just enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking, fold the dough gently (without crushing all the air bubbles inside) over itself like folding a letter. Turn 90 degrees and fold again. Then shape the dough into a ball-shape. Transfer to a piece of floured parchment paper, then cover a large bowl on top and let proof again for 1 ~ 2 hours. The dough is ready when it almost double in size again, and should not spring back when you press it with a finger.
  4. 45 minutes before the dough’s ready, preheat the oven on 450F/225C with a large dutch oven, or a heavy-bottom pot (both should come with lid) inside. To bake the bread, lift the parchment paper to transfer the dough into the preheated pot, cover the lid and bake for 30 min. Then remove the lid, and bake until the crust is golden browned.
  5. Let cool on a rack for 20 min.


Printable Recipe

10 responses to “Fraudulent Sourdough Bread”

  1. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    This bread looks so good Penny! Love the cookware you won.

  2. Madonna says:

    You are one lucky girl. I love Monique’s site, she is so creative. I need to put this bread on my list. I have so much better luck when I weigh my ingredients.

  3. Monique is very talented and certainly knows her way around when it comes to baking. I always enjoy her posts. What a pretty bread this is. Congratulations on your win too. I’ve seen the Staub pots in Williams Sonoma and longed for one.

  4. Barbara says:

    I have this on my “must make” list…so pleased to see how well it turned out. Love Monique’s blog posts!

    • Darla says:

      Congrats on winning that beautiful cookware. Would love some of that bread this cold snowy morning. I’m heading to Fl for a medical conference in Clearwater and will stay with my brother, so warmth and sunshine are in my near future!

  5. Monique says:

    Look at you and your bread and pots!
    It’s all gorgeous .
    What a lucky day for you to have won such a beautiful set.I have 2 Stsaubs and could not be happier with them.Love your color..and with your kitchen.
    Isn’t the bread beautiful? We feel happy and smile when we remove it from the oven..and didn’t you just keep looking at it a bit?:)
    It’s a great little recipe.
    Thanks for trying it..
    That Lady and The Pups..beautiful shots..

  6. Sharon says:

    Wow, Penny, what a lucky strike!
    And the bread looks wonderful. My fave, Bear Mountain Bakers, have stopped baking so I’m experimenting with their starter. Not a complete success so far.
    I’m looking up Staub. My love is the little oval baker.

  7. Larry says:

    Good sourdough is my favorite bread and yours looks super delicious. Congrats on winning the cookware. We left a sunny 80 degree FL on Sat and we have snow and 31 here this am. What were we thinking.

  8. Susan says:

    Your bread looks beautiful, Penny! Even more beautiful in that beautiful Staub pot! Congratulations again on that wonderful win. Monique is such an inspiration and her baking and photography are always so pretty. I tried the fraudulent sourdough once and didn’t have quite the success I was hoping for. Can I asked which brand of yogurt you used? Thanks, Sam!

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