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IF a consistent, punctual biological clock is the indicator of good health and well-being, surprisingly as evidence suggests, I may live much longer than I expected.

On a daily basis, for past 2 decades, my body insists on living breathing sleeping and eating, in a strict and firm accordance with… the Parisian time-zone.  They say that your body is always trying to tell you things that you may not realize about yourself.  To that, I have no argument.  Then on a monthly basis, the beautiful reminder that I am, again, one-month-less away from entering menopause, always comes reassuringly and dependably… 10 days late.  Punctual in her own ways, she loves suspense and once in awhile, watching me peeing on sticks.  But here comes the part where I’m most proud of, a yearly reoccurrence, the kind that only wild animals who are most in tune with nature will demonstrate…

The pre-winter hair-shedding and my October flu.

OK, fine, maybe that sounded a little over-dramatic.  Maybe I just count the hairs on my pillow more nowadays as a sign of mid-life crisis, and instead of a full-blown flu, it’s more like a passive-aggressive, trickling but ever-flowing stream of runny nose.  The kind that is incompetent of granting me a whole week of in-bed movie-marathon, but at the same time, makes damn-well-sure that I look, walk and feel like a days-old, soggy unglazed donut.  So this year, in response to a seasonal time like this, a new behavioural pattern has emerged.  I bake breads.


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Post my bread-baking-phobia, I’ve since realized that it’s just one of those things that requires… no, demands minimal attention.  All a good dough ever wanted, like the October-me, is to lay low and expand.  And so it is at this particular time of the year, we are ever so synchronised and compatible.  I wobbled towards the window to the outside world sitting on my desk, decided it was a good time to introduce myself to a specifically tangy rustic bread that I’ve long been curious of.

Called sourdough.

Well… it was, I believe, 3 clicks into the outside world when I decided it was best to stay inside.  What… “sourdough starter”?  Who the fuck are you?  Trespassing is illegal and what did you do to my good, old friend Idy (instant dry yeast, hello!)?  Wait, whatever it is… hold that thought.  Let me take an Advil…

Just when I started reconsidering that movie-marathon my flu promised me, at the corner of my fraudulent eyes I saw a tub of plain yogurt sitting alone in all its trickery…  You know how they say, dead ends are… new streets or whatever?   I thought hey, maybe I’ll walk this way.  I mean why not?  Yogurts are used in plenty other “bread-named” thingys (for the life of me I can’t understand why they can’t just call them “cakes”), so why not actual actual breads?  I heard some yogurts are alive.  I heard they get up in room-temperature and do things to make themselves tangy.  Maybe, just maybe, they don’t mind making my bread tangy, too?  So I did, using the notoriously easy no-knead method, in the most productive manner a soggy donut could ask for… I baked a fake sourdough, with yogurt.

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And it was a beautiful impostor.

Without surprise, the tested no-knead method yielded a golden browned crackling crust, with big and small air-bubbles within.  But most of all, it was deceivingly tangy, with a gentle and flavorful tartness that seeped in as you chew.  Any other clues that shouts yogurt, were muted during the baking process.  In fact, there was very little yogurt-flavour left, except for a subtle, mysterious tang.

It was my own Pretty Little Liar, too beautiful and perfect for all the things my yearly biological schedule wouldn’t allow me to do.  Bread-and-butter picnic in the park?  So last season.  Sourdough eggs benedict for Sunday brunch with friends?  You mean my Parisian friends?  Well, how about the deep winter swelling underneath a thick, thermo new-grown coat?

Well, that.  Yes.  Nothing can stop that…





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Let’s talk yogurt for a little bit.  It’s important to use a sharp and tangy yogurt for this recipe for the “sourdough” effect, but how do we control that?  I’m not, by any means, a yogurt or live culture specialist.  But I do know the “older” a live yogurt is (meaning the longer it cultivates at room-temperature), the more tart it tastes and thicker in consistency.  If you already make your own yogurt at home, you’d have no problem controlling the desired tartness and thickness of the yogurt.  But if you’re using store-bought like I do, choose a plain, unsweetened yogurt that contains pro-biotic/active live culture, with a nice tang to it.  If you find your store-bought yogurt not tangy enough, let it sit in your fridge for a few days as the bacterias will continue to grow, and makes the yogurt more tart and thick.

I’m making this bread roughly based on Jim Lahey’s dutch-oven-no-knead-bread recipe via New York Times.  I found that the loaf fermented for 18 hours, was tangier than the one fermented for 6 hours only.  But another loaf fermented for 24 hours got a little bitter.  So I would stay within the 18 hours range just to be safe.




  • 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. In a stand-mixer with dough-hook, or in a large bowl by hands, mix bread flour, instant dry yeast, salt and plain yogurt 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.

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  • Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen

    October 16, 2014 at 9:40 PM Reply

    Just yesterday, I baked carrot bread rolls with curd yet I wouldn’t have come up with the idea of adding curd or yogurt to a sourdough! Dumb me. I’ve been totally obsessed with the no-knead method and am totally going to make your version soon! This weekend? Most probably.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    October 16, 2014 at 9:49 PM Reply

    You kill me. Luckily, I haven’t gotten an autumn flu yet!! So happy…until it shows up, of course. On another note, I could kiss you for this easy sourdough. Looks AWESOME!

  • cynthia

    October 16, 2014 at 10:18 PM Reply

    This is incredible. You’re nothing short of genius, lady — and that perfect, crackly crust is just stunning. Hope you’re feeling better though! :(

  • Belinda@themoonblushbaker

    October 16, 2014 at 10:21 PM Reply

    I actually made it through the Aussie fall/winter without having sniffles at all. it must be all the sugar eh? ;) My bread love goes for beyond the constraints of the weather on yeast. Such a fab short cut to sourdough Mandy. That crust is perfect!

  • Silvia Chung

    October 16, 2014 at 11:30 PM Reply

    Living in a sourdough town, I have never had the compulsion to actually bake one. But your imposter looks so intoxicating, so crusty and so doable. Yogurt? Yup, got that. I need to get on this ritual.

  • Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table

    October 16, 2014 at 11:34 PM Reply

    I love everything about this recipe, including the title. I love anything that simplifies and de-mystifies the world of sourdough, which so many people steer clear of because of not understanding what it’s all about. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Lynn C.

      January 30, 2018 at 4:20 AM Reply

      Just found this ‘fake’ (word du temps, alas) sourdough recipe; will give it a try forthwith. Made a good no-knead spelt loaf yesterday; have a jar of whey from homemade Balkan-style yogurt, voilà!
      But the real treat, Ksenia, from Immigrant’s Table, in the comments! Love her recipe narratives. Will be making Ksenia’s quick sauerkraut with cranberries soon.
      Two food goddesses, for sure!! Thank you!!

  • Becky

    October 17, 2014 at 12:18 AM Reply

    Mild lager beer substituted for the yogurt makes a wonderful no knead bread as well. Cooks illustrated version app on my iphone. Its my go to bread.

  • Ursula @

    October 17, 2014 at 1:04 AM Reply

    The bread looks really great, especially the crust! A couple of weeks ago I started my own sourdough (one all-purpose, one rye) but I will definitely try your cheater-sourdough-bread!
    Mandy, did you notice any difference in the outcome when kneading the dough by hand or by machine? (I only have my hands to use here ;-) And have you ever tried baking bread without pot or dutch oven? Because mine always seems to be on the dry side, even though I do the “ice-cube”-trick or brush the bread with water before baking it….

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      October 17, 2014 at 1:59 AM Reply

      I made this dough once with machine and once by hand, but only kneaded it briefly until it became springy (obviously the machine gets there quicker). I don’t think there is that big of a difference in the bread, but the machine just saves effort and time. I really like the Dutch oven method because it kind of “steam” the dough first to create that crust. Brushing mater on the dough would dry off very quickly I think. Do you mean the interior of the bread is dry? I don’t think it has to do with the steam, but just the moisture of the dough itself.

      • Ursula @

        October 17, 2014 at 6:19 AM Reply

        My bread is dry on the outside, I meant the crust. Actually inside it is pretty nice and moist. I think I have to get an ovenproof pot or Dutch oven – hopefully I find a second-hand one. It seems such a waste moving to a country, leaving all your kitchen supplies at home (or at least the big ones, I even brought my wooden cooking-spoon to the US) and then, when moving back, getting rid of all the beloved new stuff ;-(

        • mandy@ladyandpups

          October 17, 2014 at 1:21 PM Reply

          You don’t need a cast-iron or dutch oven, you can use a heavy stainless steel pot, too!

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

    October 17, 2014 at 1:55 AM Reply

    I love cheat recipes. You have no idea how many times I have opened and closed the Tartine Bakery book when I realized to make this beautiful loaf you need your own kefir starter that should have started a week ago.

  • Millie l Add A Little

    October 17, 2014 at 2:51 AM Reply

    I love sourdough and this looks fantastic Mandy! Can’t wait to bake some fresh warm bread and eat it all out the oven!

  • Ellie

    October 17, 2014 at 3:21 AM Reply

    You right as beautifully as you photograph as you bake. Fresh bread is one of the simplest of life’s pleasures, one so often gone unnoticed and taken for granted.

  • Amaryllis

    October 17, 2014 at 8:01 PM Reply

    ‘The beauty of this is its simplicity’. Genius! Thank you, can’t wait to try it!

  • tunie

    October 18, 2014 at 7:09 AM Reply

    It looks amazing, but I really wanted to see the crumb – a shot of the slice! Thanks though, and hope you feel better soon ~ !

  • ihath

    October 18, 2014 at 7:14 AM Reply

    I hope you feel better soon

  • Minik

    October 18, 2014 at 8:54 PM Reply

    I love your grumpy attitude :) I never made a no knead bread before. I have a oval shaped casserole (39 x 26 cm, 5 liters). Do you think this would be OK? Should I change the baking time? Thank you!

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      October 18, 2014 at 10:20 PM Reply

      Minik: Oval shape pot is perfectly ok, as long as if you don’t mind the bread coming out in an oval shape (but the dimension of your pot sounds large enough to avoid this problem) :)

  • Allison

    October 19, 2014 at 12:00 AM Reply

    This summer I tried and tried to get a sourdough starter going. And failed. The starter always seemed to be working great, rising and bubbling as it was supposed to. And then when I would make a loaf of bread with it, the dough was dense as could be. Just this morning I was going to order a starter from King Arthur Flour until I realized my $9 starter was going to cost $10 in shipping. And so I will try this lovely recipe!

    • katinka

      April 18, 2015 at 1:01 PM Reply

      How long did you leave your sourdough? I have a cookbook that suggests not using your sourdough culture for bread until it is at least 6 weeks old, possibly older… and using bicarbonate soda as a leavening/ evener of taste for the early sourdough, making cakes or pastries or the like.

      • mandy@ladyandpups

        April 18, 2015 at 1:52 PM Reply

        Katinka, I’m not using a sourdough starter. I’m using probiotic yogurt containing live culture, to fake the sourdough flavour.

        • katinka

          April 23, 2015 at 6:43 AM Reply

          I realise that… I was replying to the person who commented about her sourdough.

  • ami@naivecookcooks

    October 19, 2014 at 1:07 AM Reply

    Totally doing it!! How come I never though of using yogurt when I grew up seeing my mom use it for homemade breads all the time?!! Stupid me!!

  • Jeff Winett

    October 20, 2014 at 7:47 AM Reply

    Wow, is this bread screaming to be made. I’ve made the Lahey bread more times than I can count, so I know that I’m going to fly with this. I’d love to hear first though, if the yogurt used, is a non-fat, low-fat, or whole milk rendition. Breathlessly awaiting your response, and non-stop obsessing about making this.
    Thank you,

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      October 20, 2014 at 3:17 PM Reply

      Jeff: I think the fat-content is less important (low-fat or whole milk would be fine), but you must use yogurt with active live culture so it gets more sour with time. Hope you have good luck with this!

  • Lia@

    October 20, 2014 at 11:35 AM Reply

    Just discovered your gorgeous and funny site, I love it! Would you let me know if you think plain Greek yoghurt would work well?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      October 20, 2014 at 3:18 PM Reply

      Lia: I don’t know if most Greek yogurt has live active culture in it. If not, don’t use it.

  • Monique

    October 20, 2014 at 11:55 PM Reply

    I just made it and it is delicious..
    I have made the Cook’s Illustrated w/ beer and that one is nice too..
    But I think I like this one even more.
    Thank you~

  • kristie {birch and wild}

    October 22, 2014 at 11:53 AM Reply

    This is a beautiful bread. I can’t wait to make it. So far i have only made kneaded bread, but I am curious to try the no-knead method.

    • Southern Lady

      May 14, 2020 at 8:22 AM Reply

      Must have been the Pups that used the F word, A lady doesn’t talk like that.

  • Caroline

    October 25, 2014 at 4:17 AM Reply

    Can’t tell you how excited I was to find this! Sourdough is one of my most favorite breads, but yeah, like you said…pass me some advil too. I’m so happy to have found your site too…how have I not been here before? Looking forward to spending the next two hours browsing through it all! :)

  • Mary B Fort

    October 26, 2014 at 2:25 AM Reply

    What about substituting buttermilk (with live cultures) for the yogurt? If I give it a try that way, I will let you know. I am also intrigued by the person who substituted lager. Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration to bake!

    • Adriana Gutiérrez

      May 17, 2017 at 5:54 PM Reply

      Mary did you try buttermilk? Ihad the same thought!

  • Kim

    November 30, 2014 at 3:46 AM Reply

    I just made this for Thanksgiving. I’ve baked no-knead breads for years and love sourdough, but never have the time of patience to keep a starter. I’ve also tried many fake sourdoughs (pickle juice, sauerkraut juice, beer, various vinegars) and none are really convincing. THIS REALLY WORKS. I doubt anyone would know it wasn’t from a started. The authentic cracked crust has a wonderful deep flavor. The bread itself has a noticeable tanginess that is more sourdough than my local bakery’s loaf. It’s moist without being heavy: great plain or of course toasted! This is now my regular daily bread recipe. I have a pumpernickel no-knead that I can’t wait to try as “sourdough!” Thank you so much. Love your site!!!!

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      November 30, 2014 at 2:11 PM Reply

      Kim, so glad it worked out!!! It was a wonderful loaf of bread. I wonder why I don’t make it more often :)

  • Brenda

    January 12, 2015 at 4:06 AM Reply

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I have been looking for a way to make easier sourdough rye because my starter keeps dying. I used your recipe but with half light rye flour. Of course it was very sticky, but I just handled it very carefully with wet hands when had to transfer it and when I did the folds. It turned out great!!!!

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      January 12, 2015 at 1:09 PM Reply

      Brenda: So glad it turned out great!! Rye flour in sour dough… hm… I might try that next time.

  • Suzanne

    February 13, 2015 at 8:29 AM Reply

    i started this bread late this morning, using organic flour and organic plain full fat yogurt using the 6 hour fermentation with 3/4 tsp. instant yeast I keep in the freezer. It didn’t double in size, but I went ahead and folded it over for the second rise. Still looks the same after an hour and a half, but I’m heating up oven and small Dutch oven now, and getting ready to bake it. Fingers crossed. Hope I don’t end up with a hockey puck.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      February 13, 2015 at 2:49 PM Reply

      Suzanne, was the yogurt alive (containing active culture)? Only live yogurt will get sour through time. If you kept it in the “freezer”, it certainly would not rise at all! But if in the “fridge”, 6 hours is probably not enough. I would leave it in room temperature for another hour or so, especially in winter. Didn’t sound like the dough proofed at all… braice yourself..

  • Liliana

    April 9, 2015 at 3:00 AM Reply

    Yes! I made your bread and it was sooo tasty! I used the same quantity (by weight) of yogurt and flour, as I am not too good at cup-measuring (I live in Denmark). I replace 100 g of bread flour with rye flour. It was 500 g flours in all and 500 ml yogurt. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Rita

    April 11, 2015 at 5:45 AM Reply

    can you please tellme am I meant to let the yoghurt get to room temp before mixing up bread or do you mean to let the yogurt mixed with yeast prove at room temp for 6 hours before mixing

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      April 18, 2015 at 1:51 PM Reply

      Rita, so sorry for the late reply!! I can’t believe I just saw this comment! I didn’t let the yogurt get to room-temperature, so it was cool out of the fridge. Then just mix the yogurt (CONTAINING LIVE CULTURE, usually labeled as “probiotic”) directly with flour, yeast and other ingredients.

  • Ramona

    April 21, 2015 at 6:45 AM Reply

    Hi Mandy,
    I made this bread several times recently, sometimes with saffron and honey for a change, and it worked beautifully. Thanks for a great recipe! I noticed Lia’s comment above, about Greek yoghurt; I actually used Greek and Turkish yoghurt myself, which I don’t think contain live cultures but worked well nevertheless. I am really enjoying reading your blog! Happy belated birthday!

    • Cucee Sprouts

      May 22, 2015 at 3:27 AM Reply

      Ramona, how much saffron and honey do you ad?

  • dee

    June 18, 2015 at 12:29 PM Reply

    I’ve made the original Lahey recipe for a number of years, and am really looking forward to trying this one. For those wondering about the right pot to use, I found an old pressure cooker at a thrift shop, and took off all the rubber bits-works great. If your pot is big at the bottom, your bread will spread out, rather than rise upwards once it hits the oven-a cake pan in the bottom of the pot was my solution. Also, for fans of the method, there’s a bunch of variations over at the Kitchn (

  • abby

    September 13, 2015 at 6:56 AM Reply

    I made this using Greek yogurt as that’s all I had today. And it’s YUM! Thank you for your detailed recipes :)

  • Caroline Dick

    September 15, 2015 at 10:48 AM Reply

    Holy crap! Bestest, prettiest, most deliciousest bread I have EVER made. #lifechanged

  • Geri

    September 19, 2015 at 3:01 AM Reply

    I must say, AGAIN, your blog is absolutely hilarious. I am so happy and grateful to find a food blogger who isn’t completely P.C. and speaks her mind. It it sooo refreshing! All of us “MANDY-FANS” love your real-life attitude. I appreciate you!
    That being said, your recipes are all awesome! I made this bread 3 days ago, and it was the bomb! Hot with a pat of butter… Completely yummy!
    God bless Lady and Pups =)

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      September 19, 2015 at 2:23 PM Reply

      Geri, I’m glad you enjoyed it! I hope you keep having fun with other recipes :)

  • Jeremy Karadzic

    September 30, 2015 at 9:33 PM Reply

    I note you didn’t provide a shot of the crumb, I can only assume that it wasn’t very nice and open, probably stodgy and closed?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      October 1, 2015 at 12:14 AM Reply

      Jeremy, hahaaaa I just didn’t get a good pic out of it :). The crumbs were soft with good holes. Not extra large holes but still good.

  • Nan W

    October 22, 2015 at 12:53 AM Reply

    I’ve got a beautiful loaf cooling right now – all that’s left is the cutting and tasting, but it looks amazing! Thanks for the recipe. My husband loves sourdough, but I don’t have the patience to upkeep a starter.

  • QQQ

    December 29, 2015 at 12:55 PM Reply

    Living in a sourdough town, I have never had the compulsion to actually bake one. But your imposter looks so intoxicating, so crusty and so doable. Yogurt? Yup, got that. I need to get on this ritual.

  • Andrea Medina

    March 6, 2016 at 6:09 AM Reply

    Wish me luck, I’m going to try this with a gluten free flour mix that includes almond, coconut and tapioca flours..Here I go!

  • Myra

    March 6, 2016 at 3:49 PM Reply

    I love the no knead method and the health benefits of consuming foods that have been through a long fermentation period – but I thought that the original Lahey recipe lacked a bit in the taste department. Your recipe is the best! The taste of the resulting loaf of bread is unbelievably awesome, better than most ‘real’ sourdough breads that I’ve had. Thank you so much! (I substituted half the plain flour with spelt flour).

    I have a question for you – do you think I could leave the dough in the fridge for around 10 hours after the initial 12-14 hour fermentation? Or will it just kill the yeast? I work full-time, but want to be able to make this bread at least every other day. So can I mix the dough in the evening after work, and the next morning transfer it to the fridge, and then bake it that evening?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      March 7, 2016 at 7:42 PM Reply

      Myra, I would assume that would be ok. I would try mixing the dough in the evening, then shape it the next morning, then leave the shaped dough in the fridge (Letting it do the second proofing in the fridge), then bake it that evening.

  • Andrea Medina

    March 8, 2016 at 8:44 PM Reply

    Mandy this may be a silly question,
    Do I lift the parchment paper with the dough on it into the heated pot, or turn the dough off of the paper into the pot by itself?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      March 9, 2016 at 12:12 PM Reply

      Andrea, sorry for the late reply! Lift the paper with the dough in it, and place into the oven all together. I find this easier than dropping a dough into a super hot pot and not get burnt.

      • Jenn

        March 20, 2016 at 10:48 AM Reply

        Thanks for your answer Mandy – I had the same question. I’ve made Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread in the past and I hadn’t ever used parchment paper, but I have been struggling with getting the loaf out of the pot. The parchment paper sounds like it will work perfectly, as long as it doesn’t burn too badly to the bread…

  • Erika

    March 12, 2016 at 11:07 PM Reply

    I made this dough yesterday and it saved my life! I didn’t want to wait 24 hours for starter. I let my dough sit for the 6 hours then the additional two and it came out just like the picture! I love this recipe thank you!

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      November 24, 2016 at 7:40 PM Reply

      Norine, Huh??

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      This is a scam to get you to click the link in the text. Mandy should delete this post from Norine.

  • Julia Macias

    December 5, 2016 at 8:38 AM Reply

    I can’t wait to try your bread, it looks and sounds WONDERFUL.
    Have you ever tried baking this bread with gluten-free flour? My mom is celiac and one of the things she misses the most is sourdough bread. I would so love to treat her to bread that tastes like sourdough and yours is so easy and looks delicious.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      December 5, 2016 at 1:35 PM Reply

      Julia, I haven’t tried gluten free flour. Let me know if it works :)

  • AAV

    January 9, 2017 at 12:01 PM Reply

    Made it tonight and it was absolutely delicious. Thanks a million for the recipe.

  • Kat

    January 31, 2017 at 7:06 PM Reply

    I made this a week ago but my dough didn’t get as moist as yours resulting in low dense rise but the taste was still awesome. I decided to make half batch add jalpeno and cheese and make beagles with the dough. Just have to say they are awesome!!. Will continue to play around with this recepie!!

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      February 1, 2017 at 1:19 AM Reply

      Kat, oh I’m sorry it didn’t work out the first time.. but that bagel sounds amazing!

  • Susan

    May 13, 2017 at 5:47 AM Reply

    Love the bread, made twice- how would I make this into rolls? Thank you. Susan

  • Adriana Gutiérrez

    May 17, 2017 at 5:12 AM Reply

    Oooh, I so want to try this! I also wonder whether buttermilk would be a good tang-flavor-inducer?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      May 17, 2017 at 6:07 PM Reply

      Adriana, I’ve never used buttermilk before so I can’t say! If you ever try please let me know how it works :)

  • Adriana Gutiérrez

    June 8, 2017 at 8:50 PM Reply

    I made this bread with buttermilk last night. The results were absolutely yummy.

    Since I was planning to bake in about 12 hours I upped the yeast to 1/2 teaspoon. (I woke up at around the 8 hour mark and saw that the dough had doubled so I went ahead and baked in the wee hours of the morning.)

    I used 1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp cultured buttermilk and found the dough a bit on the wet side. Next time around I will reduce liquid by 1/4 cup and add more as needed.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      June 8, 2017 at 11:39 PM Reply

      Adriana, thanks for the feedbacks!

    • Adriana Gutiérrez

      June 9, 2017 at 5:18 PM Reply

      FYI – I use a preheated baking stone with a pan underneath for steam, no need for the heated cast iron vessel.

  • Charm

    September 17, 2017 at 9:44 PM Reply

    Hi Mandy,
    May I know if I can do an overnight rise in the refrigerator instead? Night temperatures here can be 30°C, so I’m afriad that it might over ferment. Instead can I make it up with longer fermentation times instead? Thanks!

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      September 18, 2017 at 1:18 AM Reply

      Charm, I live in hk now so I totally understand. Perhaps give it a head start at room temperature for 2 hours then move it into the fridge :)

      • Charm

        September 18, 2017 at 11:28 PM Reply

        Okay :) But after the 2hr room temp rise may I know what is the maximum amount of time I can leave it in the fridge for? Sorry to bother you with so many questions, thank you so much for replying!

        • mandy@ladyandpups

          September 19, 2017 at 12:25 AM Reply

          Charm, you should be able to safely keep the dough in the fridge for 48 hours, but I am worried you won’t get enough rise. Basically you want the dough to double in the fridge.

  • Reni

    November 10, 2017 at 11:13 AM Reply

    Does this have the same healthy properties that regular sourdough bread has? I’ve heard sourdough bread is a healthier bread for a person’s digestion.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      November 10, 2017 at 12:07 PM Reply

      Reni, no it does not have health properties :)

    • C

      July 24, 2018 at 2:44 AM Reply

      As a person who can’t digest regular bread well, but can digest sourdough, i can say that this bread DOES have the same digestibility as sourdough! Both sourdough culture and yogurt contain lactobacillus bacteria. Although they’re different species, i guess the yogurt cultures can still break down wheat enough!

  • Philip Ferreira

    February 27, 2018 at 5:49 AM Reply

    I would have loved to see an image of your bread (in the inside) as in the ‘crumb’. It’s a neat idea, and it certainly looks delish anyway but for me… and I’m a bread snob I’ll admit it… the crumb is the tell tale sign of a good bread maker. For the record, I am not a good bread maker. I make bread that everyone ooohs and aaaahs over but fuck if I can get it to have those big fat holes I want in the center that screams… AHHHH HAAAAAA (plaY Heavenly music while yelling this out loud when you read this). Alas I have no clue how to do this. WORSE (much worse) there is a total dick that runs a local bakery down the street who transplanted from New York and he does. So I go to his place and give him too much money for his AAAHHHH HAAAAAAA loaf when i could (and would) make it at home for a few pennies on the dollar if I just knew how to get the crumb right. Any help or ideas on this matter? Good luck with the flu (It seems like you wrote this a long time ago so you better be over the flu by now or maybe see a doctor or something).

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      February 27, 2018 at 12:11 PM Reply

      Philip, this recipe won’t give you big holes. Those are typically the result of a sourdough starter. But I’m not a big fan of huge holes in my breads (unless in pizzas), because they are actually annoying when it comes to eating, and serves no real purpose. You can try using this recipe : And instead of turning the dough into pizzas, just bake as a loaf of bread and see :)

  • Audrey from Nova Scotia

    March 10, 2018 at 5:19 AM Reply

    This is a wonderful recipe The bread fantastic. Last week I tried it with 2 cups of white bread flour and one cup of ww bread flour. This is even better.

  • Gloria van Vorstenbosch

    March 14, 2018 at 1:52 AM Reply

    Hi there,
    I’ve just written down your Cheaters Sourdough bread recipe and cannot wait to try it.
    I’m a South African and live in a beautiful country town George in the Southern Cape which is surrounded by the awesome Outeniqua mountain range.
    Many years ago my late mother used to bake what she called “soetsuurdeeg brood” (Sweet sourdough bread) We all loved it to bits but one had to grow a yeast plant and that was a very tedious and longwinded process.
    Bottom line is that I love buying fat free live yoghurt which incidentally is really lovely with oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon.
    So very soon I intend trying your clever recipe. Many thanks and “mooi loop” (This is an Afrikaans expression which means “go well”)

  • Saleem Razack

    March 17, 2018 at 7:08 PM Reply

    Loved this recipe! I made it with whole wheat flour and the result was a great, rustic bread.

  • S Holland

    May 13, 2018 at 2:37 PM Reply

    I made this today (with half white whole wheat flour) and it’s really good!! Great ‘sourdough’ tang!!

  • Ann

    June 10, 2018 at 6:19 PM Reply

    Have you tried this recipe using organic, unbleached all purpose flour in place of the bread flour? If so, please share your results.

  • Isabelle Weyer

    December 9, 2018 at 5:39 PM Reply

    Bonjour from France, and thank you for this recipe; I made it last night and it was and still is most delicious. Your photographs, stories, recipes and writing are truly inspiring. Thank you!

  • Lesley F

    December 25, 2018 at 1:09 AM Reply

    Would it work with plain nonfat Greek yogurt

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      December 26, 2018 at 2:26 AM Reply

      Lesley, Greek yogurt is generally lower in water content, so you May have to reduce the yogurt amount and add water.

  • Jenny S

    December 29, 2018 at 7:35 AM Reply

    Started this last night before bed and baked it this afternoon. Holy sourdough is it good! I went with fermenting for 14 hours and (accidentally) let it rise for ~3 hours and it came out amazing. That pinch at the back of your cheeks that a proper sourdough should have! I did use AP flour because I didn’t even notice it needed bread flour until my mom pointed it out when I sent her the recipe. Oh well, still delicious. I’m not in a place to have a starter currently so this is an excellent sub. Thank you!

  • Carol

    October 11, 2019 at 4:38 AM Reply

    Hi–I just got done baking a loaf of this bread and could not resist cutting off a slice immediately to sample. My goodness!! What a wonderful flavor, crispy crust and moist crumb! I’ve been baking Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread for a couple of years now and love it, but like many people find it a bit bland. For the record, I used AP flour and half-water, half 2% Fage Greek yogurt (which does contain active cultures), let sit at room temp for 17 hours, shaped, and proofed for another 2 1/2 hours. It doesn’t have the big holes that the original recipe has, but the flavor is much better, with just the right amount of tang.

    *After* I sampled the bread, though, I started getting curious (okay, worried) about the safety of leaving a dough containing yogurt to sit at room temperature overnight. Per Google, the “party line” seems to be that no dough containing any milk products should sit out for more than 2 hours. However, I’m assuming that live yogurt would be okay because the yogurt bacteria multiply quickly and create/maintain a safely acidic environment that prevents the growth of bad bacteria. Can you (or anyone else out there) back me up on this or provide me with more information and understanding? Thanks!

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      October 11, 2019 at 1:24 PM Reply

      Carol, my original thought on it was that since yogurt is made by sitting in a much warmer environment for 18 hours, sitting it further in room temperature should be fine because of the bacteria has a lot more food to eat in the dough. And remember room temp is 18-22!, not a warm summer room. If your house is any warmer than that, I would not recommend.

  • Denise

    November 24, 2019 at 3:55 AM Reply

    Hi, When I saw this recipe, I knew I just had to try it. I could not be bothered trying to make a starter. I do have one question about something I am unsure of in the making of this dough. Can I leave it on the counter for the 8 hours? Or do I have to put it in the fridge for 6? Is that a must? Also, do I cover it tightly with a lid on the bowl, or loosely with plastic wrap. Thanks for your recipe. I just hope I can do it justice.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      November 24, 2019 at 2:22 PM Reply

      Denise, you leave it on the counter at room temp (18-22 Celsius). And cover with lid or plastic wrap tightly is both fine.

      • denise

        December 29, 2019 at 6:41 AM Reply

        Thank you Mandy. This is a marvelous recipe. My partner just loves sourdough. I have been making it into buns and mini loaves for all my family. Many compliments. I also double the batch and sub in 1.5 cups of rye flour. Works very well for a sourdough rye. Thank you again for posting this simple yet delicious sourdough recipe.

  • Cindy Mit

    December 29, 2019 at 6:15 AM Reply

    I have to try this recipe? Did you have to score/cut the dough like traditional sourdough preparation? To release steam?

    • denise

      December 29, 2019 at 6:37 AM Reply

      On some loaves I did score, but on others I just left the loaf whole. It worked fine either way. I have also open baked. Instead of using a dutch oven with lid. I just used mini Pyrex loaf pans lined with parchment. I put a shallow pan filled with water on the oven shelf below the ones I bake the bread on. I preheat the oven with the water pan in it, then put the loaves in when it reaches the temp. This recipe is marvelous. I have even added 1.5 cup of rye flour to a DOUBLE batch of this bread recipe. It was amazing sourdough rye.
      Thank you Mandy.

  • swinginstyle

    March 3, 2020 at 8:04 AM Reply

    How long does it take for you to notice the dough rising? After 2.5 hours, there’s been no noticeable change for me. Thanks

  • GVargas

    March 20, 2020 at 10:03 PM Reply

    Thank you for this recipe. It is absolutely delightful every time. Out of curiosity, what size of Dutch oven do you use?

  • Eric

    April 8, 2020 at 11:12 AM Reply

    Does the dough have the consistency ti make baguettes?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      April 8, 2020 at 1:23 PM Reply

      Eric, this bread has smaller holes and is tangy so not really.

  • Eric

    April 10, 2020 at 11:48 PM Reply

    Can I substitue the yogurt in whole or in part with sour cream? The ingredients list bacterial culture.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      April 10, 2020 at 11:59 PM Reply

      Eric, hm I don’t think so. Sour cream is too thick and munch higher in fat content..

    • denise

      April 11, 2020 at 1:06 AM Reply

      Hi Eric. The bacteria in sour cream is not the same as in yogurt. Yogurt has Probiotics. At least it should for this recipe. So check on the label. What is in sour cream is not a live culture, that could have died off during processing.

  • Rhonda Light Potter

    April 12, 2020 at 9:44 PM Reply

    I don’t have a dutch oven, what can I use in place of one?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      April 12, 2020 at 10:34 PM Reply

      Rhonda, you can use any heavy pot with a heavy lid!

    • Rose

      May 14, 2020 at 5:55 AM Reply


      I’ve just pulled this out of the oven at my parents-in-law’s. I’m a New Zealander living in France and it’s 12am… my timing was off but it was a nice chance to be alone in the kitchen. Although the handle on her Dutch oven lid exploded in the final few minutes before I took it off, and I think it was her mum’s, who died last month. Fark.

      Anyway great recipe, thanks a lot!

    • Denise

      May 25, 2020 at 12:30 AM Reply

      Hi Rhonda, I have used small Pyrex loaf pans, and a smaller bread pan, to see if it worked uncovered. I discovered I can get really nice loaves that are easier to cut, as I have a problem with round ones. The slices don’t fit in the toaster as well. As long as I have shallow pan filled with water on the rack under the ones the loaves are on, it works just as well to give that crusty, chewy shell we like on sour dough. I just let the oven get to 410* and full of steam before putting the loaves into bake. They come out perfect every time. Good luck.

  • Rhonda Light Potter

    April 12, 2020 at 10:39 PM Reply

    I have a cast iron chicken fryer skillet with a lid, will that work, or does it give enough room to let the bread rise?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      April 13, 2020 at 12:44 AM Reply

      Hm, I have no idea what that is lol. But At least 20cm height should be good.

  • Georgina leonida

    May 23, 2020 at 11:25 PM Reply

    Thank you for this recipe, my bread came out lovely. I added a bit of warm water as I didn’t have enough yoghurt, but still came out lovely. Family impressed considering I never make bread

  • Rhonda Light Potter

    May 24, 2020 at 7:45 PM Reply

    I’ve made it twice and it turned out awesome both times, I used more yogurt than the recipe called for because my dough was a little dry without it. Super easy and super yummy!


    May 27, 2020 at 6:34 AM Reply

    No one would question that this is sourdough bread. The crumb is soft but structured and the holes are uniform. The texture while soft yet is quite chewy (which I really like). It has a beautiful, tasty, crispy, and very thin crust. I thought at first that just folding the dough into a ball would result in no chewyness, but I admit that I was completely wrong. I won’t change a thing next time I make this. This recipe requires no adjustments and I highly recommend it.

    • Denise

      May 27, 2020 at 7:39 AM Reply

      I am making it now. I have added one cup of rye flour to a double batch. I have made the sour dough rye before and it came out perfect, but with a light rye flavor. Delicious. I also just make it in regular loaf pans. It’s easier to toast. I let it proof in the oven with the oven light on for an hour, then remove them to preheat the oven to 410* to pop back in to bake. I put a water pan underneath to make steam. I haven’t bought bread in over a year now. My whole family loves this bread.

  • Catrina

    May 30, 2020 at 4:13 PM Reply

    Hi Mandy,

    I am very keen to give your recipe a try.

    1 question though, I live in Singapore where the in house temperature can go to 28 degree Celsius with very high humidity. when you say “ferment at room-temperature for 18 hours” what is the temperature over at where you are?

    I am afraid if i left it in Singapore temperature for 18 hours the yogurt will spoil.

    awaiting your advice.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      May 30, 2020 at 10:48 PM Reply

      Catrina, room-temp means 18~22 Celsius. If your home is hot, I would recommended to go with the visual cue when the dough has doubled, or do this in the fridge but that may take longer than 18 hrs. I’m afraid the first time is gonna be a trial and error situation.

      • Catrina

        May 30, 2020 at 11:01 PM Reply

        Thanks for the quick reply!
        I’ll give it a try!

  • Cooking in Mexico

    August 11, 2020 at 11:06 PM Reply

    Really a good recipe! I use one cup of white flour, 1/4 cup of gluten flour, and the balance is whole wheat. Sometimes I add flax and sunflower seeds. We eat most of the loaf when it comes out of the oven!

    Mandy, if you see this comment, you might want to scroll up and delete Norine’s scam comment.

  • Renee M Kinyon

    January 23, 2021 at 1:21 AM Reply

    I was wondering if anyone has tried sour cream instead of yogurt. I normally have it in my fridge where as I dont keep plain yogurt on hand. Thanks!

  • Gen

    February 9, 2021 at 9:52 AM Reply

    Do you need to activate the yeast in warm water first? Also any recommendations on yogurt brand? I tried this (no substitutions, followed each step) with plain mountain high brand yogurt (said “active cultures”) under the ingredients. Tried the 6hr rise and, low story short, my dough never rose.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      February 9, 2021 at 2:12 PM Reply

      Gen, sorry I believe because I was using instant yeast so no dissolving needed?

  • Denise Parsons

    February 9, 2021 at 11:10 AM Reply

    I use quick rise yeast, that I just add to the flour. And I look for a high probiotic yogurt. Astro BioBest, has given me great results so far.

  • Gia

    March 30, 2021 at 2:09 AM Reply

    This is DEFINITELY going to be in heavy rotation. I used whole wheat bread flour (I adjusted the liquid and let it “sit” to absorb better per King Arthur website) and was able to use up the yogurt I had left from the batch I made last week. 16 hour rise. I may have deflated it a bit during the folding process so it was pretty squat, BUT IT IS DELICIOUS!!!! Genius recipe. Thank you so much. And yes my dog wanted some.

  • Laurel S.

    October 8, 2022 at 6:29 AM Reply


    I just found this original post and recipe from Mandy and thought I’d give it a whirl. Mandy, I loved your write-up and humor that went along with it. Brilliant!!! Thank you for this site and all your efforts!!! Also, huge thanks to all the comments from peeps to help me get started.

    My goal: to replicate a delicious light sourdough bread that a local chain restaurant in Northern California serves as a free appetizer with meals. My father-in-law loves the bread so I set out on a quest and found myself here on this site. A secondary goal was to find a nice easy no “starter” ordeal recipe that tasted great and was no/minimal fuss.

    I saw Adriana Gutiérrez’s post (June 8, 2017 at 8:50 PM) using buttermilk and Carol’s post (October 11, 2019 at 4:38 AM) using ½ yogurt and ½ water and thought I’d be an overachiever and try 2 loaves with their modifications.

    The results: both were fantastic and darn close to replicating the restaurant loaf. Mine were heavier in weight/density, but crust, crumb, and taste were darn close. I personally liked the ½ and ½ yogurt/water combo over the buttermilk. Buttermilk tasted a tiny bit on the sour side, but not as in sourdough sour if that makes sense.

    Yogurt/Water method: I used AP flour, ¾ cup + another heaping tablespoon of Fage brand 2% Greek yogurt and ¾ cup water. I put in my proofing box at 70 F degrees for 17 hours and it doubled no problem. Left on counter at room temp (73 F) for final rest of 2 hours and poke test confirmed ready to bake. I was going for a light colored crust so did 450 F in the oven (in Dutch oven) for 30 minutes with lid on the whole time. Internal temp was 199 F when I took it out.

    Buttermilk method: I used AP flour, 1 ½ cups cultured buttermilk (1.5% reduced fat – Lucerne brand). Dough consistency felt good, a little less sticky than yogurt/water one. These rest of the process was the same as above, however, my bake time was 35 minutes (instead of 30) and internal temp was 207 F. I think 32 minutes would have been perfect. Bottom of this loaf was a little overdone.

    Glaze: I did use a glaze (water and corn starch) to make the crust look shiny like the one at the restaurant. See link to video below by Sourdough LoafHacker if you are interested in the glazing. A first for me and it sure looked “purdy”.

    Recipe is a keeper so thanks again to Mandy and everyone else here!!

    PS, I tried to post pics I took but unsuccessful, sorry.

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