A Stir The Pots Post

Do-Nothing Bread

by | Jan 18, 2019 | Uncategorized

Here's a non-traditional technique where you use a small percentage (one percent – even a half a percent) of sour dough added to a kilo of flour instead of the standard ratios of anywhere from 10-50%. The idea is to give the dough gluten development through the sourdough's enzymatic activity, from its lactic acid bacteria proteolytic/acidification. Within 12-24 hours, the dough is at the same stage of development of a more traditional (and more labour intensive) method.

This method also lends itself to minimal shaping. And the gentle, long fermentation leads to an open crumb, a beautiful dark crust and the emergence of natural flavors of the delicious whole grains (versus white flours) you're using (hopefully). I learned this reading Respectus Pain, a book first introduced to me by Yohan Ferrant, a baker who  uses this masterfully and coined it "do nothing bread." Using it recently, here are some photos of the outcome. 


IMG_7925 IMG_7931 IMG_7951 IMG_7970



  1. Jeremy Shapiro

    Yes…I put the link in for the book… Danke!

  2. Robert Cohen

    Hi Chef Shapiro,
    Due to my frustration with not being able to find whole grain artisinal sourdough bread locally, I am interested in learning to bake my own. I came across your do-nothing bread post and it seems to be a great method to try for someone just starting out. Your bread looks absolutely incredible! I do not have a copy of Respectus Panis, so I was wondering if you could provide a copy of the recipe?
    Thank you,

  3. Robert Cohen

    Hi Jonathan,
    I have looked online at all available information, but have come up short when it comes to some of the details. The YouTube videos are rather lacking. Here’s a whole thread on thefreshloaf.com where they seem to just be experimenting because they don’t have all the details (even something as fundamentally important as temperatures):
    Hence, since this will be my first time baking my own sourdough bread, and the loaf above looks exactly what I am striving for, I was hoping you could fill in all the details found in Respectus Panis.
    Thank you,

  4. Jeremy Shapiro

    Hi Robert, check now, I put a link to my formulation Yohan had shared with me originally. As I said, it seems all very easy, but consider if your accustomed or have a sourdough mother already. Refreshments is key, and well, check where the link is where though word dough is highlighted.
    Let us know how you get on?


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