homemade loaf of bread in a dutch oven

Overnight Bread Recipe

Make a simple homemade loaf of bread with this overnight bread recipe

Recipe By: Madeline


  • 500g of all purpose or bread flour
  • 390g of water at 90-95 degrees F
  • 12g kosher salt
  • ⅛ tsp active dry yeast
  • More flour for dusting surfaces


  1. Prepare dough 15 hours before you are ready to bake your loaf of bread. If you want your loaf to go into the oven at 7am, start this process at 5pm the day before.
  2. Mix 500g of flour and 390g of 90-95 degree water in a large mixing bowl with clean hands. Continue mixing until all of the dry flour is incorporated into the water. It is okay if this mixture contains lumps. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and allow it to sit for 20 minutes.
  3. After 20 minutes, sprinkle the salt and yeast in an even layer over top of the dough. Using a wet hand, grab the sides of the dough and fold it over itself in pieces like you are hiding the salt and yeast into the center. 
  4. Then, use your fingers to pinch the dough all around, this will help incorporate the yeast and salt into the dough. Alternate pinching and mixing dough with your hands until you feel the the salt and yeast are thoroughly incorporated – this will take 2-3 minutes. Cover the bowl again and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  5. Over the next hour and half you will perform 3 stretch and folds on the dough in 30 mintue increments. 30 minutes after the salt and yeast are mixed in take off the dish towel, grab one side of the dough, pull up and stretch over the rest of the dough. Continue around the bowl stretching up a section the dough and folding it over the top of the rest of the dough until you have gone all around the bowl. Allow the dough to rest for 1 minute, then repeat the stretch and fold process. 
  6. Cover the bowl, wait 30 minutes and repeat the stretch and fold process. Cover the bowl again, wait 30 minutes and repeat the stretch and fold process. Once you have performed 3 stretch and fold sets, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to proof at room temperature for 12 hours – ideally overnight.
  7. When you are ready to shape your loaf, dust a clean work surface with flour and liberally dust a proofing basket with flour. Slowly turn the dough out onto the work surface and shape into a ball by puling the dough over itself and pinching it at the top so you have a relatively round ball with a seam and the top.
  8. Flip the dough ball over onto an unfloured part of your work surface so that the seam side is down. Pull the dough ball down the work surface rotating slightly as you pull it down towards you. This should help the dough form a tighter ball.
  9. Place dough ball in the proofing basket with seam side down and smooth side up. Allow the dough ball to proof for one hour. 
  10. After the dough has been proofing for 15 minutes, place a dutch oven with a lid into the oven and preheat the oven to 450F – the dutch oven needs to warm for 45 minutes for the bread to bake properly.
  11. After the dough has been proofing for 1 hour, turn the dough ball out onto a piece of parchment paper with the seam side facing up. Carefully pull the dutch oven out of the oven and carefully lower the dough ball on the parchment paper into the dutch oven.
  12. Cover the dutch oven and return to the oven to bake at 450F for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take the lid off of the dutch oven and bake for another 20 minutes. 
  13. Remove the dutch oven from the oven and then the loaf of bread from the dutch oven. Allow the loaf to cool completely before cutting into slices.


  •  if your home is warmer than 75 degrees F, the proofing process will happen much faster. You want the dough to double in size. This may happen as quickly as 8 hours instead of 12. If your home is very warm, the dough may be ready to bake just 30-45 minutes after shaping into a loaf instead of waiting the full hour.
  • This recipe is based on the overnight white bread recipe from the book Flour Water Salt Yeast
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.