Cooking Without Electricity: + Sourdough Bread Baked On Coals

by Veronika B

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Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to make delicious homemade sourdough bread without access to electricity? Believe it or not, it is! Even without electricity, anyone can create delicious, homemade sourdough bread with a few simple tools and some extra time. Here’s how you can make sourdough bread without electricity.

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Tools needed:

Recipe using digital food scale:


  • 385 grams water
  • 100 grams starter
  • 12 grams salt
  • 520 grams King Arthur All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tbsp raw honey (optional will taste just as good without)

Recipe using measuring cups/ spoons:


Feed your starter:

  1. Feed your starter (1 cup flour, 1/2 cup water and 50 grams of starter OR the rest of your starter you had in the fridge) and wait for it to triple (rise and start falling). Watch how I feed my sourdough starter HERE!

Make the dough:

  1. Measure all of your ingredients water, salt, sourdough starter, and flour. 
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together with a wooden spoon, making a shaggy ball of dough. Make sure all of the flour is hydrated and no dry spots left.

Strengthen the dough (series of “folds”):

  1. Gently lift one side of the dough and fold it over the center. Repeat with the other three sides. This helps strengthen the dough without traditional kneading. Repeat this process every 15-30 minutes for the first 2 hours.

Bulk Fermentation:

  1. Cover the bowl with plastic and let the dough bulk ferment at room temperature for 8-12 hours, or overnight. The longer fermentation enhances flavor. If it’s colder in your house, place the dough on top of your fridge, it’s usually warmer higher up.


  1. In the morning, gently get the fermented dough out on a clean counter top. Shape the dough into a ball. (see video)
  2. Tighten the ball by rolling it towards yourself. (see video)
  3. Dust with rice flour.
  4. Make sure your proofing basket is dusted well with rice flour as well.

Second Rise:

  1. Cover the proofing basket and let the dough rise for about 2 hours, or until the dough has reached the rim of the proofing basket.

Baking your bread:

Here are the steps for baking bread in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven over a fire:

  1. Prepare the fire: Go outside and build a fire. Allow it to burn down to coals.
  2. Heat the Dutch oven: Place the cast iron Dutch oven on the coals to get it HOT.
  3. Prepare the bread: Flip the bread onto a parchment paper from the proofing basket and score the bread.
  4. Bake the bread: Once the Dutch oven is hot, open the lid and place the bread with the parchment paper into the Dutch oven. Close the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Add coals to the lid: Place coals on top of the lid to cook the bread all around.
  5. Check the bread: After 20 minutes, check if the bread looks done. If not, continue baking and checking every 5-10 minutes until the bread is fully baked.

Tips for Success:

  • The slower you cook it the better.
  • No open fire or it will cook too fast and burn.
  • In the summer it’s easy to get a rise and in the winter if you have a warm toasty wood stove, you will have no issues with getting a great rise.
  • Add spices or flavors to your bread. Try everything but the bagel seasoning, rosemary or garlic powder!


Making sourdough bread without electricity is a great way to bring fresh, warm bread to your kitchen. With the right ingredients and a bit of patience, you can create a delicious and fragrant loaf with minimal effort. From choosing the right type of flour to kneading the dough properly, there are a few tips that you should keep in mind in order to make a truly amazing loaf of sourdough bread without electricity.

Now that you know the basics of baking sourdough bread without electricity, why don’t you challenge yourself and make your own unique loaf? Try adding some unique flavors or spices and make a truly special bread that you can serve with pride.

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Katie February 8, 2023 - 5:19 pm

One of my goals this year is to cook on a fire more. Now, feeling like I need to try my sourdough loaf. This gives me the confidence and guidance! Thanks!

Veronika B February 8, 2023 - 6:17 pm

Aww thats so exciting!It’s a lot easier than you think!
Be Blessed!

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