Sourdough Boule

Four simple ingredients combine with one highly cultured leaven to form the ideal sourdough: chewy crust, open crumb, and well-developed flavor. It’s the baker’s simplest triumph, but for a touch of complexity, try one of our two variations: bittersweet Chocolate Cherry Sourdough and spicy Cheddar Jalapeño Sourdough. 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sourdough Boule
 
Makes 1 round boule
Ingredients
  • Leaven:
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) lukewarm water (80°F/27°C)
  • 1 tablespoon (16 grams) sourdough starter
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon (40 grams) bread flour
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon (40 grams) whole wheat flour
  • Dough:
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (285 grams) lukewarm water (80°F/27°C)
  • 2¾ cups plus 1 tablespoon (357 grams) bread flour
  • ¾ cup (94 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
Instructions
  1. For leaven: In a large bowl, stir together ⅓ cup (80 grams) lukewarm water and sourdough starter. Add flours, and stir thoroughly until smooth and no dry bits of flour remain. Loosely cover bowl, and let stand at room temperature overnight.
  2. For dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place leaven and 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (285 grams) lukewarm water. Add flours and salt, and beat at low speed for 4 minutes. Dough will come together and should not tear when pulled.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until dough feels smooth and soft, 2 to 2½ hours, turning every 30 minutes. (To complete a turn, grab underside of dough, stretch it up, and fold it to center of dough. Do this 4 times around the bowl.)
  4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently press dough flat into a 9-inch circle. Fold right third of dough over to center; fold left third over first fold. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. For final shape, press dough flat again. Grab bottom edge, and gently stretch and fold bottom third over to center. Stretch right side out, and fold right third over to center; repeat with left side. Finish by folding top third over previous folds. Roll loaf away from you, and using both hands, cup dough and pull it toward you to seal. Turn dough 90 degrees, and pull again until a tight, smooth boule forms. Place seam side up in a banneton (proofing basket) or a small bowl lined with a kitchen towel heavily dusted with bread flour. Loosely cover dough with towel, and let rise for 3 hours. (Alternatively, place in refrigerator to cold ferment overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.)
  6. When dough has 30 minutes left to rise, place a Dutch oven and lid in cold oven. Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C).
  7. Turn boule out of banneton or bowl onto a sheet of parchment paper dusted with flour. Dust top of boule lightly with flour. Using a lame or razor blade, score top of loaf. Carefully remove hot Dutch oven from oven; remove lid, and place boule, still on parchment paper, in Dutch oven. Cover with lid, and place back in oven.
  8. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 425°F (220°C). Bake for 25 minutes. Remove lid, and bake until deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F (96°C), 5 to 10 minutes more. Immediately remove loaf from Dutch oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Variations: 
5.0 from 1 reviews
Cheddar Jalapeño Sourdough
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups (171 grams) small (¼-inch) cubed sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (18 grams) diced seeded jalapeño
Instructions
  1. Proceed with Sourdough Boule recipe, adding cheese and jalapeño with flours and salt in step 2. Continue through step 7.
  2. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 425°F (220°C). Bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid, and bake until deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F (96°C), 10 to 15 minutes more. Immediately remove loaf from Dutch oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Cherry Sourdough Boule
 
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup (113 grams) chopped 60% cacao dark chocolate
  • ½ cup (80 grams) dried cherries
Instructions
  1. Proceed with Sourdough Boule recipe, adding chocolate and cherries with flours and salt in step 2. Continue through step 7.
  2. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 425°F (220°C). Bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid, and bake until deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F (96°C), 10 to 15 minutes more. Immediately remove loaf from Dutch oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. Hello, In making the sourdough boule recipe I weighed 1 cup of water plus three Tablespoons. It did not equal 285 grams. I was more like 258 grams… Could you please review your measurements and clarify for me. Is this a digit reversal error?

    Have tried the cheese and jalapeño recipe ( with smaller amount of water) and it was delicious! Good one.

    • Hi Patricia,

      Thanks for reaching out! As a standard measure, one cup of water weighs 237 grams. One tablespoon weighs approximately 15 grams, thus one cup plus three tablespoons weighs 237 + 45 = 282 grams. There is small variance there, but it should be negligible. We prefer using a kitchen scale to measure weight versus measuring spoons and cups, because of the factory variances that come with the latter. I hope this helps!

      As an aside, 1 milliliter of water weighs 1 gram (this is due to the fact that water’s specific gravity is 1 kg/L at room temperature).

  2. I love this recipe. I’ve used it to make the three recipes here many times but also cinnamon raisin and others. It’s so easy and versatile. Do you think it could be used for sourdough pretzels?

    • Hi Jessica!

      Thank you for the kind comments! As most pretzel recipes call for a form of diastatic or non-diastatic milk powder, we suspect that without this ingredient the pretzels may stay blonde rather than developing their characteristic deep, golden color. That being said, if you are interested in making a test pretzel, we would recommend pinching off just enough dough from your next loaf. Then follow Step 4 and 5 of this recipe, baking at 400 deg F. https://www.bakefromscratch.com/traditional-large-soft-pretzels/

Leave a Reply to Patricia Parker Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.