Sourdough Boule

For many, the French-style sourdough boule (a giant round of crusty sourdough goodness) is the queen of from-scratch breads. Much like with baguettes, the less you work the dough, the better the final boule loaf will be.This recipe uses our sourdough starter recipe

3.0 from 2 reviews
Sourdough Boule
Makes 1 Boule
  • 1 cup (226 grams) sourdough starter
  • 1 ¼ cups (207grams) warm water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 ½ cups (490grams) bread flour, or whole wheat bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • semolina flour (for finishing)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine starter with warm water. Beat at medium speed until combined (about 3 minutes). Add remaining ingredients, beating at medium speed until a soft dough forms. (If the dough appears too dry and crumbly, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.) The dough should come together as one mass and should appear shaggy and feel sticky.
  2. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl. Cover and let stand in a warm, draft-free place (75°) for 1 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  3. Turn risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and deflate it to remove excess gas and air.
  4. Pull the four corners of the dough into the center, pinching with your fingertips to create a seal. Flip the dough over and begin to tighten the round by cupping your palms around the dough while rotating it.
  5. Line a bowl (approximately 6 to 8 inches in diameter) with a clean kitchen towel, dusted generously with flour. Place the loaf, seam-side up, in the bowl. Cover and proof in a warm, draft-free place (75°) for 1 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 450. Turn the dough out into a cast-iron vessel with a lid, such as a Dutch oven. Dust the boule with semolina flour and score, using a sharp knife (or a lame) to make 3 or 4, ¼-inch-deep cuts across the top.
  7. Cover and bake for 35 minutes. Increase the temperature to 475, remove the lid, and continue baking for 10-15 minutes, until loaf is deeply browned. Turn out onto a rack and let cool completely before slicing.


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  1. I love this bread. I wonder iif it is ok to just have the final proof take place in the cast iron skillet. Turning it out sometimes deflates it to much. Thanks for such a great recipe!

  2. Hi, love this recipe. First bake, I used the volume measurements and liked it. Thought I would “be a baker” and scale everything the second time. Dough seemed dry. 65% hydration would be about 318 grams. When I measured the water into a measuring cup, lo and behold, 318 grams was 1 1/4 cup, 207 grams was less than a cup.

    • I wish I had read this first! I use weights, as well, and 207 produced a really dry loaf. I had to add 100+g to get it to the directed desired texture.

    • Hi Anthony!

      Thanks for reaching out! I apologize, but we haven’t tried the autolyse method with this recipe. Have you tried the recipe as written?

  3. I have made this recipe probably 100 times over the last two years (is it even a real pandemic if you’re not baking sourdough every two days?) and love it so much! I grew the start from scratch at the beginning of 2020, and it survived through a cross country move, a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatments, and all of the other usual chaos of the last two years. If you make this bread frequently and keep your start replenished, it will stay healthy, appropriately stinky, and nearly impossible to mess up. I’ve given away dozens of starts and sent this recipe to dozens of wannabe sourdough bakers. It’s so easy that it practically makes itself. (I doubt whoever gave it one star actually tried it. Even my kids have figured out how to bake this bread.)


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