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Sourdough Boule

Before Thanksgiving I told you about the other November holiday: Doughvember.   I made my sourdough boule.  I got my sourdough starter rehydrated (a process that took three days).  By the time I got around to actually making the dough I became very busy in my personal life.  Everyone gets busy this time of year, so you understand, right?

Late Thanksgiving night, after everyone left my mom’s house and we got all cleaned up, I lugged my cooking tools back to my own apartment and mixed the dough for my sourdough bread.  It was late and I was tired, so I made the dough the way I learned in school:  mix the dough, knead until smooth and elastic, then refrigerate overnight.  The only difference in this method is that you add cold water to the yeast instead of warm so it doesn’t activate and go crazy right away.  So I mixed it all up, kneaded it for what felt like half an hour while my eyes were drooping, covered it in the fridge and went to bed — my kitchen a total mess.

I woke up the next day and had a meeting in L.A. to get to so I ignored my sourdough bread and headed for Los Angeles.  That afternoon and evening I was preparing for a dinner party with my aunt and uncle so I didn’t get home until late and was exhausted.  I walked in the door, dropped everything from my hands, and crawled into bed.

Saturday was the actual dinner party.  I had meeting number two in Los Angeles on Saturday morning then straight to my uncle’s to get started on cooking.  It was such a fun night; I posted the photos on Twitter.  I was, again, exhausted by the time I got home, but I felt I’d neglected my bread too long.  So I baked my sourdough bread that night.

If you’ve seen sourdough bread before you know it looks just a little different than the above photo.  I’m not exactly sure what happened, but I’m blaming the two-day refrigeration to which I subjected my rising dough.  It didn’t rise quite as much as it normally would, and it was difficult to shape.  The texture was just a little tougher and chewier than I like, but the smell during baking and the taste afterward were scrumptious.

My apartment smelled like warm sourdough bread for the rest of the night.  Mmm mmm mmmmmmm!

The best way to serve your sourdough bowl is with Baked Brie.

Yield: 1

Sourdough Boule


  • 4 ounces Water (warm if baking the sourdough bread the same day - cold if refrigerating overnight)
  • 1/2 packet Instant Yeast (1 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 5 ounces Sourdough Starter
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 8 ounces Bread Flour (plus more for dusting)


  1. -Dissolve yeast in water in large mixing bowl, and let sit about ten minutes
  2. -Add starter to water and mix
  3. -Add flour in two batches
  4. -Knead dough in bowl until it comes together
  5. -Add salt and continue kneading
  6. -Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface
  7. -Knead until dough is smooth and elastic (this will take 5 - 10 minutes. Let the dough rest a few minutes about halfway through kneading)
  8. -Form dough into a ball
  9. ---
  10. If baking dough same day:
  11. -Place dough in a lightly oiled mixing bowl and cover with towel
  12. -Let sit in a slightly warmer than room temperature location until doubled in size, about 2 hours
  13. If baking dough next day:
  14. -Place dough in a lightly oiled mixing bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap
  15. -Refrigerate overnight
  16. -Remove dough from fridge 30 minutes to one hour before proceeding to allow the dough to reach room temperature
  17. -Dough will double in size overnight
  18. ---
  19. -Punch dough (you can actually punch it from the top, or just poke it. This will slightly deflate the dough)
  20. -Divide the dough into two pieces or leave whole depending on the size of bowl you want
  21. -Shape into a round or a loaf
  22. -Cover dough with a large bowl turned upside down or other cover that will completely secure dough and leave room for dough to rise again
  23. -Let dough sit at slightly-warmer-than-room-temperature until about doubled in size (approximately two hours)
  24. -Preheat oven to 450*F
  25. -Slash the tops of the dough with a sharp paring knife in a quick motion
  26. -Bake in oven until golden brown (about 20 minutes)


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