August 22, 2022

Sourdough Basic Boule Recipe

Sourdough Basic Boule Recipe

A sourdough boule is one of the trickiest things to make with our Summit Sourdough Starter.  But, I am here to tell you that you CAN make beautiful breads with our 125 year old heirloom starter -- but you will need time, patience, love and process.   Process, process, process -- without process there are no results.  Depending on environment, your process may need small tweaks here and there, but for the most part, results with my process are fool proof.  As I say to all my newbies, TRUST THE PROCESS and, Bake On!

Day 1 Process:

In a bowl, hand mix together:

  • 295g of room temperature water
  • 465g of strong flour / bakers flour / bread flour
  • 12g of salt
  • 125g of active sourdough starter
    * Your starter should be on the rise, at least doubled in the jar, triple is better.  I recommend feeding your starter 6 to 8 hours before mixing your recipe.
  1. Mix the above ingredients by hand until a shaggy mess forms in the bowl.   Wet your hands with some water and begin to gently knead the dough 15 to 20 times until the dough comes together.  It's ok if it doesn't fully come together as the first rest will allow the flour to hydrate. 
  2. Once done mixing, cover and let rest 30 minutes.  This is your first rest.
  3. After the first rest is complete, perform a set of stretch and folds on the dough.  Your dough will look more hydrated and will be relaxed enough to pull.   Be careful not to rip the fibers that are developing gluten, these create crumb, strength and spring.   To stretch and fold, pull each side of the dough up until you feel resistance and fold over the remaining ball.
  4. Rest your dough 30 more minutes covered. 
  5. Repeat the stretch and fold process with the 30 minute rest 2 more times.   In total this should be done 4 times over 2 hours.   
  6. After all the stretch and folds are completed your dough will rest between 4 and 5 hours.  This time depends on environmental factors, such as heat and humidity in your home.  Do not put your dough into an oven that's been warmed up on proof mode.  You are looking for your dough to be puffy, a bit jiggly and air bubbles trapped under the skin.  Your dough will not double.   As a rule of thumb, to prevent over-proofing I suggest looking for about a 30% growth.  If your dough reaches over proofed status, it will mean the starter has no activity/gas left to work in the oven. 
  7. Perform your pre-shape.  Shape your dough into either a boule or a batard.  If you are not familiar with the process you can head over to our Instagram Page to watch the tutorials.  Cover your dough with an upside down bowl and allow it to rest 30 minutes.  Ensure your shape creates tight surface tension, without ripping the outer layers of the dough -- this is crucial for oven spring.
  8. While your dough is resting, dust your banneton or batard with rice flour generously.  This will prevent your dough from sticking to the basket, as well as rice flour does not burn in the oven.
  9. Final shape your dough and place into your banneton or batard, and cover with your banneton cover to keep the moisture within your dough.   Allow to sit on your counter 1-2 hours before putting it into your fridge.  Your dough can stay in the fridge up to 48 hours before baking.  The longer the cold ferment the more depth of flavor achieved.

Day 2 Process:

  1. Preheat your oven to 500F with your Dutch Oven inside.   Your dutch oven should be heated up for at least 30- 40 minutes.
  2. Once hot, reduce the oven temperature to 450F
  3. Retrieve your dough from the fridge only when you are ready to place it into the oven, you do not want your dough to warm up as it will cause it to spread, and it becomes hard to score.
  4. Prepare a piece of parchment paper which should be a bit larger than your Dutch Oven, some ice cubes, your scoring device such as a bread lame and your rice flour.   
  5. Gently tip your dough out on the your parchment paper.  I use the help of a hard cutting board which I lay across the top of the banneton and then flip over.  It prevents the air from being knocked out of the dough.
  6. Immediately score the dough.   A proper score is key to achieve the coveted ear when baking a boule.  A Proper score should be about 1/2 to 3/4" deep and at about a 30-45 degree angle, made in 1 swoop across your loaf.
  7. Place your loaf into your dutch oven and place your ice cubes under the parchment paper and put the lid on immediately to hold the steam inside.   Put into your oven and bake for 28 minutes covered.  
  8. Once the 28 minutes are over remove the lid and bake an additional 20-30 minutes with the lid off.  You may need to lower the heat at this point to around 425F.   At this point you'll know if you have success!

I will say, this is not an easy process to master, especially with a text recipe.  I urge you to get to our Instagram page to watch the hands-on tutorials I have created.   This process takes many people months and months to master.   If you don't have success with your first few loafs, don't give up.  Just remember the most important things are not to over proof your dough and to create proper surface tension with proper shaping techniques.   You can do this.  And I can show you how. 

Bake On.

Posted in advanced basics overnight recipe


  • Greg on March 25, 2024

    First time try, amazing result. Followed the recipe exactly and the outcome was amazing :) Thanks for a great recipe!!

  • Rianna on February 10, 2024

    I use Summit Sourdough recipes because they are easy to follow, which is really appreciated when learning the process of making a boule! This bread turns out great every time, even for a beginner :)

  • Joan on February 08, 2024

    This bread turns out great every time. So delicious. Love the summit dough starter. Thanks for all your pointers on instagram.

  • Deb on October 17, 2023

    Took some time to get this right . Even if it’s not pretty, still so delicious. Your recipes are so simple, along with your Instagram, can’t go wrong.

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