Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Rustic Sourdough Bread Boule

After conquering the challenge of making wild yeast come to life, the next step naturally is to bake with it.

This recipe is the only one that gave me success in my sourdough baking so far. I’ve tried several recipes, each time hoping that it will reward me with a delicious crusty bread in the end but I always end up getting disappointed.

And then Jamie Oliver came to the rescue! He posted his simple sourdough recipe on FB and I thought I’d give it a try.

It was perfect timing because I was on the verge of giving up just for a short while to give myself time to recover from my frustrations. It’s silly but it really affects my mood and I feel a little sad the whole day when my sourdough bread failed yet again. LOL.

Well, imagine working on it for hours, the wait, the excitement were building up and then… pooof! Bread didn’t fully rise in the oven:(

So I read the recipe, I like that it makes only 1 boule. I thought if this fails again, at least I won’t be wasting too much flour.

It is similar to other sourdough bread recipes but I noticed Jamie made an autolyse with the sourdough starter mixed in the flour and water.

Autolyse usually is just flour and water mixed together and then left alone for at least 30 minutes (to give them time to get to know each other well), before the salt and starter and maybe other ingredients are added (I think this is to test their relationship) LOL.

Anyway, back to the sourdough recipe.

Just some notes that I think might help —

  • I just used ordinary bread flour and ordinary whole wheat flour because I’m still practicing.
  • I tried adding rye flour when I ran out of whole wheat (about 30 grams only ) and it was still a success and I think it tasted better.
  • i measure the water in grams using digital kitchen scale
  • I tried using both fine sea salt and fine pink Himalayan salt. No difference in taste.
  • I used my sourdough starter at its peak – about 8-9 hours after feeding it (it should float in water)
  • I followed the time allotted for resting the dough, the fold and stretch and the bulk fermentation in the recipe, to the letter.
  • I don’t have a banneton or proofing basket for sourdough so I just used a Pyrex mixing bowl and tea towel
  • I used rice flour for dusting the dough and the tea towel. I think I used too much of it because I was afraid of the dough sticking to the towel which would lead to failure again. 😀
  • I lowered the oven temperature 5 minutes after I put the sourdough in. I’m not sure, but I thought maybe it helps with the “oven spring”

Start with 100 grams of sourdough starter (fed 8 hours prior) mixed with 325g of water

Add bread flour and whole wheat flour

Mix until fully incorporated. Let the dough rest for 1 hour

Add the water with salt and scrunch into the dough until fully combined

After 2 hours of fold and stretch every 30 minutes, let dough bulk ferment for 2 hours at room temperature

Tip the sourdough onto a work surface, lightly (or in my case, excessively lol) dust top with rice flour

Turn dough so that the floured surface is on the board then carefully shape into a boule (ball). I first lightly pulled the dough to roughly make a rectangle or square to release some gas then I folded the dough in itself by pulling starting from the top then the sides and bottom and tucking it into the middle to form a ball

Then I invert the dough again so the seam is on the board and using a bench scraper I gently push dough towards me, making a turn every quarter to tighten the ball of dough a bit. It is done to create surface tension from what I read from the helpful people at the forums and from youtube videos.

Turn the dough over and place it in the floured tea towel lined bowl

Jumping to this because I did not dared take photos with a scorching hot dutch oven/ pot near me. Taking the dough from the fridge, scoring it and transferring in the hot pot should be done quickly. I think maybe it helps to achieve what they call an”oven spring”. From my experience when I took to long trying to make a good slash design on the dough, I noticed that it starting to spread and though I’m not sure that it caused my bread not to rise in the oven, I do not want to risk it.

shock that dough with extreme temp 😀

My lovely rustic sourdough bread. Enjoy!

What a beauty..inside and outside *sigh* I’m in love with my first sourdough. I kept on smelling it and nibbling on it at the same time LOL.

Rustic Sourdough Bread

This recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver's recipe. It's a simple one, easy to follow and gave me my first success with sourdough bread baking. Plan ahead before making this, make sure that you can tend to your sourbread dough for a higher rate of success.
5 from 2 votes
Course Baking, bread, sourdough
Servings 1 boule



  • Pour 325ml of tepid water into a large mixing bowl and add 100g of the starter, which should float.
  • Use your fingers to gently stir it into the water until fully dissolved, then add both flours and stir until fully mixed.
  • Cover with a damp cloth and rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
  • Combine salt and 25ml of tepid water and mix until salt is dissolved then add it to the dough, scrunching them into the dough until fully combined.
  • Set aside, covered, in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  • Wet your hand slightly and give the dough four folds in the bowl, one at each ‘corner’.
  • This is one turn. 
  • Repeat this process another three times at 30-minute intervals, turning the dough four times in total across 2 hours. 
  • After the last turn, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for another 2 hours.
  • To shape the loaf, tip the dough onto a clean surface and gently dust the top with a handful of rice flour.
  • Roughly shape into a round, being careful to keep as much air in the dough as possible.
  • Rest, covered, for 30 minutes.
  • Dust a medium bowl lined with a clean, floured tea towel.
  • Lightly flour the dough again and flip it over, so the flour side is on the worktop.
  • Set the dough in front of you and gently shape into a round.
  • Turn the dough over, then place it in your floured basket, banneton or tea towel-lined bowl.
  • Cover the dough with a shower cap (or oiled cling film) and allow to rest for 1 to 2 hours, or until increased in size by a quarter and looking bubbly.
  • Transfer your dough, in its basket or bowl, to the fridge to rise for another 12 to 16 hours, or until bubbly and risen by another quarter.
  • Place a heavy lidded casserole pot on the bottom shelf of the oven, then preheat to full whack (240ºC/464ºF/gas 9).
  • Bring your loaf out of the fridge and scatter rice flour over the top.
  • Get a piece of parchment paper, about the same size as the tea towel and put in on top of the bowl and gently press it closer to the dough and invert the bowl into your hand to catch the ball of dough.
  • Now the dough is on the parchment paper, carefully lift the tea towel off of the dough
  • Score it with a sharp knife, holding it at a 40 degree angle to the surface of the dough for the best slashes
  • Working carefully, remove the hot pot from the oven, take off the lid
  • Carefully hold the ends of parchment paper and lift the dough to the dutch oven or pot.
  • Using oven mitts, put the hot lid on the pot immediately but be very careful please and put it in the oven.
  • After 5 minutes, reduce the temperature to 230ºC/446ºF/gas 8 and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the lid and bake for a final 20 minutes, or until a malted golden brown.
  • Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Keyword easy sourdough bread recipe, Jamie Oliver’s sourdough bread recipe, rustic bread, sourdough bread, sourdough bread boule, sourdough starter, wild yeast baking
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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