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How to Make an Einkorn Sourdough Boule

When it comes to bread, this Einkorn Sourdough Boule is a true representation of everything I have worked for with einkorn, and this is by far, my favorite recipe. This delicious bread is the crispy, artisan-style bread that everyone is wowed by, and it is absolutely possible for you to make it, even if you have never baked bread before or worked with a sourdough starter. It may seem like too much of a challenge, since einkorn can be difficult to work with, but our new video series, Mastering Einkorn Sourdough Baking, will take you through the process—from starter to levain, to artisan bread—and you will find true satisfaction in making homemade bread. Baking bread with traditional sourdough and nature’s original wheat, what could be more nourishing and delicious?

Einkorn Sourdough Boule

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Make the dough: Transfer the levain to a large bowl. Add the water and mix with a stiff spatula or Einkorn Kneading Tool to break up the levain.
  2. Add the flour and sprinkle the salt on top. Mix for less than a minute until you have a wet, sticky dough and the flour is mostly absorbed. Cover the bowl with a plate and let stand for 15 minutes.
  3. Turn the dough: Scrape around the edges of the bowl to loosen the dough. Lightly flour a work surface and transfer the dough to it. Turn the dough by stretching the dough into a square, then folding in each corner to the center. Fold in half, then transfer back to the bowl and cover the bowl with a plate. Let rest for 15 minutes. Turn two more times, letting the dough rest for 15 minutes after the second turn.
  4.  Transfer the dough back to the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 3 to 5 hours, or until it has risen by 30%.
  5. Shape the loaf: transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Pull up the corners of the dough at 1-inch intervals and press them tightly into the center to make a 6-inch round. Turn the dough over so the seam side is on the counter. Cup the dough with both hands and rotate in a circular motion between your hands until you have a tight round loaf. Dust the top of the loaf generously with flour.
  6. Heavily dust an 8½-inch unlined banneton basket with flour and invert the loaf into it. Cover with a linen couche or plastic wrap and let proof at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes. Alternatively, you can proof the loaf in a colander, lined with a linen couche, dusted with flour.
  7. Place a Dutch oven (5 Quart minimum) with the lid on in the oven. Preheat the oven to 500°F for 1 hour.
  8. Remove the pot from the oven and take off the lid. Invert the loaf and place it in the pot seam side down. Shake to center it. Slash the top of the loaf. Cover and place in the oven.
  9. Reduce the oven temperature to 450°F and bake for 40 minutes. At this point, you can remove the pot from the oven and take off the lid. If you like your loaf darker, return the uncovered pot to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Carefully transfer the loaf to a wire rack and let it cool for at least 2 hours before slicing. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days, in an open plastic bag after the first day, or freeze for up to a month, then defrost at room temperature.

You can also use this same process to make a Whole Grain Sprouted Sourdough Boule.

We hope these videos will give you an extra boost of confidence and the knowledge to begin your own sourdough baking journey. Also view our previous lessons: Lesson 1: Einkorn Sourdough Starter and Lesson 2: Einkorn Sourdough Levain.

Best of luck, and stay tuned for Lesson 4: Einkorn Sandwich Loaf, As always, feel free to call us here at the office or write to us at info@jovialfoods.com with any questions. For more bread recipes, order your copy of Carla’s cookbook: Einkorn: Recipes for Nature’s Original Wheat.

 

26 Responses to How to Make an Einkorn Sourdough Boule

  1. lola says:

    thank you for the step by step video very helpful.

    I would like to make this bread with einkorn whole wheat flour could you possibly break down the grams of flour and water?

    • Laura says:

      I just made this with mostly einkorn whole wheat flour. Here’s my rough idea of what changes seemed to work. I did 4 cups whole wheat and 1/2 cup all purpose einkorn flour. I ended up adding a tiny splash of extra water to make it the right consistency. I let it rise for 5.5 hours, and in the proofing basket for 2 hours. Looks beautiful! Can’t wait to taste it.

    • Kim says:

      Hello, I would like to make mini boules for Christmas gifts and wondered if I could just shape recipe into small loaves and cook that way. Would there need to be any adjustments to the recipe in order to make it successful? I’ve made this boule many times and love it and it has always worked well, so i’m hoping I can share mini loaves with family and friends. Thank you

      • Jovial Customer Service says:

        We have not tested the recipe this way so you would have to experiment. A ‘snug’ Dutch oven does improve the outcome so that may effect the crust, and tight shaping is key.

  2. Elena says:

    Hello! I would like to try this recipe. I don’t have any experience baking bread with einkorn (only spelt). Would you please tell if it is possible to retard this loaf in the fridge?

    • Jovial Customer Service says:

      Allow the first rise to happen at room temperature. You can place it in the fridge for the second rise, then when you take it out, shape it and allow to rise for 90 minutes.

    • Bj Bread Baker says:

      I used the same measurements in book with the freshly milled Einkorn flour. Not rising high yet but amazing flavor and crustiness!
      Do you recommend the Bread Proofing setting on oven? By the way the excess starter mixes up to make the best tasting pancakes he’s ever tasted, according to my husband! What are the Nutritional Values of the French Boule’ I need to figure my Weight Watcher points…

  3. Susan says:

    Excellent video, thank you! Do you think that it’s easier to handle Einkorn dough on a wooden pastry board or on a marble counter? Which works better?

  4. John says:

    If i already have a levain ready and did not weigh it like the recipe you provided, how much total weight of levain would you suggest? I just dont want to start over. Thanks!

      • Joy says:

        1/2 recipe worked great for me! I was afraid to waste the starter and/or levain, so just used 1/2 of the amts listed for the levain, etc.
        It made a tiny (soft ball sized) loaf, but it was perfect! Crusty on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. Just enough for one person for the week.
        Will try a full sized loaf next and freeze 1/2 tightly wrapped after cooling.

  5. Jeanette says:

    If I wanted to make a smaller loaf (using all purpose einkorn flour) would I just cut all the measurements in half? How would that affect the levain, I’m assuming I would need less of that, if so, how much? If I freeze the bread, is it dry after it thaws out?

    • Jovial Customer Service says:

      If you are halving, make sure that you use the kitchen scale for the most accurate results. You should use a smaller Dutch oven also and make sure to adjust the baking time.

  6. Petra Abrams says:

    Has anyone tried doing the rise or proof stage overnight? or in the fridge? I’d like to do most of the prep the night before and then bake first thing in the morning. I’ve made this recipe last week and it turned out great! The bread was not as light and fluffly as some that I’ve tried. But still delicious.

    • Joy says:

      Yes Petra! I just did that and it was fine. It was my first loaf following all of these steps from the very beginning of the ‘starter’. I can’t be home all day , so I did my last proof just before bed. Then did the baking first thing this am. (Was actually a 1/2 loaf so as not to waste if it didn’t work) All was fine! Nice crusty loaf! Yay!

  7. Sherry Liptan says:

    I used a gluten free starter I had established and over a few days fed it Einkorn AP flour. I made my first boule’ yesterday and am very happy with the results. My levain was bubbly and the proofing only took 3 hours. Today I am making your sandwich loaf.

  8. Linda dunphy says:

    Hi trying my first boule. The first rolling over of the dough was more wet than the video and sticking to my hands. Everything else I did as recipe calls. Used scale, etc. what could be problem? My levain was curing for 22 hours. Did it get to watery because of that timing?

    • Jovial Customer Service says:

      the levain should only stand for up to 10 hours before baking or it will lose the strength it needs to raise the bread in the oven. If you know you can’t bake in that time period, you can refrigerate the levain for up to 24 hours. Einkorn is a sticky dough-be sure to weigh the water also, and use a dough scraper to keep one hand dough free.

  9. Rachel says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe and the whole sourdough process. My family and I have been loving this bread! If I want to make this recipe for a larger loaf, do you know the amounts I would need? Or how I’d go about figuring out it out? Thanks!

    • Jovial Customer Service says:

      We have not tried increasing the weights/size of the boule, but you could multiply all the ingredient grams by a percent increase. We would not suggest going too much larger because einkorn has weak gluten and you may not get the rise you will get with the original recipe.

  10. Cecilia Hayes says:

    In your book, it states that if you choose to skip the fold and turn process, to add 2 tbls flour (I’m guessing you accounted for the extra flour on the counter with each fold and turn). Since the dough is so wet (Ciabatta), and I don’t mind that at all, but don’t want to lose precious dough to my fingers and counter top etc; what about folding and turning in the bowl with a dough scraper. I do this with other types of loaves and works great. My questions is, if I choose to fold and turn in the bowl itself and not the counter top, should I increase the total flour by 2 tablespoons to make up for the loss of extra flour on the counter for each turn? Thanks for the assist

    • jovial says:

      If you are comfortable handling a wetter dough, and it moves around well in the bowl, then leave out the 2 tablespoons of flour. It’s often tricky for those not used to working with dough as moist as our einkorn recipes and so, we call for a bit extra to facilitate the handling.

  11. Kate says:

    We made this bread for the first time and ours looked great but was really hard on the outside (crunchy) like almost too hard to cut with a knife. Any ideas what could cause that or is that how it is supposed to turn out? Thanks!!!

    • Jovial Customer Service says:

      This boule does have a very crispy crust! Be sure to take the bread out with the lid on and not return to the oven in the last step. Also, wrap the bread in a cloth when it is still a bit warm to retain moisture around the crust.

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