Norwich Sourdough Boule baked in Dutch Oven

27/05/2010

Norwich Sourdough Boule

Norwich Sourdough Boule baked in Dutch Oven

Norwich Soudough Boules

Norwich Sourdough Boule

It’s Hamelman’s Bread‘s Vermont Sourdough, a country white bread.  But I did not pay much attention to white bread recipes then until I stumbled upon Susan’s Wild Yeast Blog where the name and the recipe come from.

I did not have any oven set up to bake bread in different shapes other than the forever boule during the first year of my bread baking.   I became quite good, if I said so myself, at using the available baking tools at hand, namely my two baking pots, and also at shaping and slashing round boules.  Also the first year, I was the sole mixing machine & my elbow grease was wholly responsible for all the bread baked during the said period.

Since my discovery of Susan’s Blog about 2 years ago I’ve become its regular readers.  I love to read Susan’s posts, marvel over her beautiful creations, be inspired and to learn much more about bread baking.

I love this no-failed recipe and its tasty outcome. This recipe makes five small-size batards but here I baked in 2 large boules.

Norwich Sourdough Boules

Norwich Sourdough Boules

Follow the recipe’s instruction up until shaping.  Shape into 2 equal boules by weighing the dough or just eye balled it.  Proof in floured linen-lined baskets or couches for a good 1.5 hours at room temperature or until the loaves are light, airy and full of bubbles.

Preheat the oven with two lidded baking cast-iron pots, about 5-6 quart in size, at least 45 minutes before baking.  If your oven is not large enough to fit 2 of such pots so have to bake one loaf at a time, place the unbaked loaf in the fridge while the first loaf is in the oven.  After finishing baking the first loaf as instructed below, do allow time for the oven, the pot and its lid heated for at least 20 minutes before loading & baking the other loaf.

Bake the loaves for 25-30 minutes with the lid on.  Remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes or so in the pot or remove the pot to bake the loaf in the oven until its crust becomes mahogany dark.  Turn off the oven, crack the oven door open, leave the loaf in for another 5 minutes or so to completely dry out the crust.  Cool on rack before slicing into it, if you can wait.

Don’t you love the mahogany blistered crust?  Even if you don’t normally eat white bread, you would want to try this bread, at least once.   Sorry I don’t have any picture of the crumb but here another picture of the grigne:

Norwich Sourdough's "Grigne" & Crust

Norwich Sourdough's "Grigne"; & Crust

I encourage you to bake this bread, and yes, you can bake it in boules and enjoy it with a much thicker crust, if you are a crusty-type bread eater.

I would like to share this recipe at this week’s Yeast Spotting where bread enthusiasts and amateur bread bakers around the globe posting their marvelous recipes and beautiful pictures; please stop by for a baked treat.

I haven’t baked any bread at all the last few weeks but I finally got hold of my starters (white and rye) and brought them with me to the mountains where I am visiting at the moment.  I hope to be able to bake some bread, wish me luck, at 7200 feet.

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7 Responses to “Norwich Sourdough Boule baked in Dutch Oven”


  1. [...] Norwich Sourdough Baked in Dutch Oven [...]

  2. MC Says:

    What gorgeous loaves! I love the photo where the boule is just peeking out of the pot.

  3. Jason Says:

    Hi Minh, I got the Lahey book and some other supplies a month ago and finally baked my first plain, no-knead boule in a dutch oven today. I didn’t taste it yet, but I think it came out okay.

    Are you still using Lahey method for everything? The sourdough looks great. I hope to try that some day, but I need to practice a handful of the Lahey variations before trying to make a starter.


  4. MC: Thanks. It does look lovely peeking its head out above the pot. ;0)

    Jason: Yay, you finally made it to the bread land!

    How did it taste? Crumb and crust? Got any pics? How do you like it, the process, the anticipation & the eating? How do June & Yun like it?
    From here on you would not want to purchase store-bought bread but consume your very own; although it’s not easy to do being surrounded by good bakeries in the Bay Area.

    I would love to have a look at the Lahey book for I am curious what else he writes about.

    I haven’t used the Lahey method in a long while & certainly not for everything. Although you can bake any bread using such method if you don’t care a/b its shape.

    I have a good starter to share, just let me know when you are ready. Once you start feeding it a few times, it’s yours meaning your very own Cupertino wild yeast.

    Happy baking Lahey bread.

  5. Mimi Says:

    Yum! great pictures of delicious looking bread!

  6. Jason Says:

    Thanks for the reply — Technically, it came out great except for a small disc (0.25″ x 3″) in the middle where the flour clumped and didn’t form gluten. But in terms of taste, it’s too bland.

    Anyway, we don’t eat table bread too often, so it will take a few months to work through the variations before I’m ready to try other things. Lahey shows pictures of forming the no knead dough into all different forms, so I’ll try to keep going on that method to eliminate some margin of error on my part.

    Jason

  7. sallybr Says:

    Oh, that is a fantastic looking boule! Your scoring was simply perfect, the bread could be at a window of a French bakery, or on the cover of a bread book, seriously!

    That is indeed one of my favorite recipes, amazing taste…


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