The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bumper Bake, A Boule 100% WW

texasbakerdad's picture

Bumper Bake, A Boule 100% WW

I kept thinking while perfecting and especially while shaping my 100%WW sandwich loaf recipe, that this dough is so wonderful, I bet it would make a nice boule. So, I doubled up on the recipe yesterday and made a pullman loaf and a boule. I kept the mixing and everything separate, but the ingredients and the process up until the kneading was identical. When it came to kneading, I kneaded by hand for the boule and used the Ankarsum for the bread loaf. This blog post only talks about the boule, see my previous blog post if you want to know how the pullman loaf went.

The Good:

  • The density of the loaf was quite nice. I was very happy with the loaf overall, with the oven spring, with the look.

The Bad:

  • I made an educated guess on bake times based on a previous bake I executed with a romertopf batard. I was too busy at the time to put more thought into it. Anyway, the loaf was darker than I would have liked and the bottom had burned a bit. Usually I used some parchment to help load the shaped boule into the cast iron, but this time I tried just rolling it into place. I think the parchment helps protect the bottom from burning just a bit. Anyway, if I try this again (I think I will today, I will use parchment AND reduce my oven temp). Also, my recipe includes some honey, which probably allows the crust to darken and burn more easily.
  • When I transferred the boule from the banneton to the cast iron, I rolled it into place, but it is such a small target to hit just right and I accidentally missed the mark by 1", which was annoying. I'd really like to stop using so much parchment, but at the same time, you put all that effort into a bake and it really stinks to mess the bake up at the very last step because you aren't deft enough with your hands. I think I am going to go back to my parchment paper crutch. Anyway, my mistake in loaded was barely noticeable in the end loaf... I mean, you would have to look really hard to see the minor mishapeness of the loaf and the pinch on one side of the loaf.
  • Looking at the crumb, there tends to be slightly bigger holes on top than bottom. I think this is a sign that I slightly overproofed the dough. I am going to try less proofing for next bake.

Lesson Learned:

I am loving my aliquot jar, it is really helping me get a feel for things better than before. Since the dough in the aliquot has very little strength, but it has the tall sides of the jar to help it out. I think I am starting to realize that in some ways the aliquot jar dough rises like it has strength, due to the jar, but in other ways it doesn't. I THINK my boule actually rose in volume FASTER than the aliquot jar. I think my boule was probably at 2.25-2.5x the original dough amount when I loaded it into the oven, but the aliquot jar only showed 1.75x. This could be explained by the aliquot dough allowing air to escape via bubbles out the top of the dough, but the boule letting very little air escape due to the surface tension of the loaf.



  • 46g (9ish%) sourdough starter (50:50 hard red)
  • 50g rolled outs
  • 31g (6ish%) honey
  • 10g (2%) non-iodized salt
  • 30g (6%) virgin olive oil
  • 475g (95% if you include rolled oats) well water
  • 450g hard white wheat (sifted to remove bran)


  • 9:46a: In large mixing bowl, add: 475g of boiling water, 50g rolled oats, 30g honey, 10g salt. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • 9:56a: Mix in 30g olive oil
  • 10:00a: Without kneading, mix the 450g of hard white wheat to combine into a shaggy mess. Let autolyze for 10 minutes
  • 10:17a: Smear 60g starter over the top of the dough mess. By handle fold over a few time until starter is incorporated and some strength develops. About 10 to 15 stretch and folds. Siphon off 20g into aliquot.
  • 11:10a, 12:00p, 1:18p, 2:01p, 3:02p, 3:50p: Stretch and fold about 3 or 4 times.
  • Keep stretch and folding until aliquot shows 1.3x over original volume.
  • 4:33p: Preshape, let rest for 15 minutes
  • Prep banneton, sprinkle with finely ground WW flour (I used the flour from the dust filter on the nutrimill, this worked great, very fine stuff and the dough didn't stick to the banneton at all, this is in contrast to problems I had with normal nutrimill finely ground WW)
  • 4:48p: Shaped boule and loaded into banneton. Put banneton inside plastic tub and covered to keep it from drying out during proofing.
  • 6:30p: Preheat oven to 450dF and put cast iron into oven to warm up.
  • 7:52p: Rolled dough from banneton onto cast iron and then covered and loaded into oven, baked at 450dF for 45min covered, and 4 min uncovered (I was going to bake for 10 minutes uncovered, but the loaf was getting really dark, it was already dark before pulling the cover off).
  • 8:41p: Pull out of oven and put on rack to cool for 2.5 hours.
  • 10:11p: Slice and enjoy

This is the aliquot right before I loaded the loaf into the oven.


This is the aliquot at the end of bulk and right before shaping.