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Winter Squash Sourdough Boules #BreadBakers


BreadBakers#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the Bread Bakers home page

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at

This month’s event is hosted by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm. She asked us to celebrate the harvest with breads this month. Here's the #BreadBakers' harvest bread basket...

Winter Squash

Though Autumn and Winter produce isn't as bountiful or colorful as Spring and Summer fruits and veggies, I love when pumpkin season rolls around; when I write 'pumpkin' I am using that term loosely. Very loosely. I just mean any winter squash. 

You slice them in half, scoop out the seeds, and create a puree as I did with my Roasted Red Kuri Squash. This bread recipe used 2 Tablespoons of puree to give the boule a warm orange color which I also enhance with a bit of ground turmeric.

Ingredients makes 4 mini boules
  • 200 grams sourdough starter
  • 2 Tablespoons winter squash puree
  • 600 grams warm water + 50 grams warm water
  • 900 grams all-purpose flour + more as needed
  • 130 grams rye flour
  • 20 grams salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • rice flour for sprinkling in Dutch oven
  • Also needed: banneton proofing baskets or bowls lined with floured tea towels, Dutch ovens, 100% cotton twine for tying and getting the 'pumpkin' shape', cinnamon sticks for 'stem'


Place 200 grams of starter and 2 Tablespoons squash puree in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Pour in 600 grams warm water. Add in the flours and ground turmeric. Use your hands to blend everything together so that all of the flour is moistened. Let stand for 30 minutes.

Pour in another 50 grams warm water, sprinkle in the 20 grams of salt, and gently knead the dough until the water is completely absorbed.

Now start the folds: rotating 90 degrees four times every thirty minutes for 4 hours.

Run your hand under warm water, grab one side of the dough and pull from underneath, folding it over the top of the ball. Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Rotate. Repeat. And a fourth time so that the bowl has completed a full circle.

By the end of the 4 hours, the dough should be billowy and increased in volume. Note: if the weather is getting colder, it make take longer than 4 hours. Just be patient.

Lightly flour a workspace and use a dough scraper to divide the dough ball into quarters. Transfer the dough balls to the work surface. Lightly flour the banneton or towel-lined bowl.

Now repeat the folds, but with dry hands to shape the boules while creating tension in the top. Keep the floured side of the ball down and fold from top to bottom four times while rotating the dough. This keeps the sticky side inside. 

Flip the ball over and work the dough into a tight round. Let stand for 15 minutes. Repeat three times.

After the third shaping, place the dough ball, rounded side up, in the floured banneton.

Place boules in the fridge for 24 to 72 hours to proof.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the empty Dutch ovens (bottoms only) into the oven. When the oven reaches temperature - an in-oven thermometer is very, very helpful - let the oven stay at 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes. In the meantime, tie your boules to look like winter squash.

Remove the Dutch ovens and reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly flour the inside of the ovens with a sprinkling of rice flour. Gently pull the dough away from the sides of the banneton and invert into the Dutch oven.

Place the lid on the Dutch oven and return the pots carefully to the hot oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

After 35 minutes, carefully remove the lid and return the pots to the oven again. Bake for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, depending on how browned you like your crust.

The loaves should be firm and crunchy on the top, golden brown, and feel hollow when the bottom is tapped. Move the loaves to a wire rack and let cool for at least an hour before slicing! Enjoy.

That's a wrap on my November #BreadBakers' offering. We'll be back next month with more breads to inspire you. Stay tuned.


  1. Those have got to be some of the cutest loaves I've ever seen! Love, love, love that you shaped them like little pumpkins!

  2. Very cute little loaves! Love that they look like little pumpkins.

  3. I love how these turn out, even with the extra work, so cute! Lol, sometimes a challenge to pull that string out of the deeper cracks!

  4. They look so good, I have made a pumpkin sourdough last year, need to make it again. I love your recipe and the way you have shaped it


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