Sourdough Boule Shaping

What is a boule?

Boule is French for ball and is commonly used to describe a round-shaped bread. A boule is one of many ways to shape dough, it’s a simple shaping style that’s perfect for beginners.

What you need

banneton or an 8-inch bowl all-purpose flour rice flour bench knife tea towel (optional) plastic wrap

Purpose of shaping

Allows dough to rise up instead of spread out  Creates surface tension which results in a crispy crust Redistributes yeast throughout the dough, giving them a fresh amount food for the final proof


At the end of bulk fermentation, turn bread dough out on a well-floured surface. Flip the dough over (divide if needed).


Tuck a bench knife on the bottom of the dough and round it into a taut ball. Let dough rest covered with a tea towel on your bench for 15 minutes


Using your bench knife turn the dough over so the top of the dough is now on the bottom, fold the bottom towards the middle.


Starting on the left side, stretch the dough as far as it will go without tearing and fold it towards the center.


Repeat with the right side of the dough, folding it over the left flap.


Stretch the top and fold it over the dough, use your fingertips to gently push the dough until it completely flips over.


Use the blades of your palm to tuck the bottom of the dough, lightly drag the dough in a circular motion 2 to 3 times.


Using your bench knife, pick up the dough and nestle it into a proofing basket dusted with rice flour with the seam side up, pinch the seam shut

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