It’s late summer here in Denmark and the greengrocers and farmer’s markets are overflowing with ripe produce. There are berries of all kinds: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, black and red currants, blackberries, and even more exotic ones like gooseberries and lingonberries. One of my absolute favorites is blueberries. This is my recipe for blueberry lemon sourdough bread.
This bread is inspired by one of my favorite breakfasts of all time. Small American fluffy blueberry pancakes. Well, it’s not a fluffy bread, but it does contain blueberries.
This bread requires you to have an active sourdough starter. If you don’t have one, you can make one easily, just follow my guide and recipe.
If you are new to sourdough bread baking, there are quite a few techniques and lingo that you need to know and understand. If you haven’t baked one before, read my article about sourdough bread for beginners.
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Blueberries are common in both Europe, North America, and Asia, but the common commercially available kind has its roots in North America. This berry has a blue exterior and white flesh.
There’s a version of the berry (which is known as bilberry) that is native to Europe. This berry has darker blue-colored skin, and the flesh is deep red. We can sometimes get them at more specialized markets, but they are not so easy to come by.
Both are really good, but I would say that the European version has a darker, more intense taste, akin to black currant.
Even though I bought some bilberries at my local market, I found that they are very brittle skin. I am sure that they would have popped while stretching and folding the dough. So this bread should be made with the North American variety.
The formula in this blueberry lemon sourdough bread recipe
The formula in this blueberry lemon sourdough bread is white bread with no whole grains. I chose this to get a softer and whiter crumb. The inspiration for this bread came from American blueberry pancakes, which are a favorite of mine.
The levain is made from your 100% hydration sourdough starter, bread flour, and water in a 1:2:2 proportion. This means if that it should double in 3-4 hours. If you want to get going faster you can change this to 1:1:1 so use the same amount of starter as flour and water. You should add the same amount of levain to the dough though.
|36g||starter (100% hydration)||50.0%|
The bread itself is 70% hydration and should be manageable by most bakers. The lack of whole-grain does make it a bit more slack. If you are worried about it being difficult for you, you can change the hydration to 65%.
As always, if you want to play around with the formula, change the hydration or rescale it, you can find the formula here in my bread calculator.
Conclusion on this blueberry lemon sourdough bread recipe
Since the bread has no whole grain it is white bread with a soft crumb. As soft as a classic sourdough bread gets.
The crust is deeply caramelized and super crunchy. Whatever blueberries stuck out of the dough, popped in the heat, and gives the bread a gorgeous look.
The taste of sweet blueberries in the bread is great, and the lemon zest is fragrant and citrusy and stands up against the sweet blueberries.
It’s a bread that goes well with some wonderful butter, or maybe with anything where you’d put a jam on. So maybe a good piece of cheese.
I really enjoyed it and it is not the last time that bread enters my oven.
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This is my recipe for blueberry lemon sourdough bread. I hope you will try to make it. If you make this recipe and post it to Instagram, please tag me as @foodgeek.dk so I can see it. That will make me very happy.
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Blueberry Lemon Sourdough Bread
- 723 g bread flour protein content 12-13%
- 479 g water divided
- 180 g levain
- 18 g sea salt
- 250 g blueberries
- 3 lemon zest from one lemon (that's 3 lemons in all)
Make levain – Morning
- Mix 50g sourdough starter (100% hydration), 100g bread flour, 100g water in a jar with straight side.
- Mix well and place an elastic band around the jar at the top of the mixture so you can monitor the growth. Put it somewhere warm until it has doubled.
Autolyse the flour – Morning
- Add 723g of bread flour to a bowl. Pour 429g water on top (we are reserving 50g of the water to mix the salt in later).
- Put two fingers in the middle of the bowl and start moving it in circles.
- For each revolution, pick up a bit more dough until the dough starts coming together.
- Then start folding the dough over until all of the flour has been hydrated, and you are left with a shaggy mess.
- Put a damp dishtowel over the top and let the mixture sit until we need to mix the dough
Mix the dough – Around noon
- Proceed with this step once the levain has doubled (or even tripled)
- Grab the bowl with the autolysed flour.
- Pour 180g levain on top, sprinkle 18g sea salt on top and add the reserved 50g water.
- Dimple the levain into the dough and start folding it in over itself. You can also grab the dough and squeeze the levain through.
- Keep going until the dough is very well combined.
- Let the dough rest for 30 minutes under a damp dishtowel.
Bulk fermentation – Around 13:00/1 p.m.
- Zest 3 lemons and chop the zest finely.
- Perform three sets of stretch and folds spaced out by 30 minutes.
- During the first set of stretch and fold, add the blueberries and lemon zest during each stretch and fold.
- After you've finished the third set of stretch and folds, do a windowpane test to check that the gluten has been adequately developed if it hasn't, add one more set of stretch and folds.
- After the windowpane test passes, leave the dough to rest until it's grown by 30-50%.
Divide and preshape – Around 17:00/5 p.m.
- Put the dough onto your unfloured kitchen counter and divide it into two equally sized pieces of dough.
- Using your bench scraper, grab one piece and stretch each side (north, south, east, and west) out and over the dough.
- Flip the dough over and put the bench scraper behind it In one swift motion.
- Pull the dough forward so that the top gets pulled down in front of the dough. If any blueberries pop out, pick them up and push them up underneath the dough.
- Once you can't get any further, put the bench scraper in front of the dough and push it away from you, and turn it around so that the bench scraper is behind the dough again.
- Keep going until you have a pretty taut surface.
- Continue with the other dough piece and let them both rest for 15 minutes under a damp dishcloth.
- Prepare two oval bannetons by spritzing them lightly with water and flouring them with rice flour.
- Once the 15 minutes are up, sprinkle the top of the dough pieces with flour.
- Grab one dough ball and flip it over. Stretch the dough into a rectangle and fold the top corners towards the middle.
- Roll the dough towards yourself and press down lightly with your thumbs to seal the dough. Keep going until the loaf is oval.
- Flip the loaf into a banneton. I will often stitch the back of the loaf when it's in the banneton; that gives a bit more tension on the top of the bread.
- Continue with the other bread, put both loaves in plastic bags, and put them in the fridge overnight.
Bake the bread – Next morning
- Add a baking steel and a dutch oven or a combo cooker to your oven.
- Preheat the oven to 260°C/500°F/Gas mark 9 (or 10 if you have it).
- Let the oven heat for an hour.
- Grab a banneton from the fridge and flip the dough onto a peel with parchment paper.
- Score the bread, put it immediately into the dutch oven, and close it.
- Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on the dutch oven.
- After 20 minutes, remove the lid and turn the oven down to 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8.
- Bake for another 20-25 minutes until the bread is deeply caramelized and crunchy on the top.
- Take the bread out of the oven, turn it to 260°C/500°F/Gas mark 9 (or 10 if you have it), and bake the other bread.
I love food, cakes, snacks, bread and everything in between. I do lots of experiments to find the best possible recipes, so that you don’t have to.