Crusty French Boules Recipe

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Crusty French Boules
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  • 5.63 oz all-purpose flour, divided (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100o to 110o)
  • cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup warm water (100o to 110o)
  • 9 oz all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
  • 4 oz bread flour (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornmeal


  1. To prepare the pâte fermentée, weigh or lightly spoon 4.5 ounces (about 1 cup) all-purpose flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon yeast, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1/2 cup warm water, and beat at low speed until mixture is thoroughly combined. Add enough of the remaining 4 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough just begins to pull away from sides of bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes. Place dough in a small bowl coated with cooking spray. Place a piece of plastic wrap coated with cooking spray directly on dough. Refrigerate 48 hours or up to 3 days.
  2. Remove pâte fermentée from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  3. To prepare the dough, place 3/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon yeast. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes or until bubbles form. Add pâte fermentée to yeast mixture; let stand 10 minutes. Weigh or lightly spoon 9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups) and 4 ounces bread flour (about 2/3 cup) into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flours and 1 teaspoon salt to bowl; beat at low speed until flour is incorporated. Increase mixer to medium speed, and beat for 6 minutes. (Dough should form a ball.)
  4. Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; lightly coat dough with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm, dry place, free from drafts, for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down, and divide into 2 equal portions. Knead each portion for 1 minute. Shape each dough portion into a 5-inch round by pulling the sides down, pinching and tucking them under the bottom center of dough, forming a smooth, taut surface on the top. Place dough rounds on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Lightly coat surface of dough with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 1 hour and 15 minutes or until doubled in size.
  5. Place a small ovenproof saucepan with 3 inches of water directly on the floor of oven. Preheat oven to 450°.
  6. Uncover dough. Spray dough lightly with water. Make 4 (4-inch) cuts 1/4 inch deep in dough to form a grid across top of each loaf using a sharp knife. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes. Remove water pan from oven. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when bottom is tapped. Cool on a wire rack. Cut each boule, crosswise, into 12 slices.
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Nutrition Facts

Per ServingPer 100 g
Amount Per 1 Serving
Calories 1857.24 Kcal (7776 kJ)
Calories from fat 60.15 Kcal
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6.68g 10%
Sodium 3509.84mg 146%
Potassium 606.4mg 13%
Total Carbs 384.09g 128%
Sugars 0.08g 0%
Dietary Fiber 16.18g 65%
Protein 54.65g 109%
Iron 8.1mg 45%
Calcium 108.7mg 11%
Amount Per 100 g
Calories 227.35 Kcal (952 kJ)
Calories from fat 7.36 Kcal
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.82g 10%
Sodium 429.64mg 146%
Potassium 74.23mg 13%
Total Carbs 47.02g 128%
Sugars 0.01g 0%
Dietary Fiber 1.98g 65%
Protein 6.69g 109%
Iron 1mg 45%
Calcium 13.3mg 11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Find out how many calories should you eat.


  • salty
  • savory
  • bitter
  • sweet
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Recipe Tags

Weightwatchers Points

  • 36.9
  • 47

Good Points

  • low fat,
  • saturated fat free,
  • cholesterol free,
  • sugar free

Bad Points

  • High in Sodium

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