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Pumpkin Sage Sourdough

By November 22, 2023No Comments

a stunning centerpiece for any autumn celebration.

Recipe by Devon Lang, Jackalope Ridge, Boston, VA


Yields– one large boule

Skill level: intermediate


368 grams bread flour

92 grams whole wheat flour

125 grams fresh or canned pumpkin puree

15 grams fresh sage, chopped

250 grams water

80 grams ripe levain/sourdough starter

9 grams salt


Cinnamon stick, for decoration

Butchers twine

Rice flour, for dusting

Dutch oven, for baking

Bench knife

Parchment paper


  1.       Gather and weigh out all ingredients
  2.       Mix flour, water, pumpkin, levain and sage thoroughly
  3.       Let the dough rest, covered, for 30 minutes
  4.       Add salt and mix with hands to evenly distribute, then cover and rest for another 30 minutes
  5.       Stretch and fold* dough 4 times, waiting 30 minutes between each
  6.       After completing 4 stretch and folds, allow dough to rise for 2 hours or until it has grown by at least 30 %
  7.       Lightly flour your work area. Flip dough onto work surface, and gently shape into a taut boule (a round loaf)
  8.       Allow dough to rest, uncovered, on table for 10-15 minutes
  9.       Flip dough so that the bottom side is facing up and complete two letter folds**, then rotate 90 degrees and complete two more
  10. Flip dough over and, using your hands and a bench knife, tighten dough into a taut boule and place into a lined breadbasket bottom side up for a 7-12 hour refrigerated proof.
  11.   The next morning, preheat oven with Dutch oven inside to 475 F for 1-2 hours
  12.   After the oven finishes preheating, cut 4 pieces of butcher’s twine (make sure these are long enough to tie loosely around your proofed loaf)
  1.   Lay a piece of parchment paper down and place down 2 pieces of butcher’s twine in an X formation. Then lay the additional twine on top to make additional segments
  1.   Remove your proofed loaf from the fridge and carefully flip onto the twine
  2.   Tie the twine loosely around the loaf, creating triangular segments all the way around
  3.   Dust loaf with rice flour
  4.   Score each segment of the loaf in whatever design you would like (just make sure you score aggressively so that the steam has room to escape without ruining your shape)
  1.   Carefully remove Dutch oven and use parchment paper as a sling to place loaf inside
  2.   Place the lidded Dutch oven into the oven, reduce temperature to 425 F and bake for 20 minutes
  1. Remove lid and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes or until internal temperature has reached 210 F and desired crust color has been achieved
  1.   Remove from oven and cut twine. Allow loaf to cool. Use a cinnamon stick to make a stem in the center of the bread
  1. Enjoy your fresh bread that will make a beautiful centerpiece for any table!

*Stretch and fold: to stretch and fold the dough, dip your hand in water and take a hold of the underside of the dough at one quadrant, stretching up and over the rest of the dough. Rotating the bowl 90 degrees, repeat this action for the remaining three quadrants (YouTube has some excellent videos of what this looks like).

**Letter fold: grab the bottom of the dough and fold it up to the center of the dough. Then, fold the right side toward the left-hand side, and the left toward the right-hand side. Finally, fold the top of the dough down toward the center (again, YouTube has some excellent videos to guide you through this process). Repeat twice.

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