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Lemon Blueberry Sourdough

Blueberry lemon sourdough bread is like the best kind of friend - warm, comforting, and full of pleasant surprises. It's got the hearty tang of traditional sourdough, but with an unexpected twist. Imagine biting into your favorite sourdough, only to be greeted by the sweet-tart burst of blueberries and a playful hint of lemon. It's like finding a bonus track on your favorite album!

The final product is nothing short of a masterpiece. A golden loaf that's a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds, studded with juicy blueberries, and carrying a hint of lemon. It's like sunshine on a plate! It's perfect for a breakfast treat, a pick-me-up afternoon snack with coffee, or even a late-night indulgence.

This blueberry lemon sourdough recipe is dedicated to indulgence!

Sliced blueberry sourdough bread.
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Notes From The Crave Kitchen

Now, let's get real for a second: this recipe is a bit like choosing to cycle up a hill - it can be a little challenging, but the view (or in this case, the taste) at the top is absolutely worth it.

When you add sugar into the sourdough mix, it's a bit like introducing a raccoon into your perfectly organized pantry. The dough, much like the raccoon, gets all excited and starts behaving unpredictably.

And then, just as you think you've got a handle on the dough, in tumble the blueberries, adding their own brand of delightful chaos. They're round, and delicate, and you've gotta be some what gentle with them, even though they want to burst through your dough like the Kool-Aid Man through a brick wall.

But hey, adventure is the spice of life, right? And if you're the kind of person who loves a good challenge, who relishes the chance to roll up their sleeves and dive in, this recipe is 100% your jam.

Honestly though, it's not that hard - dealing with the sticky dough and excess moisture make for a small challenge, when in doubt, toss more flour at it - especially when you're working it on the counter. It may want to pull apart on you, in that case, a bit of flour and a little kneading go a long way. Trust the process, the dough will come together.

Close up of texture of the crust.

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Key Ingredients

Sourdough Starter: For this recipe, you want to use a fed and ACTIVE SOURDOUGH STARTER. This recipe is based on a sourdough starter with 100% hydration (equal amounts of flour and water by weight, not volume.)

Lemon: Shoot for organic if possible because we are using the peel, if not, scrub the peels well with hot soapy water.

Salt: I used grey sea salt, but any quality salt will work. The salt in this sourdough recipe is responsible for adding taste and enhancing the aromas and flavor present in the dough itself. Salt also helps to tighten the gluten structure and strengthen the dough - making it easier to create and hold air bubbles.

Labeled ingredients photo for lemon blueberry sourdough bread recipe.

How To Make Lemon Blueberry Sourdough

Make The Dough:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 375g warm water with 100g of active starter until mostly combined. I like to use a Danish dough whisk, but anything will work.
  2. Add 500g bread flour and 14g salt to the bowl and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Knead the dough with your hands until all the shaggy bits are incorporated.
  3. Cover the bowl and set aside for 45 - 60 minutes.

Stretch + Fold:

  1. Uncover the bowl and using damp hands, grab the dough and gently pull it until the flap is long enough to fold over itself, then fold the flap, rotate the bowl 90 degrees, and repeat around 8 times. This is a higher hydration sourdough so it needs the extra manipulation. This is considered one set of stretch and folds. Recover the bowl, and set it aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, zest a large lemon and toss the zest with 30g (2 tablespoons) granulated sugar and set aside until the next stretch and fold.
  3. Uncover the bowl and dimple the dough by poking it with damp fingers - like when you're making focaccia. Sprinkle half of the sugar coated lemon zest across the surface of the dough before doing a complete set of stretch and folds the dough. Cover and set aside for 45 minutes.
  4. Repeat once more for a third set of stretch and folds, using the remainder of the lemon zest, then recover and set aside for 60 minutes.

Laminate:

  1. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, I like to use my large wooden cutting board. If the dough is pulling apart from the lemon zest inclusions, give the counter and the dough a generous dusting of flour and knead the dough for a few minutes until it comes together.
  2. Press the dough outwards with your fingers and then carefully stretch the dough out into a large rectangle. I find it helps to gently grasp a side of the dough and flap while I pull on it a little bit, then move over a bit before repeating. If the dough begins to tear or resists stretching, allow it a short 5-10 minute rest before continuing.
  3. Distribute 175g blueberries and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly across the surface pf the dough, reserving about 1/4 each.
  4. Fold up the bottom of the rectangle about 1/3 of the way up, like you'd fold a letter. Sprinkle the remaining add ins on the pieces you fold up. Fold the top of the dough over the bottom. Roll the dough up in log. Return to the bowl and cover.

Bulk Ferment:

  1. Set aside for 2 hours to bulk ferment. I like to use a reusable shower cap for covering my bowls, the patterns are fun, funky, and bright, but they also work amazingly well, are lined with plastic to help keep the moisture in the dough, and are reusable for ages. It is important to keep the dough bowl somewhere warm to encourage the microbes to work quickly!

Shape:

  1. Uncover the dough and transfer to a work surface or countertop. Gently press and spread the dough into a large rectangle. We want to work gently with the blueberries, to avoid bursting them open.
  2. Fold up the bottom third of the dough as though you were folding a letter, and then fold the top down.Rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll up into a large log.
  3. Dust the dough with rice flour then tuck seam side up into a BANNETON.

Don't have a banneton basket? I have a guide on BANNETONS AND BANNETON ALTERNATIVES!

Prove + Cold Retard:

  1. Prove the blueberry lemon sourdough loaf in the banneton for 2 hours in a warm place before covering and placing in fridge to cold retard for up to 3 days. If you want to bake it right after proving, you're welcome to, but the flavor is better after resting in the fridge.

Bake:

  1. Place your dutch oven, cloche, or desired baking dish in the oven and preheat to 450f. If you don't have a dutch oven, I do have a guide on SOURDOUGH BREAD BAKING WITHOUT A DUTCH OVEN.
  2. Once the oven is preheated, invert the banneton onto a sheet of parchment paper.
  3. Use a lame, sharp knife, or clean razor blade to score the dough, I usually like to make one deep curved slash, but you can get as fancy as you like!
  4. Carefully remove the DUTCH OVEN from the oven, and using the parchment paper as a sling, transfer the sourdough loaf from the counter into the dutch oven.
  5. Bake the dough at 450f covered for 30 minutes and uncovered at 450f for 10-15 minutes, or until the loaf is cooked through and the crust is nicely browned. You can test the doneness of the loaf with an instant-read thermometer. Bread is cooked once it reaches 205 - 210 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature.

Cool:

  1. Remove baked bread from the dutch oven and transfer it to a wire mesh cooling rack to cool completely before slicing. I like to leave it for at least 2 hours before slicing, as slicing too soon can affect the crumb and texture of your loaf.

Try These Flavored Sourdough Bread Recipes:

Tips + Tricks

No. 1 --> I developed this recipe to have a subtle lemon flavor, I find it to be more versatile that way. If you're looking to have more lemony zing in your loaf, feel free to add the zest of a second lemon. OR. If you're really adventurous, substitute 50g water for 50g fresh lemon juice!

No. 2 --> This dough can be a bit of a bear to work with after adding the sugar coated lemon zest. If your dough is not cohesive after the 3rd stretch and fold, knead it with a little bit of flour till it comes together before stretching to incorporate the blueberries.

No. 3 --> Use a gentle hand when laminating and shaping - keeping the blueberries whole makes a huge difference in the end - you'll end up with pockets of blueberries nestled in pure white crumb instead of mashed blueberries in tie dye dough!

No. 4 --> This recipe works best with fresh blueberries, but if you only have access to frozen ones, dust them in a bit of flour before adding to the dough during the lamination process, this helps to contain some of the juice!

Baked lemon zest blueberry sourdough on a white plate.

Batch + Storage

Batch:

This lemon blueberry sourdough recipe makes one large boule or batard. This is enough for my family of 4 to snack on for at least 2 days! It can be doubled to make 2 loaves, or tripled, if desired.

Storage:

If you've got leftover sourdough, you've got serious willpower! There are a couple of ways to STORE SOURDOUGH BREAD to help prolong its quality after cutting.

Your loaf can be kept cut side down on a cutting board for up to 12 hours before the crust becomes too crisp. This is our go-to. I recommend transferring it to a bread bag after 16-18 hours though.

Your SOURDOUGH LOAF can also be frozen. To FREEZE SOURDOUGH, cool the loaf to room temperature, then tightly wrap it in plastic wrap, slide it into a bread bag, seal it up, and stick it in the freezer for 1-2 months. To use after freezing, remove the loaf from the freezer, unwrap, and allow it to come to room temperature (1 -2 hours) before slicing and enjoying.

Sliced blueberry lemon sourdough on a platter.

More Yummy Sourdough Recipes To Try

Cast iron dutch oven: Much of the success of this bread depends on having a heavy-ass cast iron dutch oven, as it traps in steam and boosts the oven spring of your sourdough.

The blue one in these photos is a LARGE OVAL DUTCH OVEN that I find perfect for baking batards. As an added bonus, due to the shape, I can fit this dutch oven and a round one in the oven to bake double the volume! If you don't have a dutch oven, I have a guide on HOW TO COOK SOURDOUGH WITHOUT A DUTCH OVEN.

Scale: It's really hard to make sourdough without a scale. Sorry, but them's the facts! bread baking and bread dough are a bit of a science. A GOOD KITCHEN SCALE will treat you well over a huge range of recipes, not just sourdough. Think of  HOMEMADE BACON!

📖 Printable Recipe

Sliced blueberry sourdough bread.
Yield: 1 loaf

Lemon Blueberry Sourdough Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Fermentation Time: 18 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 19 hours

A sourdough loaf that's bursting at the seams with plump, fresh blueberries and freckled with sugared lemon zest. It's like biting into a slice of sunshine, a perfect harmony of sweet, tart, and tangy - a true testament to the magic we can create in our own kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 375g water
  • 100g active sourdough starter
  • 500g bread flour
  • 14g sea salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 30g granulated sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • 175g fresh blueberries
  • 25g brown sugar (2 tablespoons packed)

Instructions

make the dough:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 375g warm water with 100g of active starter until mostly combined. I like to use a Danish dough whisk, but anything will work.
  2. Add 500g bread flour and 14g salt to the bowl and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Knead the dough with your hands until all the shaggy bits are incorporated.
  3. Cover the bowl and set aside for 45 - 60 minutes.

stretch + fold:

  1. Uncover the bowl and using damp hands, grab the dough and gently pull it until the flap is long enough to fold over itself, then fold the flap, rotate the bowl 90 degrees, and repeat around 8 times. This is a higher hydration sourdough so it needs the extra manipulation. This is considered one set of stretch and folds. Recover the bowl, and set it aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, zest a large lemon and toss the zest with 30g (2 tablespoons) granulated sugar and set aside until the next stretch and fold.
  3. Uncover the bowl and dimple the dough by poking it with damp fingers - like when you're making FOCACCIA. Sprinkle half of the sugar coated lemon zest across the surface of the dough before doing a complete set of stretch and folds the dough. Cover and set aside for 45 minutes.
  4. Repeat once more for a third set of stretch and folds, then recover and set aside for 60 minutes.

laminate:

  1. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, I like to use my large wooden cutting board. If the dough is pulling apart from the lemon zest inclusions, give the counter and the dough a generous dusting of flour and knead the dough for a few minutes until it comes together.
  2. Press the dough outwards with your fingers and then carefully stretch the dough out into a large rectangle. I find it helps to gently grasp a side of the dough and flap while I pull on it a little bit, then move over a bit before repeating. If the dough begins to tear or resists stretching, allow it a short 5-10 minute rest before continuing.
  3. Distribute 175g blueberries and sprinkle the 25g (2 tablespoons, packed) brown sugar evenly across the surface pf the dough, reserving about 1/4 each.
  4. Fold up the bottom of the rectangle about 1/3 of the way up, like you'd fold a letter. Sprinkle the remaining add ins on the pieces you fold up. Fold the top of the dough over the bottom. Roll the dough up in log. Return to the bowl and cover.

bulk ferment:

  1. Set aside for 2 hours to bulk ferment. I like to use a reusable shower cap for covering my bowls, the patterns are fun, funky, and bright, but they also work amazingly well, are lined with plastic to help keep the moisture in the dough, and are reusable for ages. It is important to keep the dough bowl somewhere warm to encourage the microbes to work quickly!

shape:

  1. Uncover the dough and transfer to a work surface or countertop. Gently press and spread the dough into a large rectangle. We want to work gently with the blueberries, to avoid bursting them open.
  2. Fold up the bottom third of the dough as though you were folding a letter, and then fold the top down.Rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll up into a large log.
  3. Pick up the dough with a dough scraper and flip it over, gently press the dough flat then roll it again. Pinch the ends if you're making a batard or tuck them in if your making a boule.
  4. Dust the dough with rice flour then tuck seam side up into a BANNETON.

prove + cold retard:

  1. Prove the blueberry lemon sourdough loaf in the banneton for 2 hours in a warm place before covering and placing in fridge to cold retard for up to 3 days. If you want to bake it right after proving, you're welcome to, but the flavor is better after resting in the fridge.

bake:

  1. Place your dutch oven, cloche, or desired baking dish in the oven and preheat to 450f. If you don't have a dutch oven, I do have a guide on SOURDOUGH BREAD BAKING WITHOUT A DUTCH OVEN.
  2. Once the oven is preheated, invert the banneton onto a sheet of parchment paper.
  3. Use a lame, sharp knife, or clean razor blade to score the dough, I usually like to make one deep curved slash, but you can get as fancy as you like!
  4. Carefully remove the DUTCH OVEN from the oven, and using the parchment paper as a sling, transfer the sourdough loaf from the counter into the dutch oven.
  5. Bake the dough at 450f covered for 30 minutes and uncovered at 450f for 10-15 minutes, or until the loaf is cooked through and the crust is nicely browned. You can test the doneness of the loaf with an instant-read thermometer. Bread is cooked once it reaches 205 - 210 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature.

cool:

  1. Remove baked bread from the dutch oven and transfer it to a wire mesh cooling rack to cool completely before slicing. I like to leave it for at least 2 hours before slicing, as slicing too soon can affect the crumb and texture of your loaf.

Notes

Flavor Notes: I developed this recipe to have a subtle lemon flavor, I find it to be more versatile that way. If you're looking to have more lemony zing in your loaf, feel free to add the zest of a second lemon. OR. If you're really adventurous, substitute 50g water for 50g fresh lemon juice!

Batch:

This lemon blueberry sourdough recipe makes one large boule or batard. This is enough for my family of 4 to snack on for at least 2 days! It can be doubled to make 2 loaves, or tripled, if desired.

Storage:

Your loaf can be kept cut side down on a cutting board for up to 12 hours before the crust becomes too crisp. This is our go-to. I recommend transferring it to a bread bag after 16-18 hours though.

Your SOURDOUGH LOAF can also be frozen. To FREEZE SOURDOUGH, cool the loaf to room temperature, then tightly wrap it in plastic wrap, slide it into a bread bag, seal it up, and stick it in the freezer for 1-2 months. To use after freezing, remove the loaf from the freezer, unwrap, and allow it to come to room temperature (1 -2 hours) before slicing and enjoying.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 683mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 9g

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