Blueberry Lemon Sourdough Bread

An easy recipe for blueberry lemon sourdough bread, a perfect blend of sweet and tart. You’ll love this loaf at breakfast or anytime.

sliced loaf of sourdough bread with blueberries added

Blueberry Lemon Sourdough Bread

Tart blueberries and lemon zest are the perfect match for tangy sourdough bread. Perfect for French toast or simply toasted with butter.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
rising time 20 hours
Total Time 22 hours
Serving Size 12 slices

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups bread flour 450 grams/ 15.85 ounces
  • 1⅓ cups lukewarm water 300 grams/ 10.6 ounces
  • ¾ cup sourdough starter bubbly and well fed
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cup blueberries fresh is easiest (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Instructions 

  • Mix and autolyze. Combine the flour, water, sugar, and starter in a large bowl and stir.  Use your hands to incorporate any dry bits.  Cover with a clean, damp tea towel and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
    bowl of sourdough bread dough
  • Add salt and fruits. After the rest period, add the salt, blueberries, and lemon zest and knead for a minute or two until everything is thoroughly mixed in.
  • First rise. Cover with damp towel and allow to rise in a warm place for three hours, reshaping the dough into a ball once per hour.
    stretching and folding bread dough
  • Second rise. Heavily dust a banneton with rice flour.  When it is time to shape the dough the third time, place the loaf into the banneton and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to proof overnight in the fridge.
  • Prep for baking. In morning, preheat oven to 450 with rack in the center with the Dutch Oven inside. Remove dough from fridge and turn it out onto a sheet or parchment paper, trying to have it land in the center.  Slash the top with a lame or very sharp knife.  Carefully remove the hot Dutch Oven and place the parchment and bread inside. Place the lid back on.
    dough being slashed before baking.
  • Bake. Bake for a total of 55 minutes: 25 minutes covered, 25 minutes uncovered, and then remove from the Dutch Oven and bake directly on the rack for 5 minutes to brown the crust.  Bread should be 200-210 internally when it is done. Remove from Dutch Oven and remove parchment paper.  Allow to cool on a wire rack 3 to 4 hours before slicing.  Will keep at room temperature, tightly wrapped, for a few days

Notes

Some readers have reported frozen berries causing their dough to become wet and streaked with blue.  The finished loaf still turns out well, but using fresh berries helps to avoid this problem.
The shelf life of this bread is shortened due to the moisture in the fresh blueberries. To avoid any risk of molding, store at room temperate for one day and freeze after that.  Try slicing the whole loaf so you can toast individual pieces from the freezer.
To freeze, allow to cool completely, wrap well, and freeze up to 1 month.
Be sure to try blueberry muffins made with sourdough discard.
Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
loaf of sourdough bread with blueberries and lemon on cutting board

Ingredients

  • 3 cups bread flour 450 grams/ 15.85 ounces
  • 1 1/3 cups lukewarm water 300 grams/ 10.6 ounces
  • ¾ cup sourdough starter bubbly, and well fed
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cup blueberries, fresh is easiest work with
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Step by step sourdough

Making the dough

process of forming sourdough dough and adding blueberries and lemon

There’s no need to be intimated by this recipe (or any other!). It is relatively low-hydration, which makes it easy to work with.

Ready to get started?

Begin by mixing the flour, water, and sourdough starter into a large bowl. Just use a wooden spoon or your hands. This step is called autolyse and helps to hydrate the flour. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and let it rest for about thirty minutes on the counter.

Next, we are going to add the remaining ingredients: the salt, lemon zest, and blueberries. As we add them it, we will knead the dough, just a bit, to make sure everything is incorporated. You might find it easiest to add everything a bit at at a time. When you’re done, stretch the dough out a little and make sure there are no pockets of salt or lemon zest.

(Some of the blueberries might try to escape. That’s okay! They’ll get incorporated at the next step. Just do your best.)

Now return the dough to a lightly oiled bowl (you can just quickly wash out the one you’re using), and cover with a damp tea towel or greased plastic wrap. Put it in a warm place (about 80 degrees) to start the next stage: bulk fermentation.

Bulk fermentation with stretch and fold

collage of four images showing dough being restretched into ball

Sounds a bit scary, but it couldn’t be easier! Basically the dough is going to rise for three hours. But it’s not just going to sit there. We are going to reshape it every hour back into a little ball. This helps give the dough some nice structure so we have a beautifully shaped loaf at the end, not a pancake.

When you remove the tea towel after one hour, your dough will be a blob. And you will just pull it back up into a ball and put back in it’s warm cozy place to keep rising.

When you come back an hour later, it will be a blob again. But with each shaping it will firm up a little bit.

When the three hours have ended, shape the dough one last time and plop it into a banneton that’s been dusted with rice flour to prevent sticking.

We are onto the next phase: the final proof.

Final proof and bake

my Dutch oven is this lightweight clay baker from Emile Henry

The second proof will be 8 to 12 hours, so overnight is best. Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out in the fridge, and pop it in.

In the morning, preheat the oven with the empty Dutch oven inside.

(If you don’t like preheating the Dutch oven, you don’t have to! It just makes for better oven spring.)

Flip the proofing basket upside down onto a piece of parchment paper so your blueberry lemon sourdough loaf is right side up. Slash it deeply.

Once the oven has come up to temperature, carefully remove the Dutch oven and carefully place the parchment and the dough inside. (Use oven mitts!)

Place the lid back on and return the whole bundle to the oven to bake. Keeping the lid on helps create steam which will make the bread rise higher as it bakes. Remove after twenty minutes or so, when you are happy with the bread’s shape.

Let it bake about 20-25 more minutes with the lid off, until the crust is browned.

Cooling

loaf of blueberry lemon sourdough on cooling rack

This is an important part! I know tearing into a piece of warm blueberry lemon sourdough bread fresh the oven sounds like a great thing, but it’s not!

It is key to let your bread cool for at least 2-3 hours before you slice it. If you cut into it before that, you’ll have a gummy texture.

My favorite way to eat it is toasted with butter. It’s delicious as a breakfast just like that!

Blueberry Lemon Sourdough Bread

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Recipe Rating




38 Comments

  1. 1 star
    This recipe does not work. The dough is too wet and it does not turn out of the banneton. A day wasted on a bread that didn’t turn out for a party.

  2. 3 stars
    I don’t understand why all the ingredients are in grams except the starter. I converted on Google the cup to g conversion but it would be helpful if you changed the recipe to include the gram for the starter. The conversion is more then I typically do for bread, and didn’t rise or taste as expected.

    1. I’m disappointed because when I changed the starter measurement to grams, it seemed like way too much.i went with it anyways. My dough is a sticky , wet mess. Hoping it still turns out. 🥲

      1. I didn’t see it mentioned in step one? I read it several times. I just added it when I folded in the lemon and blueberries.

  3. 5 stars
    I was worried about this bread as it was very sticky when putting it together but honestly it was amazing. I stayed at 450 with 25 covered and 20 uncovered. It was perfect! Great recipe, thanks for sharing.

  4. 5 stars
    I made a traditional sourdough loaf today and had extra active starter and a container of tart blueberries so I made a loaf, came out delicious. Got a little too dark at 450° for last 20 minutes but the inside was perfect. I think the next time I will lower the temp to 425° for the last 20 minutes.
    Great recipe!Thx

  5. 5 stars
    I was looking for something different to make with my active starter. I had blueberries so decided to try this recipe. I was a little nervous as the dough was really wet, but it came out perfectly. Delicious toasted with butter or cream cheese.

  6. 5 stars
    I baked this recipe. The recipe did not say to lower oven temp when you remove lid, and the top almost burnt completely .. I recommend 420 F.

    SIDE NOTE: We like to make smaller loaves and the recipe does not change the GRAM measurement when you downsize the loaf size. I’m new to baking and need all of the help I can get.

    1. Hey Colleen, yep manually put in the grams so the recipe can’t do the math. i should note that somewhere. i typically do not lower my oven temp when i remove the lid.

  7. 5 stars
    Uhm this may be the best loaf I’ve ever made! I used AP flour and just used a little bit less water and it turned out amazing!

  8. I haven’t made the bread yet but I was wondering if the Dutch Oven is mandatory my family doesn’t have one and I wondering if it could be made without one.

    1. Yes! While you’re preheating the oven, place an extra rimmed METAL baking sheet on a lower rack. When you put the loaf in the oven on the middle rack, pour a cup of water on the hot spare baking sheet at the same time. You’ll get steam, which mimics what the dutch oven does. 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    I used both frozen blueberries and dried blueberries. It turned out beautiful. The dough was wet but it didn’t affect the final bake.

  10. I won’t be using frozen blueberries next time. This made the dough very wet & sticky. Ok in the end😃

  11. No ingredient list is shown when I “skip to recipe” or when I “print recipe.” Did you know this?