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+ servings
french boule bread in an iron skillet with parchment

Classic French Boule Recipe with Poolish

Learn how to make this large round classic French boule recipe using a poolish to leaven the bread for a delicious dark brown crust.
Course Appetizer, bread, Side Dish
Cuisine French, polish
Prep Time 17 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 18 hours 30 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 169kcal


  • 650 grams of Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour
  • 500 grams of Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour
  • 858 grams of water
  • 24 grams of sea salt
  • 4.5 grams of active yeast


  • In a large container mix together 550 grams of bread flour with 550 grams of water at 80° to 82° and .5 grams of yeast until combined. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 10 to 24 hours or until tripled in size.
  • In a separate large container mix together the remaining 100 grams of bread flour, whole wheat flour, salt, remaining 4 grams of yeast.
  • Add the remaining 308 grams of water at 105° to 107° to the container with the poolish to help loosen it up.
  • Add the poolish and water mixture to the container with the flour, salt, and yeast and vigorously mix it by squeezing, stretching and folding until completely mixed in, about 3 to 4 minutes. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
  • Fold the dough by stretching and turning it 6 to 8 times every 20 minutes for 60 minutes.
  • Cover and let rest for 2 more hours or until it has tripled in size.
  • Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface dusted with flour and form it into a medium tight ball. Move the dough to a floured proofing basket, cover with a towel and let proof for 60 to 90 minutes.
  • Place a pizza stone into the oven and preheat to 500° and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Invert the dough directly onto the stone, score, cover with a large metal bowl and bake 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes or until the outside of the bread is dark brown.
  • 1Set on a cooling rack for 30 minutes.
  • 1Slice and serve.



Chef Notes:
  • The longer the poolish sits the more intense the aroma and flavor.
  • If you do not have a large metal bowl then add 10-15 ice cubes to a casserole pan and put it on the bottom rack of the oven that you are baking in.
  • This classic French boule bread recipe uses a poolish pre-ferment, the bread contains a higher acidity level allowing it to last for up to 10 days.
  • In France they let the bread sit for an entire 24 hours before slicing and serving.
  • Poolish works great when making baguettes or even pizza dough


Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 390mg | Potassium: 104mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg