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Personal Boules with Lodge Combo Cooker

I love bread, denture but for weekdays I just don’t have time. I’ve adapted Peter Reinhart’s classic french bread recipe from his “artisan breads every day book” with good success.

I have made some variations:

  1. Use a Lodge Combo Cooker to create a steam rich baking environment.
  2. Add diastatic malt powder to enable the yeast
  3. Fold the dough for added structure. This is an optional step in “artisan breads every day.”
  4. Halved the original recipe and adjusted yeast and water a smidgen.

Because the bread cold ferments over night, visit this site there is minimal effort. In addition, cure the 67% hydration makes the bread easy to work with. For me, the most difficult part of this recipe is finding the final 2 hours to bake – 1.5 hours for final rise and 30 minutes for baking.

Personal Boule

Hardware required:

  • Lodge combo cooker.
  • digital scale. If you don’t have one, buy one. Making bread with volume measurements (ex. cups) is rough.
  • 2 mixing bowls. Can probably get away with one bowl, but I find two cleaner to use.
  • curved or rubber scraper. For cleaning the bowl after hand mixing, and for stretching/folding the dough.
  • flat or bench scraper. For separating the dough, and then cleaning the work surface.
  • wicker proofing basket. You can bench proof too, but I prefer the basket.
  • baker’s blade / lame. A serrated knife will also work for scoring..
  • a peel to transfer the dough to the combo cooker.

Recipe for 2 personal size boules


  • 340 grams of unbleached King Arther all purpose flour (the famous red bag)
  • 7 grams of salt
  • 4 grams of instant yeast
  • 5 grams of malt powder
  • 228 grams of warm water (95 degrees F)

Advance (30 minutes total, 15 minutes active):

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add warm water and mix by hand.
  3. Mix until dough comes together and there are no dry clumps. The dough should still be shaggy at this point.
  4. Cover in plastic and let rest for 10 minutes.
  5. With your hands or a rubber scraper, stretch and fold the dough* while in the bowl.
  6. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl** and cover with plastic wrap.
  7. Store in fridge at least overnight.

Baking Day (2 hours total, 15 minutes active):

  1. Take the dough out of the fridge.
  2. Slightly dust the top of the dough in the bowl and dust the work surface.***
  3. Transfer the dough to the work surface so that the floured dough rests against the floured surface.
  4. Degas the dough by lifting underneath the dough and stretching it slightly and making it larger in diameter.
  5. Cut the dough in half. You can make both immediately, or simply bake one and return the other 1/2 to the fridge (folding to a round beforehand)
  6. With the dough you plan on baking, form a boule and dust the top lightly with flour.
  7. If you have a proofing basket, dust it with flour, and place the dough so seam side is up. Cover with plastic wrap. ****
  8. You’ll want the final rise to be 1.5 hours or when the dough has risen 1.5x the original size.
  9. 45 minutes before baking time, place the combo cooker in the oven and set to 500 degrees.
  10. After the final rise, carefully invert the proofing basket onto a peel.
  11. Score the dough.
  12. Take out the combo cooker, and place the dough in the shallow pan. Cover with the deeper pot and return to the oven.
  13. Lower the over to 450 degrees.
  14. Bake for 20 minutes.
  15. Uncover the combo cooker, and bake for 10 more minutes.
  16. After 30 minutes of total baking, take the bread out of the oven and rest a wire rack. Internal temp should be 210 degrees F.

*Grab the end closest to you, stretch it over the top. Grab the end furthest from you, stretch it back over the top. Grap the right end, stretch it over the top to the left. And finally, grab the left end, stretch it over the top to the right. This is one fold. Once complete, flip the dough over so seam side is down.

**Spray oil or rub the bowl with a little oil, either works.

***I’ve been using a pizza peel lately. Nice working surface, plus I use it to transfer the risen dough to the combo cooker.

****If you don’t have a proofing basket, cover with the dough with plastic wrap or an inverter bowl.

Personal Boule

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