French Sultana Boule (Three Variations)

Recipe courtesy David Lorenzo Lopez
Adaptation of
NYT Simple Crusty Bread

1 ½ tbsp Fleischmann’s Bread Machine Instant Yeast
1 ½ tbsp kosher salt
6 ½ cups King Arthur unbleached bread flour, more for dusting dough
½ cup Le Bon Magot White Pumpkin & Almond Murabba, drained, per loaf
cornmeal, for dusting

Makes three large boules

In a large plastic bowl, pour 3 cups warm water (about 110–115 degrees fahrenheit). Mix salt until completely dissolved. Sprinkle yeast onto water and whisk until no more dry particles remain on surface. Mix flour into water with wooden spoon in three equal batches until fully incorporated. Dough will be rather wet and loose. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, then lay a kitchen towel over plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature for 2.5–3 hours.

Bake at this point, or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a bit of flour onto the dough and cut off a grapefruit-sized piece with a knife. On a lightly-floured surface, flatten dough slightly and spread half of the drained White Pumpkin & Almond Murabba onto dough.

Fold once over, making sure to seal the edges of the dough. Flatten once more, then spread the remaining preserves onto the dough. Fold once over, again making sure to seal the edges of the dough. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal. Let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.

Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and heat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. Heat stone at that temperature for at least 20 minutes.

Dust dough with flour then slash top with very sharp knife three to four times. Slide onto baking stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well-browned, about 30–33 minutes. Cool completely.

NoteLe Bon Magot White Pumpkin & Almond Murabbashould be strained using a sieve and drained of excess liquid before kneading into the dough. We recommend pouring the excess liquid back into the bottle to use as a topping for ice cream or yogurt.

Variations: If you also have Le Bon Magot Spiced Raisin Marmalata or Lemon-Sultana Marmalata, you can also use ½ cup, drained, in place of the White Pumpkin & Almond Murabba. Since this recipe makes three large boules, you can make one boule using each of these three preserves!

If you don’t have a baking stone, stretch rounded dough into an oval and place in a greased, nonstick loaf pan.  Let rest 40 minutes if fresh, an extra hour if refrigerated. Heat oven to 450F for 5 minutes. Place pan on middle rack.

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