#Baketogether Peasant Boule ~ Your Way

Post image for #Baketogether Peasant Boule ~ Your Way

by Abby Dodge on January 1, 2012

After more than a month’s worth of sweet, holiday baking, I’m ready to bake something savory, something comforting and perhaps even therapeutic to make. I bet you might be as well. So… the first #baketogether of 2012 is …. BREAD!

I know there are some folks that claim they are “yeast challenged”, but I really believe that this bread will change how you look at those packets of yeast. Who knows, this recipe might even be life altering. It’s that easy to make and that good to eat.   This soft, slightly sticky dough is easy to handle and it bakes up into a heavenly, aromatic, buttery, soft crusted round with a porous, chewy texture. Sliced into thick pieces, it’s delicious slathered with butter or jam, makes amazing toast and hearty sandwiches or is the perfect partner to  a warm winter stew. You will want to eat this bread everyday. Really.

Let’s start with a quick rundown about this recipe and what you’ll need to have on hand to be successful:

•    A version of this recipe originally appeared in my book The Weekend Baker and is inspired by a bread I used to make when I ran the bakery at Hay Day Country Market (now Balducci’s) in Greenwich, Connecticut. The “peasant bread” was so popular that it regularly sold out faster than we could bake it – THAT good. What makes this recipe different from other yeast-risen breads is that I’ve teamed a bit of baking powder with the yeast to give the bread it’s chewy, airy quality.

•    This recipe calls for “instant” yeast not cake or regular granulated yeast. You can substitute these other types of yeast BUT make sure you adjust the water temperature and method accordingly as all yeasts do not play the same.

•    Use an accurate instant read thermometer. Take a reading of boiling water. Your thermometer should register 212°F. If not, adjust the temperature goal accordingly. All yeasts are very temperature sensitive and need the proper warmth to activate.

•    For the roundest shape, use an 8-inch round cake pan.

•    No stand mixer? Give me a hollah and we’ll go through the hand-mix method.

OK..  how about a few suggestions for making this recipe your own:

•    Change the shape! Make it rolls. Make it a traditional loaf.  Make it square.

•    Change the flavor! Cheese? Herbs? Black pepper?

Here at #baketogether, we love all shapes and flavors equally so put on your thinking caps.

A few How-To snaps that might help you:

After its first rise, shape the dough into a nice round and center it in a buttered 8-inch cake pan.

After rising, the dough will fill the pan:

And  will be  about 2″ above the rim in the center:

You all know the #baketogther drill, right? Use my recipe as a starting point and spin, twist and change it in any and every way you want. Take some snaps, write a post including info about #baketogether & links to this recipe and let us all know what you’ve created using all our fave social media (twitter, FB, instagram.. what have you). Once you’ve posted your version, leave your link below the recipe in this post so that we can all see and make your fab variations as soon as you’ve posted!

So, for now, I wish you all a very health and happy New Year and I’m looking forward to us all baking together in 2012.


Via drbabs: made w 1/3 cup white WW flour, 1 oz wheat germ, cinnamon, raisins & walnuts

Via RockiePie258

Via Cakewoman:

{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

Aimee @ Food, Je t'Aimee January 1, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Three cheers for comfort food in January! This bread looks wonderful. I’m in!

Happy New Year, Abby! Look forward to baking with you more in 2012!


Abby Dodge January 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm



Barbara | Creative Culinary January 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm

This is so perfect Abby. I LOVED the cake this year but like you, really ready for anything but a sweet. I’m making a couple of soups this week and might get the bread together to enjoy with them. As much as I typically love to piddle with a recipe, maybe this time, this month…just doing yours would be perfect. I’ll have to do a bit of work to figure out what temp; it’s not just baking that is different at altitude; water boils at a different temp too..but I do believe I can figure that one out!


Abby Dodge January 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm

That altitude thing is such a problem. I think you need to move to one of the coasts (fingers crossed for the East ;)


Lisa @ Dust with Flour January 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

You continue to get me out of my comfort zones. Last month it was piping frosting, this month it’s yeast bread. Having access to good bakeries in recent years, I haven’t felt the need to bake my own, realizing I could never bake anything quite that good. But, as we’ve moved too far away from Zingerman’s, I really should get a few yeast breads under my belt. Thank you for leading the way!


Abby Dodge January 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm

That’s such a nice thing to say.. thank you!


The Wimpy Vegetarian January 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Is #baketogether open to anyone? I’m so ready to make some bread and this looks great!


Abby Dodge January 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Absolutely!! Welcome to the kitchen! Do you have any questions?


The Wimpy Vegetarian January 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Do I need to join #baketogether on twitter? I think I just did.


Abby Dodge January 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Everyone uses the hashtag: #baketogether for their tweets so you can create a stream just to follow the #baketogether conversation. I think it makes it easier but it is by no means mandatory. We are a fun flexible group of bakers!


Nancy January 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Wow, small world. . . I, too, wore the Hay Day headscarf– in Westport and Fairfield, circa ’87, 88,’89(Flower Department, of course)! Have longed for the herb peasant bread for YEARS–I think it was parsley, tarragon and chives?! Oh, man this is going to be fun. Now, if I only had some Country Herb Dressing and a big rectangular flatbread for a California Roll Sandwich. . .digging out a bandana and denim skirt. . .


Abby Dodge January 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm

NO WAY!! We used to call the headscarves “helmets”!! And I have to say, the herbed peasant is still my fave. I use basil, chives and parsley… Holler if you ever have a sneaker for the blk peppercorn sauce.. one of mine too.


Charles July 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I found a copy of the Hay Day Country Market Cookbook and made the black peppercorn sauce last night to serve with cold filet at a dinner party tonight. Such an amazing sauce with cold beef.


Abby Dodge July 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm

That sauce has been a staple in my house for decades. Delicious with everything from beef to grilled fish to sliced tomatoes!


Abby Dodge January 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm

so you knew Jennifer (manager) and Graham (deli) .. Names and faces are flooding back! Did you know Mimi (bakery)? I did the pasta too.. now THAT was a ton of dough.


Nancy January 2, 2012 at 8:06 pm

I DID know Mimi, was friends w/her son. I think the bakery was Randi (?) though at the time I was there? Jennifer of course, to this day I hear her accent trilling “there are bunnies in the packer(dumpster)”. They were not bunnies. Ah the charcuterie, the cheeses, Apple School. . .”product sampling increases product knowledge!” ;)


Michelle Jaffee January 2, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Goodness! You used to run the bakery at Hay Day/Greenwich? Another reason to love you, Abby! Seriously. And this bread looks amazing.


Abby Dodge January 2, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Indeed i did! Developed tons of their signature recipes including the cookies they still make and sell today :)


Roberta January 3, 2012 at 3:12 am

I love your blog and I am very glad I have found it. I am Italian, living in The Netherlands and I started a blog few months ago. I am not a professional cook, not a writer, not a photographer…but cooking is my passion and I am having a lot of fun blogging. I promised myself and my English speaking friends from all over the World, to start writing my recipes in English too, which is not an easy task, because my knowledge of English is quite basic. I think your baketogether would be a nice and funny way to start! Have a nice day and a wonderful 2012!!


Abby Dodge January 3, 2012 at 11:55 am

Welcome Roberta! So glad you found me and #baketogether The group is very welcoming, fun and supportive so I know you’ll feel the love. Please feel free to ask me any questions at all — I’m always happy to help.


Karen Harris January 3, 2012 at 10:28 am

After a couple of miserable yeast bread failures when I first started cooking, I didn’t bake any bread for years. Then one day a miracle happened, I tried an old favorite breakfast bread just to see what would happen and it was a success. Gradually breads became one of my favorite things to make, so I am so excited about this recipe.


Abby Dodge January 3, 2012 at 11:56 am

Hey Karen, you know you aren’t alone in your battle with yeast! I think you’ll find this bread refreshingly easy to make as it is delicious to eat.. happy baking


Cakewoman January 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I loved making this bread. It’s a fine cross between the texture of a yeasted bread, with the speed of a quick bread. It would easily come together in the time it takes to make a pot of soup to go with it. I baked it on my oven stone, and it would definitely benefit from being baked in a pan. The tenderness of the AP flour lets it spread just a bit too much to be a hearth loaf. I gave my first one away, along with some soup, to a friend who’s having some issues with her mother’s health. I’ll make another one (following instructions this time) to try out myself. How do I post a photo of it? What lovely fun this is!


Abby Dodge January 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Boy.. I sure wish you lived near me — I’d take some of your soup and bread any day! I’m working on how to deal with pix from non-blogs right now as I have one pending for the nov/Dec #baketogether. For now, can you post on FB? I’m hoping @creativculinary (the brains behind my site) can figure a way to link from FB.. SO happy you joined us for #baketogether


Cakewoman January 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Okay, my secret’s out: I’m the only person alive who’s not a Facebook-er. I’ll email you one, how’s that? Very glad to have found you!


The Wimpy Vegetarian January 3, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Can’t wait to see it C! Could another alternative be an instagram photo for twitter? We just got home from Tahoe, and this is on my list of things to bake over the next week. Thanks for the tip that it might spread a bit much for a hearth bread. If bread flour was subbed for the AP flour, would that help convert this to a hearth bread? I plan to use a cake pan, but was just curious what the bread experts think. Can’t wait to make it!


Abby Dodge January 4, 2012 at 11:02 am

I just posted thumbnail of C’s bread – gorg!! The bread might have spread a bit more without the pan for support but it sure looks good anyway.. If you are looking to make a free-form boule, using bread flour is a good place to start. Can’t wait to see what you bake up.

The Wimpy Vegetarian January 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Great job posting the thumbnail Abby. And I’m going to stick with AP flour for this first go at it, but add some herbs I’m thinking. beautiful, C! Very nice crust, and I’m jealous, it looks like you have snow. Tahoe was totally snowless except where they’re making snow on the ski-runs.

Laura @MotherWouldKnow January 4, 2012 at 11:52 am

I haven’t baked bread (other than quick breads) in decades – literally. Just found your conversation on twitter and decided that #Baketogether would be a fun way to pick up on that thread of my life. Can’t wait to go get the yeast and join you. PS – Have used The Weekend Baker for years – love it!


Abby Dodge January 16, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Delighted you found #baketogether and will be joining us in the kitchen!!


The Wimpy Vegetarian January 5, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Wonderful bread to make. So easy and so tender. Just posted my version to your site. Thanks for such a fun project, Abby. As this is my first month, if there’s anything I’ve neglected to do, just let me know and I’ll fix it.


Renee - Kudos Kitchen January 6, 2012 at 9:54 am

This looks fab! I’ve never made a boule but love baking yeast breads. This one is different from any I’ve ever made because of the baking powder. I can’t wait to get this baking in my oven!!!


Sanjeeta kk January 8, 2012 at 6:47 am

‘Peasant Boule’..I am in this time to #baketogether! Have been waiting to get tips to bake the same for long.


mcs3000 January 8, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Thanks so much for this wonderful bread. So easy to make. It’s inspiring + fun to be part of #baketogether. Perfect way to start the New Year!


Eva January 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Just made this bread……..super easy and delicious! Thanks for sharing!!!


Abby Dodge January 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Post a pic and I’ll add it to our line up at the end of the post.


Cakewoman January 8, 2012 at 6:16 pm

What beautiful breads all are producing! I am so loving having discovered Abby and the baketogether projects. Such generosity here. My word for 2012.


Hanaa January 9, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Abby, this bread looks amazing. So simple, yet satisfying. As if I don’t have enough baking projects going, I just can’t help myself. I might try and bake this bread with all of you this month!! :)


Dawn January 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I really want to try this bread, but do not own a stand mixer. Please send me the hand-mix method. Thanks


Abby Dodge January 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Happy to post! Can you wait until Sunday? I’ll be back at my computes and will add dirx to the recipe


Dawn January 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Thanks I’m not in a hurry so whenever it is convenient for you.


Abby Dodge January 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Hi Dawn.. Check out Amanda’s #baketogether post for a good by-hand method for bread mixing/kneading. Let me know if you have any questions.


Elizabeth @Mango_Queen January 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm

This bread is amazing! Love that it looks so round, so perfect! Recipe looks so easy! I’m tempted to try it Thanks for the recipe, Abby!


Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite January 12, 2012 at 5:44 am

My first two attempts are up!


I’ll be making more of this for sure!


Hanaa January 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm

I baked my loaves over the weekend and the bread was fantastic. Very tasty, light and airy (even with 50% WW flour). I will be blogging about it soon and adding a link to my post on this site.


Abby Dodge January 17, 2012 at 5:12 pm

So glad you found some time to bake with us Hanaa.. A double dose of abby dodge for you this month!!


Hanaa January 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Ha ha. One can never have too much Abby Dodge :o ) I’m glad I made it!


Scott_D January 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm
Abby Dodge January 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Beautiful Scott!


Laura @MotherWouldKnow January 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm

So much fun! Just added my link. (Bungled the login – next time I’ll use my site name.)


Cakewoman January 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm

This just gets better and better with everyone’s beautiful ideas. For my latest, I added a teaspoon each of fresh, minced rosemary and thyme; the zest of one Meyer lemon; 4 ounces of Fontina, 1/4″ dice; and I exchanged a cup of the AP flour for one of bread flour. I’m very happy with the flavors and the texture. I have a feeling this is going to make great toast in the morning. Thank you so much for bringing us all together!


The Wimpy Vegetarian January 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm

That sounds wonderful c!


Drbabs January 21, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Hi Abby. I found this on the wimpy vegetarian’s blog, and I made the bread in a loaf pan. I used wheat germ, cinnamon, raisins and walnuts. I have photos, but I don’t have a blog. Is there any way I can participate in #baketogether? Thanks.


Abby Dodge January 22, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Absolutely!! Send me your snap and I’ll add it to the post along with your description. So happy you joined in #baketogether! ps.. abby@abbydodge.com


The Wimpy Vegetarian January 22, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Yay, drb!!! I can’t wait to see what you baked up for us!! This has really been fun.


Janis January 22, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Wow I would love to join your #baketogether! Making bread is one of those things that intimidate me (along with pies and tarts) and I definitely want to master a few bread recipes this year!

How do we join? :)


Abby Dodge January 23, 2012 at 9:46 am

joining is easy! I’ve posted the main recipe along with some #baketogether guidelines. Feel free to make & post the recipe as is or twist it up anyway you want and let us all know what you’re up to via twitter/fb and your blog . (don’t forget to use and follow the #baketogether hashtag to see all the fun.) Scroll to the bottom of the post and check out some links to what others have done – lots of fun boule-ing around! Looking forward to seeing your link (or links) added to the group! Holler if you have questions!


Janwa January 25, 2012 at 2:36 am

Hi Abby! Just made my take on the Peasant Boule this morning and just linked up :) Since there are 2 Janis’ already I’m just using my other name instead.

Janwa from The Kitchen Is My Shrink


Abby Dodge January 25, 2012 at 9:55 am



Hanaa January 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Do join, Janis. If you haven’t baked bread a while, this is a good (and easy) recipe to start with.


Janwa January 25, 2012 at 2:38 am

Thanks for the encouraging words Hanaa. I just made this and I liked what I made but I’ll make the original recipe so I’ll really know how this bread tastes. Looking forward to making the glazed cinnamon rolls this Feb!


Hanaa January 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I finally posted by Peasant Boule (+ sandwich loaf) on my blog: http://hanaaskitchen.blogspot.com/2012/01/peasant-boule.html. It was fun to bake, and even more fun to eat! Btw, it freezes really well too!! Thanks Abby :D


Lisa @ Dust with Flour January 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Hello Abby and #baketogether friends:

I just posted my take – dinner rolls flavored with fennel seeds, orange zest and candied orange peel. I’ve enjoyed seeing everyone’s recipes — so much creativity!

Once again, Abby, thank you for hosting us.



Hannah January 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Hi Abby, I read about #baketogether on the Wimpy Vegetarian and Mrs Wheelbarrow. I can’t resist! This sounds like so much fun. Thank you for organizing it!


Abby Dodge January 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Awesome Hannah! Welcome and do let me know if you have any questions.


The Wimpy Vegetarian January 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Yaahhh! Hannah – it’s so good to see you here!!! You will love this group!


Lora @cakeduchess January 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Hi Abby-I made the bread already 3 times:)Love your version and this recipe is a keeper. Thank you for sharing it with us for the fun #Baketogether. I just posted my Cornmeal Peasant Boule. A rustic bread that was also very good:) xx



The Wimpy Vegetarian January 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I love your cornmeal version!! What a great idea!!


Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} January 24, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Hi Abby,
I found out about your blog reading Lora’s (Cake Duchess) blog. Unfortunately I’m running out of time to make this bread and submit it but I’m definitely keeping the recipe to try it soon. Looking forward to the next #baketogether recipe.


Abby Dodge January 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm

So glad you found #baketogether! Don’t worry about deadline.. We’re VERY laid back.. Seriously, post when you can and let me know.. I no “people” in high places that can add links ;)


Mimi Boyd ASmith January 25, 2012 at 7:55 pm

hi Abby its Mimi down here in Ponte Vedra on your site..You are doing great things and how I would love to get my hands on those pans(alum.) we used for peasant bread as they had that little lip that gave the bread a special shape..What Nancy’s last name..?? Keep up the good work and see you in the summer…xoxMimi


Abby Dodge January 26, 2012 at 10:11 am

Mimi! I’m thrilled you thought to look at the blog and post a comment – thank you. And no better post for you to comment on than this one. I know I made a ton of P Bread at Hay Day but I’m sure it pales in comparison to how many loaves you shaped and baked. Any chance I can get you to bake this loaf? I’d love to hear if you think it’s similar enough.. Best,A


Abby Dodge January 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm

HI again Mimi.. Just got this message from Hay Day Nancy “Small world! =D My maiden name=Dmochowski, knew Morley Boyd via friends Rod Clingman/Art Sesselberg long ago!”


Jamie January 27, 2012 at 5:57 am

Whew, finally Baked Together! Bread was delicious although not perfect because I changed pan size but am making it again. We loved it!



Abby Dodge January 27, 2012 at 10:07 am

Happy pre-birthday Jamie!


Mimi Boyd smith January 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm

abby I will try your receipe and let you know..I made the Hay Day one today and now I will compare it with yours..I havent made it in ages as I am into “crunchy granola” bread these days with everything BUT the kitchen sink…but now and then I crave good homemade white bread..I saw your receipe in your book while @ Sally’s last summer and at first I thought this is a mistake but now I know differently..As you remember we always had a tough time getting the “teeney bobbers” to get that baking soda mixed in well and the bread sometimes was streaked..those were the days………and in the HDay ck bk they changed the procedure against my advice even tho I was the official receipe tester..its fine..will let you know about yours..xxoo


Abby Dodge January 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm

And I remember my hands always coated with melted butter! I haven’t seen the HD cookbook.. I’ll have to look for it.xxx


Deeba Rajpal (@vindee) January 30, 2012 at 5:28 am

I missed this month and the beautiful boule Abby…but will be back next month! What a ‘rising’ good beginning to 2012! Wow!!


Abby Dodge January 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm

We are always happy to have you Deeba… whenever!


Yuri - Chef Pandita January 31, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I made it! I made it :D


Abby Dodge January 31, 2012 at 2:44 pm

And it looks heavenly!!


Amanda February 1, 2012 at 7:29 am

It’s so cool how many variations were made from your original recipe!


http://tinyurl.com/livibrien41546 January 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm

You really put together quite a few remarkable ideas with ur blog post, “#Baketogether Peasant Boule ~
Your Way”. I may end up returning to your web page soon enough.
Many thanks ,Delores


Leave a Comment

{ 14 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: