Blueberry Lemon Zest Artisan Sourdough Bread Recipe

Last Updated on March 15, 2024 by TheFarmChicken

Cut blueberry lemon loaf with cut up lemon and blueberry

Fresh, light, slightly sweet and the perfect sign of spring. This Blueberry Lemon Zest Artisan Sourdough Bread Recipe is the perfect spring-summer bread. Working with inclusions in your sourdough bread can be so fun and at the same time so challenging!

This recipe took me some time. I wanted the flavors to really come through, the lemon…fresh and light, the blueberry…sweet and bold.

After more attempts than I will mention I have reached a recipe and technique that I can’t wait for you to try!

This recipe was one of the messiest I have created. From fallen loaves to blueberry gushing out and burning to my Dutch oven I spent more time cleaning up from this one! Ha This Blueberry Lemon Artisan Sourdough Bread Recipe has a different technique, and we will go over that, the recipe, and so much more below. Come along as we make this beautiful Blueberry Lemon Zest Artisan Sourdough Bread Recipe.

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Do you have a sourdough starter?

If not, Agnes would love to help you. Check out Learning Sourdough with Agnes for the step-by-step process of making your very own sourdough starter from scratch.

blueberries and jam on sourdough ready to be included
See the little pieces of lemon zest?

The Ingredients for this Blueberry Lemon Sourdough Bread Recipe

Active Sourdough Starter

This recipe makes one artisan loaf, so you need about 140 g of active and bubbly sourdough starter. Once it has at least doubled and is bubbly you are ready to make your sourdough bread.

Bread Flour

You want to use a high-quality flour. I like using Dakota Maid Bread flour for my loaves.

Water

You want to use a distilled or filtered water at room temperature. The main thing is that it is a non-chlorinated water.

Sugar

Just a little sugar in this loaf to add to the sweetness.

Lemon Zest

Do you have one of these? I find it so fun to zest a lemon…even the word is fun! The lemon zest inclusions really are the star of the lemon show for this loaf. I love how it pairs with the sugar in the loaf and gives it a sweet lemon flavor that is delightful and so good!

I opted out of using lemon juice as the acidity can be hard to work with when using an active starter. Also, the lemon zest is a great way on its own to bring a beautiful lemon flavor to this sourdough bread.

Salt

A little bit of salt to balance out the sweet and add flavor. I use kosher salt in most all my sourdough bread recipes.

Fresh Blueberries

There are 50g of blueberries in this recipe. Like the Jam they are added during the stretch and folds. Spring/ summer is definitely blueberry season so it’s the perfect time to make this bread!

Blueberry Jam

This adds a nice sweetness to the loaf and is the perfect way to add extra blueberry flavor to this sourdough blueberry lemon loaf. You can do the recipe without this too, if you prefer. Adding the jam can be a little messy because it adds to the hydration of the bread dough but is worth it.

slice of blueberry lemon bread

The Biggest Technique Difference:

Adding in the Blueberry Inclusions:

Instead of adding these inclusions in at the beginning they are added in when doing the stretch and folds. I like when the jam makes more of a swirl in the bread and this is possible when they are added during the stretch and folds.

Other Inclusion Options:

  • You could also do this with Raspberries and Raspberry Jam for something different! Both are good and so spring-like!
  • Add a few small dollops of cream cheese when you shape the loaf for another flavor. It pairs so well with the sweet blueberries and lemon zest.

Ways to enjoy this Blueberry Lemon Sourdough Bread

  • Plain is very good for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
  • A slice with butter.
  • French Toast with Butter and Pure Maple Syrup
  • With a spread of cream cheese.

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Blueberry Lemon Zest Artisan Sourdough Bread Recipe

  • 140 grams active sourdough starter
  • 275 grams water, distilled or filtered
  • 20 grams sugar
  • 450 grams bread flour
  • 4g lemon zest, roughly the zest of one lemon
  • 7 g salt

Blueberry Inclusion:

  • 40 g blueberry jam
  • 60 g blueberries

Instructions:

  • First, in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer add the active sourdough starter, room temperature water, and sugar. Mix this with a spoon or by hand until the water is milky and the starter is mostly dissolved in the water.
  • Next, add the flour and mix by hand or the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix until a shaggy dough forms and let rest/autolyze, covered with a tea towel for 30 minutes.
  • After the 30-minute rest add the lemon zest and the salt and knead by hand or stand mixer for 6 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • NOTE: When working with sticky dough it is helpful to wet your hands. Do this as often as needed to make the sticky dough more manageable.
  • Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • After the 30-minute rest you will do the inclusions and the first of the coil folds.
  • Place both the blueberries and the blueberry jam on the top of the dough and do a coil fold.

Coil Fold:

  • Using both hands start in the center of the bread and pull the dough up. Be careful not to rip the dough. Once it won’t stretch any more set it down. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat until you have done that around the whole bowl.
  • After the first coil fold let rest for 30 minutes and perform another coil fold. You will want to do a total of four coil folds with 30-minute rest in between each one.
  • When you have finished with the last coil fold let your dough rest for 30 minutes.

Shaping the dough:

  • Next you will take and shape your dough. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a clean work surface. Flatten the dough into a rectangle and fold it up in thirds and then roll it up to create a ball.
  • Cupping your hands, pull the loaf toward you, creating tension in the dough. When it is shaped nicely let rest covered with a tea towel for 15 minutes.
  • NOTE: If there is excess moisture from the jam oozing from the bread is creating a problem simply dab with a paper towel to remove some of the excess moisture.
  • After the 15 minutes take and shape the loaf the same way again, only this time placing the loaf in the banneton basket seam side up.
  • Place in a plastic bag, tie the ends shut, and place in the fridge for the rest of the bulk ferment.
  • Ferment in the fridge for 4-8 hours. This bread can be easy to overproof so keep that in mind as you are deciding when to bake the bread.

Baking the Bread:

  • Take and preheat your Dutch oven to 500 degrees, 45 minutes before you are ready to bake your loaf. Once it is preheated take your dough out of the fridge and turn it upside down using a piece of parchment paper under the loaf. The parchment paper is used as a lifter for your bread.
  • With a razor blade or bread lame, do any scoring and then do a deep score to allow for expansion in the loaf. Do this deep score at a 45-degree angle from the countertop. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with granulated sugar. (Optional)
  • Turn the oven to 450 and bake the loaf in the Dutch oven for 25 minutes with the lid on and 15-18 minutes with the lid off. The loaf should be golden brown when you go to take it out of the oven.
  • Place on a wire rack and cool before slicing. Enjoy!

Store in an airtight container. This bread also freezes well.

A look at the process from start to finish:

Blueberry Lemon Zest Artisan Sourdough Bread Recipe

A fresh take on a Sourdough Artisan loaf. The flavor is just right with the lemon zest and sweet blueberries. Perfect for breakfast or as a mid-morning snack with tea or coffee.
Print Recipe
loaf of sourdough with lemons and blueberries

Ingredients

  • 140 grams active sourdough starter
  • 290 grams water distilled or filtered
  • 20 grams sugar
  • 450 grams bread flour
  • 4 g lemon zest roughly the zest of one lemon
  • 7 g salt

Blueberry Inclusion:

  • 40 g blueberry jam
  • 60 g blueberries

Instructions

  • First, in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer add the active sourdough starter, room temperature water, and sugar. Mix this with a spoon or by hand until the water is milky and the starter is mostly dissolved in the water.
  • Next, add the flour and mix by hand or the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix until a shaggy dough forms and let rest/autolyze, covered with a tea towel for 30 minutes.
  • After the 30-minute rest add the lemon zest and the salt and knead by hand or stand mixer for 6 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • NOTE: When working with sticky dough it is helpful to wet your hands. Do this as often as needed to make the sticky dough more manageable.
  • Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • After the 30-minute rest you will do the inclusions and the first of the coil folds.
  • Place both the blueberries and the blueberry jam on the top of the dough and do a coil fold.

How to do a Coil Fold:

  • Using both hands start in the center of the bread and pull the dough up. Be careful not to rip the dough. Once it won’t stretch any more set it down. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat until you have done that around the whole bowl.
  • After the first coil fold let rest for 30 minutes and perform another coil fold. You will want to do a total of four coil folds with 30-minute rest in between each one.
  • When you have finished with the last coil fold let your dough rest for 30 minutes.

Shaping the Dough:

  • Next you will take and shape your dough. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a clean work surface. Flatten the dough into a rectangle and fold it up in thirds and then roll it up to create a ball.
  • Cupping your hands, pull the loaf toward you, creating tension in the dough. When it is shaped nicely let rest covered with a tea towel for 15 minutes.
  • NOTE: If there is excess moisture from the jam oozing from the bread is creating a problem simply dab with a paper towel to remove some of the excess moisture.
  • After the 15 minutes take and shape the loaf the same way again, only this time placing the loaf in the banneton basket seam side up.
  • Place in a plastic bag, tie the ends shut, and place in the fridge for the rest of the bulk ferment.
  • Ferment in the fridge for 4-8 hours. This bread can be easily over proofed so keep that in mind as you are deciding when to bake the bread.

Baking the Bread:

  • Take and preheat your Dutch oven to 500 degrees 45 minutes before you are ready to bake your loaf. Once it is preheated take your dough out of the fridge and turn it upside down using a piece of parchment paper under the loaf. The parchment paper is used as a lifter for your bread.
  • With a razor blade or bread lame, do any scoring and then do a deep score to allow for expansion in the loaf. Do this deep score at a 45-degree angle from the countertop. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with granulated sugar. (Optional)
  • Turn the oven to 450 and bake the loaf in the Dutch oven for 25 minutes with the lid on and 15-18 minutes with the lid off. The loaf should be golden brown when you go to take it out of the oven.
  • Place on a wire rack and cool before slicing. Enjoy!

Notes

Store in an airtight container. This bread also freezes well.
Servings: 1 loaf

I love how the flavors of this sourdough bread, with the fresh blueberries and lemon zest, are like springtime in a loaf. Let me know below if you have any questions or how you liked the recipe. Thanks for being here!

Mariah N | TheFarmChicken
blueberries in measuring cup and lemon zest on board

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Why is my loaf oozing?

If you find that the blueberry jam is oozing when you go to shape it, simply take a paper towel and dab where it is in excess.

Can I bake this bread in a loaf pan?

Yes, reduce your oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. You want it to be golden brown and baked thoroughly.

Other Blueberry Recipes on TheFarmChicken:

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins: A Recipe from the Farm

The Best Fluffy Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same The LORD's name is to be praised. 
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