Lunch Recipe
Turkey Shaped Sourdough Bread

Turkey Shaped Sourdough Bread

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This  turkey shaped sourdough bread is made with  just flour, salt, water and starter. Naturally leavened carb rich Turkey can be centerpiece in your Thanksgiving Table.

Sourdough turkey bread arranged in a plate

Shaped breads

It is fun to play with dough as play dough and make your artistic creations.  Earlier I have tried yeasted turkey shaped bread.  I have shaped dog, bird using sourdough bread dough.

What is best way to engage kids in the baking?

Make the festival or holiday baking fun. You can also use sourdough  just like other bread dough. But it requires extra time one. As sourdough doubles slowly.

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How to make this sourdough bread?

You need following ingredients to make this bread

Sourdough starter  . I used  100% hydration 40 : 10  bread flour and Whole Wheat flour. If you don’t have active sourdough starter in hand, make one with recipe in this website.  ( 20% of the dough )

Bread flour :  I used artisan bread flour  ( 87.5%) . Always use high protein bead flour

Whole wheat flour : Use whole grain whole wheat flour  ( 12.5% of total flour )

Water : Keep the hydration around 75% so that you will be able to score the dough .

Salt :  Adds  taste to the bread as well as adjust the rate of fermentation.( 2%)

Rosemary, pepper, and garlic powder:  You can add to topping.

Cocoa powder  and red chili powder : for decoration. This combo gives amazing Turkey color so don’t miss this.

See recipe card for quantities.

Thus, you get a whole carbs version of Turkey sourdough Bread. Which not only looks cute but also taste delicious too

Since it is a sourdough bread it requires one day, if you are not having enough time in hand, try this  instant yeast version, it will be ready in  2-3 hours


First make the dough with starter, flour, salt, and water. After a bulk fermentation 5 hours. Shape and set aside the dough for proof overnight in the refrigerator.

Then next morning shape the dough.

Shaped Turkey bread dough before baking

After baking the turkey shaped sourdough

Baked sourdough turkey shaped bread


Rosemary, garlic, chive will make it more flavor rich sourdough bread.  You either add to dough as well as topping.

You can increase quantity of whole grains in the bread, however more than 50% of wholegrains can make the bread dense.

Tips to make perfect  Turkey Shaped Sourdough bread

Always use 75% hydration of dough. If you use more, you won’t be able to score the dough.

After transferring from the banneton don’t brush the dough with rice flour. Then Turkey leg shape won’t attach to the body.

Make a combo of coca powder and paprika  and sprinkle on the top of the dough  to get characteristic  color after baking.

While scoring   make sure not to make  a deep score in the dough.

Only two leg part of dough you need to cut it out.  While making  wings  

Second, bread dough rapidly expands when it is first placed in the oven  known as “oven spring” and scoring controls this expansion. Bakers score their loaves to prevent them from cracking—and to give the dough a helpful boost and decide to where to open.

Baking Schedule For this Bread

Autolyse the Flours with  water 12.30 A.M

Incorporate the starter  into the dough 1.00 P.M

Add salt into dough around 1.30 P.M

After 1 hour stretch and fold the dough around 2.30 P.M

Then around 3.30 P.M  stretch and fold the dough once again

Around 4.30 P.M Laminate the dough.

Pre-shape at 6.00 P.M.

Shape the dough 6.15 P.M

Cold Retard/ Refrigerator Overnight up to 14 hours

Bake at  7.00 A.M

Dissected Sourdough Turkey bread


For making this bread you need to have weighing balance, Dutch oven, and Pyrex bowl.


This Sourdough Bread will remain fresh for first 4-5 days. For long time storage you can freeze the bread by slice them and wrap individually

Turkey Shaped Sourdough Bread

Prep Time5 hrs

Cook Time45 mins

19 hrs

Total Time1 d 45 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: #sourdoughbread, Turkey shaped sourdough bread

Servings: 12 pieces

Calories: 141kcal


  • Pyrex bowl

  • kitchen scale

  • Turkey Roaster



  • 350 g Bread flour
  • 50 g Whole wheat flour
  • 50 g Rye flour
  • 90 g starter
  • 325 g water
  • 8 g salt


  • Rosemary sage, pepper mix ( ¼ teaspoon each )
  • Cocoa powder + paprika mix 1 tablespoon each for sprinkling.


Make Dough

Stretch and fold

Laminate the dough

Shaping the dough

  • Then transfer the dough lightly floured workspace and shape them into round Boule. Fold the third of the dough closest to you inward, and then stretch the dough out to the sides. Fold the right, and then left sides in toward the center. Fold the top of the dough inward, and then wrap the bottom part of the dough over it all. If you want, you can make pre-shape and set aside for 15 minutes and then make a final shape.

  • Work this into a round shape, and place seam side up in a proofing basket lined well with flour.

Cold Proof

Score and Bake

  • When you are ready to bake preheat oven to 500°F/ 260°C.

  • Remove the dough from the proofing basket and score .

  • First make two cut on the top part of the dough which make it Turkey wing. Then bottom two cut of the dough which make the legs.

  • Tie the leg with twine. Then score the breast part of the turkey. Sprinkle rosemary, sage, pepper mix on the top. and dust with cocoa powder- paprika mix. which gives color to the bread when it is baked.

  • Transfer to Turkey roaster and close the lid and immediately place the top back on and return to the oven.

  • At 475°F/246.1°C and cook for 15 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 450°F/ 232°C for 20 minutes with lid.

  • After 10 minutes remove the top of the Turkey roaster and rotate the pan. Continue to bake the bread for another .5 minutes, until the crust is deeply caramelized. Give 10-15 minutes extra if you want more crusty bread.

  • If you want crackling crust after switching off the oven keep oven door ajar and keep the bread inside.

  • Once bread comes out of oven cool completely in the wire rack and cut it into slice and enjoy


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Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg


This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread.  All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.

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