Leidenheimer Bread Recipe (Baking)

Leidenheimer Bread is a famous New Orleans-style bread known for its crispy crust and soft, pillowy center. It is the preferred bread for making po’ boys sandwiches in the city. Crafting an authentic Leidenheimer bread recipe can be a challenge, but we have developed a recipe that comes close to the original. In this article, we will share step-by-step instructions on how to make this delicious bread at home.

leidenheimer bread recipe

Key Takeaways:

  • Leidenheimer Bread is a New Orleans-style bread used for making po’ boys sandwiches.
  • This recipe provides step-by-step instructions for making authentic Leidenheimer bread at home.
  • The bread has a crispy crust and a soft, pillowy center.
  • Using sourdough starter adds a unique tanginess to the bread.
  • Proper shaping and baking techniques are essential for achieving the signature Leidenheimer bread texture.

The Legend of Leidenheimer Bread

Leidenheimer’s bakery has gained legendary status for its New Orleans-style French bread. This iconic bread has been supplying fine dining establishments and po’ boy shops in New Orleans for decades. Known for its distinctive texture and flavor, Leidenheimer bread features a shatteringly crisp crust and a soft, pillowy center that sets it apart from other bread varieties.

What makes Leidenheimer bread truly special is its unique combination of ingredients. The recipe calls for Better Batter Gluten Free Flour, a sourdough starter, water, sugar, oil, and salt. These carefully chosen ingredients work together to create the signature taste and texture that New Orleanians have come to love.

“Leidenheimer bread is like no other. Its delicate crunch and fluffy interior make it the perfect vessel for po’ boys and other sandwiches.”

Authentic New Orleans-Style Leidenheimer Bread Recipe

For those who want to recreate the magic of Leidenheimer bread in their own kitchen, here’s a recipe to get you started:

Ingredients Quantity
Better Batter Gluten Free Flour 4 cups
Sourdough starter 1 cup
Water 2 cups
Sugar 2 tablespoons
Oil 2 tablespoons
Salt 2 teaspoons


  1. In a large bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, sourdough starter, water, sugar, oil, and salt.
  2. Stir the ingredients until they come together and form a sticky dough.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for about 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Transfer the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into baguettes or a loaf, depending on your preference.
  6. Place the shaped dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Using a sharp knife, create diagonal slashes across the top of the dough to allow for expansion during baking.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  9. Remove from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Now, you can enjoy the legendary flavors of Leidenheimer bread right in your own home!

Stay tuned for the next section, where we reveal the surprising secret to achieving authentic Leidenheimer bread with a sourdough twist!

The Surprising Secret to Authentic Leidenheimer Bread

In our quest to recreate Leidenheimer bread, we discovered a surprising secret that takes this traditional French bread to the next level. By adding a sourdough twist to the recipe, we were able to achieve a texture and flavor incredibly close to the original Leidenheimer bread. Incorporating a sourdough starter into the dough not only imparts a unique tanginess but also helps develop a soft, airy crumb that is characteristic of the beloved New Orleans staple.

While traditional French bread recipes often utilize commercial yeast, we found that sourdough gives Leidenheimer bread an extra depth of flavor and complexity. The process of fermenting the dough with a sourdough starter creates natural yeasts and beneficial bacteria, resulting in a more nuanced taste profile.

“The sourdough twist is the key to recreating the authenticity of Leidenheimer bread. It adds that extra layer of flavor and complexity that sets this bread apart.”

When making your own Leidenheimer bread, don’t be intimidated by the sourdough starter. It’s easy to create and maintain, and the rewards are well worth it. The longer fermentation period allows the flavors to develop fully, resulting in a bread that is distinctly Leidenheimer. Give it a try, and you’ll be amazed at the authenticity this simple twist brings to your homemade loaves.

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, our leidenheimer bread loaf recipe will guide you through the sourdough process and help you create bakery-style bread right in your own kitchen. Get ready to impress your family and friends with your homemade Leidenheimer bread, authentically delicious and uniquely yours.

How to Shape Leidenheimer Bread

Proper shaping is crucial to achieving the signature shape of Leidenheimer bread. Whether you’re making baguettes or a single loaf, the shaping technique plays a significant role in creating the classic appearance of this New Orleans-style bread.

For baguettes, follow these steps:

  1. Divide the dough into two equal portions.
  2. For each portion, shape the dough into a long cylinder, approximately 30 inches in length.
  3. The diameter of the baguettes should be around 3 inches, and the thickness should be about 3/4 inch.
  4. Using a sharp, wet knife, make three 1/4 inch deep slashes across the top of each baguette. This aids in controlling the expansion of the bread during baking.

If you prefer a single loaf, here’s how to shape it:

  1. Place all the dough in one cloche or bread pan and shape it to fill the bottom of the pan evenly.
  2. Create a divot between the edge of the pan and the dough, forcing the dough into a more domed shape.

Ensure that the dough is shaped with care and precision, as this step contributes to the overall texture and appearance of the Leidenheimer bread.

Leidenheimer Bread Shaping Technique

The shaping technique for Leidenheimer bread involves forming the dough into either baguettes or a single loaf. For baguettes, the dough is divided, shaped into long cylinders, and slashed on top before baking. For a single loaf, the dough is placed in a cloche or bread pan and shaped to fill the pan with a domed top. This shaping technique is essential to achieve the traditional appearance and texture of Leidenheimer bread.

Shaping Leidenheimer Bread Baguettes Single Loaf
Shape Two long cylinders, 30 inches long, 3 inches wide, and 3/4 inch thick Fill the bottom of a cloche or bread pan
Slash Three 1/4 inch deep slashes across the top N/A
Proper shaping is crucial to achieving the signature shape of Leidenheimer bread.

Baking and Cooling Leidenheimer Bread

Once the Leidenheimer bread dough is shaped, it is time to bake and cool the bread to perfection. The baking process plays a crucial role in achieving the iconic texture and flavor of Leidenheimer bread.

To start, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius). This high temperature will give the bread its signature crispy crust.

If you are making baguettes, they will bake for approximately 10 minutes. For a single loaf, the baking time will be around 30 minutes. It’s essential to keep an eye on the oven and check for a golden crust and a hollow sound when tapping the loaf.

After the initial baking time, remove the lid from the cloche, if using, and continue baking the bread for another 10 or 30 minutes, depending on the size of the loaf. This extended baking time will further develop the crust and ensure the bread is evenly baked.

Once the Leidenheimer bread is out of the oven, it’s important to let it cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. This cooling process allows the bread to set and ensures a better texture and flavor.

Leidenheimer Bread Baking and Cooling Process Summary:

Baking and Cooling Steps
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius).
2. Place the bread in a hot cloche, if using.
3. Bake baguettes for about 10 minutes, or a single loaf for around 30 minutes.
4. Remove the cloche lid and bake for an additional 10 or 30 minutes until golden and hollow-sounding.
5. Allow the bread to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

By following this baking and cooling process, you’ll achieve Leidenheimer bread with a crisp crust on the outside and a soft, fluffy interior. The resulting bread is perfect for sandwiches, toast, or enjoying on its own.

Serving Suggestions for Leidenheimer Bread

Leidenheimer bread, with its crispy crust and soft center, is not only perfect for making po’ boys sandwiches, but it can also be used in a variety of other delicious ways. Here are some serving suggestions and recipes to enjoy this delightful bread:

1. Po’ Boys Sandwiches

The classic way to enjoy Leidenheimer bread is by using it to make po’ boys sandwiches. Fill the bread with your favorite fillings, such as fried seafood, roast beef, or even vegetarian options like grilled vegetables. The light yet sturdy texture of the bread perfectly complements the flavorful fillings, making every bite a delight.

2. Muffaletta Sammys

Take a culinary twist and use Leidenheimer bread to create a delicious variation of the iconic New Orleans muffaletta sandwich. Layer the bread with cured meats, cheese, and the flavorful olive salad. The combination of the tangy olive salad and the crusty bread creates a truly satisfying sandwich.

3. Appetizer Bases

Slice Leidenheimer bread into bite-sized pieces and use them as a base for appetizers. Top the bread with spreads like pimento cheese, hummus, or bruschetta toppings. These bite-sized treats will impress your guests and add a touch of New Orleans flair to your appetizer spread.

4. Pairing with Gumbo or Jambalaya

Add a side of Leidenheimer bread when serving gumbo or jambalaya. The soft and fluffy texture of the bread is perfect for dipping into the rich flavors of these classic dishes. The combination of the crusty exterior and the hearty soup or stew creates a satisfying and comforting meal.

5. Standalone Bread with Spreads

Enjoy the simplicity of Leidenheimer bread by serving it on its own with butter or your favorite spreads. The crackling sound when you slice into the crust and the pillowy softness of the interior make each bite a delightful experience. Spread some Creole butter, honey, or your favorite jam for an extra burst of flavor.

With these serving suggestions, you can explore the versatility of Leidenheimer bread and elevate your meals with a taste of New Orleans. Whether you’re making sandwiches, pairing it with a hearty stew, or enjoying it as a standalone bread, Leidenheimer bread will always deliver a satisfying and delicious experience.

Julia Child’s Perspective on French Bread

Julia Child, the grand dame of French cooking, had strong opinions about bread, especially when it came to the difference between American and traditional French bread. According to Child, American bread lacked the depth of flavor and character that made French bread so special. In her pursuit of the perfect loaf, she emphasized the importance of allowing the dough to rise for an extended period, which helps develop interesting flavors and textures.

While not specifically related to Leidenheimer bread, Julia Child’s insights into bread-making can provide valuable knowledge when attempting to understand and recreate the nuances of this type of bread. Her basic French bread recipe shares similarities with the process of making Leidenheimer bread, as both involve extended rising times at lower temperatures.

“With a good recipe and a few techniques, anyone can create a beautiful loaf of French bread that rivals the best you can find in France.”

Child’s emphasis on technique and attention to detail is a reminder that bread-making is as much an art as it is a science. By following her wisdom and incorporating it into the Leidenheimer bread recipe, home bakers can achieve a loaf with the depth of flavor and character that rivals the authentic New Orleans-style French bread.

Julia Child’s French Bread Recipe:

Here is a simplified version of Julia Child’s French bread recipe that incorporates her insights:

  1. Combine flour, water, yeast, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix the ingredients until they come together to form a shaggy dough.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at a cool room temperature (around 70°F) for at least 12 hours, or overnight.
  4. After the first rise, gently fold the dough over itself a few times to release excess gas and redistribute the yeast.
  5. Shape the dough into a loaf or baguettes and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Cover the shaped dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for another 2 hours.
  7. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) and place a baking stone or cast iron skillet on the middle rack.
  8. Transfer the risen dough onto the preheated baking stone or skillet and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  9. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Julia Child’s French bread recipe serves as a solid foundation for achieving delicious results in bread-making. By adapting and incorporating her techniques into the Leidenheimer bread recipe, home bakers can bring an extra layer of expertise to their baking endeavors.

Adapting to Humidity in New Orleans

New Orleans is famous for its high humidity, which can pose challenges when it comes to bread-making. Traditional French bread recipes often require dry conditions, but in a humid environment like New Orleans, adjustments need to be made. Fortunately, the Leidenheimer bread recipe we have provided can be adapted to account for the humidity, ensuring successful results.

High humidity affects the dough’s rising process, as excessive moisture in the air can make the dough sticky and difficult to handle. Additionally, the dough may take longer to rise due to the increased moisture content in the environment. To adapt the Leidenheimer bread recipe to the humidity in New Orleans, it’s essential to monitor the rising times and make necessary adjustments.

Here are some tips for adapting the Leidenheimer bread recipe to the humidity in New Orleans:

  • Monitor the dough during the rising process and extend the rising time if needed. The dough should double in size before moving on to the next step.
  • Pay attention to the texture of the dough. If it feels excessively sticky, gradually add small amounts of flour while kneading to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Consider using less liquid in the recipe. Adjust the amount of water used if the dough seems too wet. This will help maintain the proper dough consistency.

By closely observing the dough’s behavior and making these adaptations, you can successfully navigate the challenges posed by humidity and create delicious Leidenheimer bread, even in New Orleans’ moisture-laden climate.

Tips for Making Perfect Leidenheimer Bread

Making Leidenheimer bread requires attention to detail and adherence to the recipe instructions. Here are some tips to ensure success:

  1. Follow the instructions carefully: Pay close attention to the measurements and order of ingredients specified.
  2. Invest in baguette bread cloches: These specialized baking tools help create the perfect crust and texture for Leidenheimer bread. They trap steam to create a crispy crust while keeping the center soft and fluffy.
  3. Use a sourdough starter: Incorporating a sourdough starter adds complexity and depth of flavor to the bread. It also aids in the leavening process, resulting in a better rise and texture.
  4. Ensure proper shaping: Take the time to shape the dough correctly. For baguettes, create long, slender loaves with deep slashes on top. For a single loaf, shape it to fill the pan, creating a domed shape.
  5. Preheat the oven to the correct temperature: A hot oven is crucial for achieving the desired crust and texture. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit before baking.
  6. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing: This step is essential for the texture and flavor of the bread to fully develop. Cutting into warm bread may result in a gummy or doughy interior.

Having trouble troubleshooting your Leidenheimer bread? Here are a few common issues and possible solutions:

If the dough is too sticky: Add extra flour, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough is easier to handle and shape.

If the bread doesn’t rise enough: Extend the rising time and ensure your sourdough starter is active and healthy.

If the crust is too hard: Reduce the baking time slightly or adjust the oven temperature. It’s essential to find the right balance between a crisp crust and a soft interior.

If the bread tastes too sour: Reduce the sourdough starter’s proportion in the recipe or decrease its fermentation time to achieve a milder flavor.

By incorporating these tips and troubleshooting techniques, you’ll be well on your way to baking perfect Leidenheimer bread every time!

Proper Storage and Serving of Leidenheimer Bread

Freshly made Leidenheimer bread is best enjoyed on the day it is made, but it can be stored for a day or two when wrapped airtight and refrigerated. To ensure the bread stays fresh and maintains its delightful taste and texture, follow these storage tips:

Storing Leidenheimer Bread:

  • Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap or place it in a sealed plastic bag to prevent it from drying out.
  • Refrigerate the bread to keep it fresh for an additional day or two.
  • Avoid storing Leidenheimer bread in the refrigerator for an extended period, as it may lose some of its crispness.
  • To freeze the bread, wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe bag or container.
  • Label the bread with the date of freezing to keep track of its freshness.
  • Frozen Leidenheimer bread can be stored for up to three months without compromising its taste and quality.

When you’re ready to enjoy your stored or frozen Leidenheimer bread, follow these steps for serving:

Serving Leidenheimer Bread:

  1. Thaw the bread by leaving it at room temperature for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Once thawed, remove the plastic wrap or packaging from the bread.
  3. To regain its crispy crust and soft, pillowy center, reheat the bread in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.
  4. Allow the bread to cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Leidenheimer bread pairs well with various dishes and can be served in different ways:

Serving Suggestions:

  • Use Leidenheimer bread to make classic New Orleans po’ boy sandwiches, filled with your favorite meats, seafood, or vegetarian ingredients.
  • Slice the bread and serve it as a side with hearty soups, stews, or gumbo.
  • Halve the bread to create a delicious base for muffaletta sandwiches, layered with olive salad, cheese, and cured meats.
  • Enjoy Leidenheimer bread as a standalone bread, simply spread with butter or paired with flavorful dips and spreads.

However you choose to serve it, Leidenheimer bread will add a touch of New Orleans authenticity and deliciousness to your meals.

Further Resources and Recipe Variations

If you’re eager to explore more about Leidenheimer bread and its variations, here are some valuable resources to check out:

  1. Baking With Leidenheimer: The Art of New Orleans Bread by Chef Jacques Lahtinen: This cookbook delves into the rich history of Leidenheimer bread and offers a range of recipes, from traditional to innovative twists on the classic.
  2. The Leidenheimer Bread Company Website: Visit the official website of the renowned Leidenheimer Bakery for insights into their baking techniques, as well as tips and tricks for making the perfect loaf.
  3. The Bread Bakers’ Association Forum: Join the online community of bread enthusiasts to exchange ideas, ask questions, and find inspiration for your Leidenheimer bread journey.
  4. Food Bloggers’ Corner: Explore various food blogs where passionate bakers share their personal experiences and creative adaptations of the Leidenheimer bread recipe. Some recommended blogs include www.breadandbeyond.com and www.thebreadsweet.com.

Now that you have these resources at your fingertips, you can dive deeper into the world of Leidenheimer bread and discover exciting variations to try. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs, spices, shapes, and sizes to make this iconic bread truly your own!

In Conclusion

Leidenheimer bread is a beloved staple in New Orleans cuisine, renowned for its unique texture and flavor. While replicating the exact taste and texture of this iconic bread at home may be a challenge, our recipe comes close to the original. By following the instructions carefully and making any necessary adaptations for your environment, you can enjoy the deliciousness of Leidenheimer bread right in your own kitchen.

Crafting an authentic Leidenheimer bread requires attention to detail, from using the right combination of ingredients to properly shaping and baking the dough. Our recipe incorporates a sourdough twist on the traditional French bread, resulting in a soft, airy crumb and a crust that shatters with each bite.

Whether you’re making Leidenheimer bread for po’ boys sandwiches, muffaletta sammys, or as an accompaniment to gumbo and jambalaya, this versatile bread adds a touch of New Orleans charm to any meal. So, roll up your sleeves, embrace the spirit of the Crescent City, and savor the flavors of Leidenheimer bread, homemade with love.


How can I make homemade Leidenheimer bread?

Follow our step-by-step instructions and use our authentic Leidenheimer bread recipe to make delicious homemade Leidenheimer bread.

What are the key ingredients needed for Leidenheimer bread?

The key ingredients for Leidenheimer bread include Better Batter Gluten Free Flour, sourdough starter, water, sugar, oil, and salt.

What is the secret to making authentic Leidenheimer bread?

The secret to making authentic Leidenheimer bread is using a sourdough starter in the dough to achieve a similar texture and flavor to the original bread.

How do I shape Leidenheimer bread?

For baguettes, the dough should be shaped into two 30-inch long by 3-inch wide by 3/4-inch thick baguettes. For a single loaf, shape the dough to fill the bottom of the pan with a divot between the edge of the pan and the dough to create a domed shape.

What is the baking process for Leidenheimer bread?

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place the bread in a hot cloche. Baguettes bake for about 10 minutes, while a single loaf bakes for about 30 minutes. After the initial baking time, remove the lid of the cloche and continue baking until the crust is golden and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

How should Leidenheimer bread be served?

Leidenheimer bread is versatile and can be enjoyed as po’ boy sandwiches, muffaletta sandwiches, appetizers, or alongside dishes like gumbo or jambalaya. It can be sliced and served with butter or dips as well.

What is Julia Child’s perspective on French bread?

Julia Child believed that American bread lacked the depth of flavor found in traditional French bread. Her basic French bread recipe follows a similar process to Leidenheimer bread with extended rising times at lower temperatures.

What adaptations should be made for making Leidenheimer bread in humid environments?

In humid environments like New Orleans, it may be necessary to monitor rising times and adjust the amount of flour used in the recipe.

What are some tips for making perfect Leidenheimer bread?

Follow the recipe instructions carefully, invest in baguette bread cloches, use a sourdough starter, shape the dough properly, preheat the oven to the correct temperature, and allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.

How should Leidenheimer bread be stored and served?

Freshly made Leidenheimer bread is best enjoyed on the day it is made. It can be stored for a day or two when wrapped airtight and refrigerated. To reheat, thaw the bread, unwrap it, and reheat it in a preheated oven. Serve with soups, use for sandwiches, or enjoy it as a standalone bread with butter or dips.

Where can I find more resources and variations of Leidenheimer bread recipes?

There are a variety of cookbooks, websites, and other sources that offer different takes on the Leidenheimer bread recipe. Explore these for more information on Leidenheimer bread and its variations.

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