Rosemary Garlic Sourdough Bread
Beautiful soft rosemary and garlic scented harvest bread. This bread makes your house smell wonderful! It's light in texture and color with a chewy crust.
I bake this loaf in a dutch oven at 400 degrees for 50 minutes instead the usual 450 degrees for 45 minutes so that it comes out a little bit lighter in color and less crusty. This is a loaf that loves to be dipped in a great dipping oil.
Rosemary Garlic Sourdough Bread ready for the oven.
First step, all of the dry ingredients go into your stand mixer. Just mix them up for a few seconds.
This is a very simple recipe. I use Fleischmann's active dry yeast added directly to the mixer without first rehydrating and it adds just enough boost to my sourdough that I don't need to wait for an overnight rise and I can bake my bread the same day I start it. If you prefer not to use the active dry yeast your rise times will be much longer but you will be rewarded in flavor! I sadly, am not that patient. Most days I want to bake my bread and eat it too.
This is my sourdough starter bubbling away. Mmmmm... it smells delicious! Freshly fed in the morning, it's had a few hours to get all worked up and ready to ferment my next sourdough adventure.
The next step is to add the sourdough starter to the dry ingredients. Then start your mixer on low speed and slowly begin pouring in the warm water until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the mixer. Continue to mix from 5 to 7 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic. If it's too wet, add more flour a few tablespoons at a time until the dough is just sticky.
Now the dough is ready to set up for its first rise.
Click on the images to see more...
First scrape the dough out onto a floured board to knead a couple of times and then form the dough into a ball. Place the ball upside down in the bowl with a teaspoon of olive oil in it and then flip it over coating the ball of dough that is now right side up. Cover with plastic wrap to rise for 60-90 minutes.
After the dough has nearly doubled in size scrape it back out onto your floured board and knead a few more times as illustrated above and again form it into a ball. Work the ball until you have a nicely tight and smooth surface.
Place the ball into a banneton or a bowl or basket lined with a thin cotton towel with the smooth side down.
Now is the time to put your dutch oven with the lid on into your oven and begin preheating it to 450 degrees F.
After about 60 minutes your dough should be nearly double in size. Carefully flip the dough out of the proofing basket and onto a sheet of parchment paper that you have sprinkled generously with cornmeal or semolina flour. I used Bob's Red Mill Polenta Grind for this bread.
Score (slash) your formed loaf deeply with a very sharp knife or blade in a pattern that you like and don't be afraid to get creative! When the loaf goes into the dutch oven the moisture in the dough will expand rapidly as steam and if the scores are not deep enough or plentiful enough the crust will split open at it's weakest points. Sometimes this can create a misshapen loaf. The great thing is it won't affect the flavor. It can affect the texture though so a better score will allow the dough to expand and help to give you a lighter bread with more beautiful holes and a softer internal texture.
Carefully take your preheated dutch oven out and remove the lid. Using the parchment paper, place the loaf, parchment paper and all, directly into the pot and replace the lid. Place the dutch oven back into your oven and reduce the temperature to 400 degrees F for 50 minutes.
Don't forget to use your oven mitts when handling this exceedingly hot dutch oven and it's lid.
Rosemary Garlic Sourdough in a preheated dutch oven before covering with the lid and placing in the oven.
In this photo you can see a place near the bottom of the loaf that has split open left to right in the oven where the scores I made vertically were not quite sufficient to allow for the rapid expansion caused by the steam escaping from the bread. To correct this I would say I would make deeper and longer slashes next time. In this case, it was a minor thing and since the bread split as it did, it didn't affect the texture.
Something about baking bread is definitely therapeutic and thoroughly satisfying. The aroma of the rosemary and the garlic filling the kitchen was heavenly while baking this bread. I hope you will give it a try in your home.
Rosemary Garlic Sourdough Bread