Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Sourdough

Like the timeless little black dress, a good basic sourdough recipe is the consummate staple: perfect all on its own, but a stunning platform for any embellishment that strikes your mood. This is Norwich Sourdough with rosemary and roasted garlic cloves… garlic bread without all the butter!

In general, “chunky” additions such as nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables are best added at the end of mixing to avoid interfering with the development of the gluten. Mix the dough to, or a little past, the desired level of gluten development, then mix in the additions just until they are evenly distributed.

The easy roasted garlic recipe was adapted from the always-inspiring Simply Recipes. I roasted mine until it was very soft, so the cloves largely disintegrated into the dough with mixing, giving the bread a strong overall garlic flavor. Roasting until barely fork-tender would allow them to maintain their identity. Either way, this is a garlic -lover’s bread, and the classic pairing of rosemary and garlic never disappoints.

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Sourdough

Yield: 1000 g (2 loaves)


  • Roast and cool garlic: 1 hour
  • Autolyse and mix: 40 minutes
  • First fermentation : 2.5 hours with folds at 50 and 100 minutes
  • Preshape, rest, and shape: 30 minutes
  • Proof: 2.5 – 3 hours at room temperature (or 2 hours at room temperature, then overnight in the refrigerator)
  • Bake: about 35 minutes

Desired dough temperature: 78F


  • 472 g flour
  • 63 g whole rye flour
  • 315 g water
  • 189 g mature 100%-hydration sourdough starter
  • 12 g (2 teaspoons) salt
  • 5 g (about 3 tablespoons) chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 medium head garlic
  • olive oil for roasting the garlic

Roasted Garlic Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Peel the outer loose papery skin from the garlic head. With a knife, trim the tips from the cloves so the insides are exposed. The cloves should still be connected together as a head.
  3. Coat the garlic lightly with olive oil and place in a muffin tin.
  4. Cover with foil and roast for about 25 minutes, until the cloves are soft.
  5. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves from their skins. Allow to cool to room temperature before adding to the bread dough.

Bread Method:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine the flour, rye flour, water, and starter. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated. Cover and let rest (autolyse) for 30 minutes.
  2. Add the salt. Mix in low or medium speed to a medium level of gluten development.
  3. Add the rosemary and the roasted garlic cloves. Mix in low speed just until they are evenly incorporated into the dough.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and ferment for 2.5 hours, with folds after the first 50 and 100 minutes.
  5. Turn the dough into a lightly floured counter and divide it in half. Preshape it into balls and let rest, covered, for about 20 minutes.
  6. Shape the dough into batards and place them, seam-side-up, into a floured couche or baskets.
  7. Proof, covered, for 2.5 – 3 hours at room temperature, or until the dough springs back very slowly when pressed lightly with a fingertip. Alternatively, proof for 2 hours at room temperature, then refrigerate the loaves overnight. (In the latter case, they can be baked directly out of the refrigerator.)
  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven, with baking stone, to 475F. You will also need steam during the initial phase of baking, so prepare for this now.
  9. Just before baking, slash the loaves as you like.
  10. Once the loaves are in the oven, reduce the temperature to 450F. Bake for 8 minutes with steam, and another 20minutes or so without steam. Then turn off the oven and leave the loaves in for another 5 – 10 minutes, with the door ajar, to allow the loaves to dry.
  11. Cool on a wire rack.

Photo: Jay Slupesky

CommentsLeave a comment

  1. says

    that’s a recipe I’ve wanted to try for a long time. Thank you for posting it, Susan.
    ps. when do you thing you’ll have the time to show us how to shape a batard? I hnow there’s plenty of videos on the web, but I want to see how you do it. Preshaping a boule video was very useful for me.
    thank you, codruta

  2. says

    I am not good in terms of baking…so I usually look for a baker blogger online …your post is really educational you posted your recipe the format that I want. Thanks susan

  3. Amanda says

    Absolutely loved this recipe! I followed it to a T as I am fairly new to sourdough and wanted to be sure it was a success (though I did use a lesser amount of dried rosemary rather than fresh). The end result was absolutely delicious, with a deep brown crust and moist interior. I was a bit worried I wouldn’t get much oven spring (an issue I had in the past, due to overproofing), but I followed the finger-poke/spring-back test, and it rose beautifully once it hit the heat. I froze half of the dough and am really looking forward to some making some wonderful pizza with it. Thanks so much for walking me through it all! Your turns and boule-shaping videos were so helpful.

  4. Talia says

    Looks real good – I was wondering if the outcome will be just as tasty and goodlooking if I was to use whole spelt flour (perhaps with a bit of gluten added) instead of the bread flour?

  5. says

    Hi Susan! I tried this recipe as my first attempt with naturally leavened bread and it turned out GREAT! I’m shocked I managed to pull it off, but your tips/website have been very helpful.

    One question — the breads I’ve made with instant yeast have always gone hard within a day, or if I keep them in a plastic bag they’ll stay moist inside but the crust will lose its crunch. I was reading somewhere that sourdough is able to keep its texture longer, but even so, I’m wondering how you store bread you aren’t eating right away?

  6. Gary says

    I’m very confused. This recipe shows a 20% hydration where as almost all other sourdough recipes are about 68% including your Norwich Sourdough recipe.

    Did you mean to show a 20% hydration?

  7. Miranda says

    Delicious! This will be a repeat recipe in my sourdough baking. I love the roasted garlic and rosemary combo. I didn’t get as impressive oven spring on my loaves but they still had great crumb structure and flavor! Will work on the integrity of my dough next time around!


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