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
- 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:
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- 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.
- Coat the garlic lightly with olive oil and place in a muffin tin.
- Cover with foil and roast for about 25 minutes, until the cloves are soft.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the salt. Mix in low or medium speed to a medium level of gluten development.
- Add the rosemary and the roasted garlic cloves. Mix in low speed just until they are evenly incorporated into the dough.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and ferment for 2.5 hours, with folds after the first 50 and 100 minutes.
- 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.
- Shape the dough into batards and place them, seam-side-up, into a floured couche or baskets.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Just before baking, slash the loaves as you like.
- 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.
- Cool on a wire rack.
Photo: Jay Slupesky