Sourdough with a Twist

A good sturdy sourdough is fabulous on its own, but it also serves nicely if you happen to be in a twisted frame of mind. Flavor twists such as olives, roasted garlic, or herbs are easy and keep things interesting. And then there are the simple twists of shape that add even more excitement to your life. Well, they add excitement to my life. It could be that I need to get out more.

For these crusty, twisty rolls, I tossed a bit of chopped fresh rosemary into a batch of Norwich Sourdough. With this pungent herb, about two or three tablespoons (4 – 5 grams) per kilogram of dough is enough to provide a distinct rosemary  flavor without overpowering.

The twist shape (tordu, if you’re feeling French) is a bit time-consuming, but this can be a good thing if, like me, you cherish hands-on time with your dough (did I mention I might need to get out more?).

This shaping technique works for larger loaves, too, and for softer breads like egg bread.

For large sourdough rolls, divide the dough into 100-gram pieces and shape them into balls. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

Shape each ball into a pointed log. Sprinkle the top with flour.

Press a dowel (or drumstick, if you have a percussionist in the family) firmly down along the long axis of the dough and roll it  back and forth a few times to create a flat “hinge” about 1.5 inches wide.

Roll the two outer edges of the dough together so they meet in the center.

If you stopped here, it would be a fendu. But now you twist the roll…

… and place it in a floured couche so the side where the “seam” traverses the center of the roll is face down.

I proofed these for 2 hours at room temperature and then refrigerated them overnight. I baked them, seam side up, as for Norwich Sourdough, for a total of about 25 minutes, the last 5 of which were with the oven off and the door ajar. And as always, cool before eating for maximum flavor.

It is my pleasure to send these to Zorra (1x umrühren bitte) and Natashya (Living in the Kitchen with Puppies) for BreadBakingDay #30, Twisted Breads.

CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Joey D says

    How fun… always love new shapes, and rosemary herbed sourdough is one of my favorites! Question — for the roasted garlic sourdough, how much would you add?

  2. says

    Yummy, I just love your Norwich sourdough and never get tired of making and eating it. Sometimes, I like to add a bit of nuts, seeds, or dried fruit, but never herb. You just gave me another idea to play around with this dough. Thank you…

  3. says

    I cannot help but ask a question…. do they all fit in your oven at the same time, or did you bake them in batches? If you do in batches, do they keep at room temperature while the first batch bakes?

  4. says

    i opened your blog because i saw a word “twist”; and your’re right, your bread is twisted, it look very tasty; in poland, this kind of preparation is quite popluar. have a good day and good luck with your blog!

  5. says

    I would drive a good way out of my way to buy such delicious-looking bread, even though I live in a country with good bread. The crust looks incredible. If there were the faintest chance I might be able to reproduce this level of quality, I might actually try my hand at sourdough.

  6. TONY KIRK says



  7. says

    Super Susan! These twisted rolls looks terrific! You could even fill the seam before twisting with some seeds or herbs or some string cheese. I will have to try some twisting!


  8. says

    Oh my, but those are beautiful loaves. So beautiful that I’m almost tempted to recapture wild yeast. (Almost…)

    Do you think if I make a 360 g biga using commercial yeast, I might be able to come up with a not unreasonable facsimile?

    Many thanks for the shaping lesson.

  9. says

    This little twister looks wonderful. I wonder how good a sandwich of fresh homemade mayo, tomato,honey ham and swiss with shallot and alfalfa sprouts would be?


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