Warmer spring days call for lighter fare. No longer do I want a sourdough that will stand up to winter’s hearty stews and casseroles. These days I am looking for a bread that will make the perfect sandwich or turn an entree salad into a meal. As a lover of all things rosemary, I’ve been eying the Rosemary Sourdough recipe found in the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion for a while now. So this week I adapted it and made these two earthy loaves of bread. I’m sure the original recipe is delicious too, but for some reason I am almost unable to actually follow a recipe – I always need to add my own twist to it. I can’t be alone in this, right? There must be others out there who are compelled to “change-up” a recipe. What kind of recipes do you do you most often make your own?
Getting back to sourdough – first I gave my starter its final feeding with white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. For those of you unfamiliar with white whole wheat flour, it is actually a whole wheat flour that isn’t quite as dense as the more common whole wheat. It makes a great addition when you want to increase whole grains, but don’t want that usual heavy whole wheat effect.
- 2 cups sourdough starter
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl, combine the starter, water and olive oil. Add the flour and salt and mix until combined. Knead in the chopped rosemary and continue kneading until you have a smooth but soft dough. Let rise in a greased, covered bowl for about 2 hours. Divide dough and shape into 2 tight balls. Place seam side down on parchment paper and let rise another 2 hours. Preheat oven and baking stone to 450 degrees. Slash the top of each loaf and slide onto the hot stone. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature is about 205 degrees. Move bread to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Note: As you can see, I forgot to slash the loaves before they went in the oven. Therefore, the bread “slashed” itself and split along one side. It hasn’t affected the taste though! Fresh rosemary makes a big difference here. Don’t be tempted to substitute dried rosemary as it will not impart as much flavor. The bread is nice and soft, but slices easily for sandwiches.
If you want to learn more about sourdough check out the Sourdough Resources page at the French Road Bakery Blog. Don’t forget about all the great recipes at Yeastspotting on the Wild Yeast Blog. And if you are looking to start your own sourdough from scratch see our posts on how to get your starter going, how to keep it going, and how to revive a dead starter too!