Alexandria · Baking · Cooking · Eating

Rosemary-Olive Oil Bread Made with Sourdough Starter


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If you’ve come this far with the sourdough starter, then this is a bread walk. If you’d like to bake this AMAZING bread, click here for the sourdough starter that you’ll need to make first. It only takes fifteen days to make it, but who’s counting.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds plus 2 ounces unbleached white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 cup raw wheat germ
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Day 1
Place water, sourdough starter, flour, and wheat germ in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a doth hook. Mix on low speed for 4 minutes. The dough should be sticky and pliable. Cover the dough and allow it to rest 20 minutes.

Add salt and continue mixing on medium speed for 4 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary with a rubber spatula.

Add rosemary and olive oil and mix on medium speed until ingredients are incorporated and the dough reaches an internal temperature of 78 degrees F, about 5 more minutes.

Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and lightly coat it with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the oiled bowl, cover in plastic wrap, and let it ferment at room temperature until it doubles in volume, about 3 to 4 hours.

Uncover the dough and turn it out onto a  lightly floured work surface. Cut the dough into two equal pieces. Slap each piece against the work surface to deflate. Tuck under the edges of each piece, cover the dough with a cloth, and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Uncover the dough and round each piece into a boule. Place the boules, smooth side down, into a bowl (unless you have proofing baskets). Cover the dough in the bowl with a cloth and let proof at room temperature until it begins to show signs of movement, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Remove the cloth and sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour. Wrap each bowl tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.

Day 2

Remove the boules from the refrigerator, take off plastic wrap, and cover each with a cloth. Let the dough continue proofing at room temperature until it reaches an internal temperature of 58 degrees F, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F at least one hour before baking.

Remove the cloth and lightly dust boules with flour. Carefully loosen boules from bowls and gently invert onto lightly floured baker’s peel.

With a single-edged razor held perpendicular to the boule, slash a tic-tac-toe pattern on top of each.

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Open the oven door, spritz the oven heavily with water from a spray bottle, and quickly close the door. Open the oven door again, slide the boule onto the pizza stone, and quickly close the door. Cut, spritz, and load the second boule in the same manner.

Reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Spritz the oven two more times during the next 5 minutes. Refrain from opening the oven door for the next 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, check the boules and rotate them if necessary to ensure even baking. Continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes more, for a total of 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove boules to a cooling rack. The finished boules will have a rich brown color and look swollen.

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Baking

Fall Baking (Part I): Scottish Oatmeal Bread


In an attempt to properly align myself with the seasons (even though it still feels like summer here) I sought out a hearty bread to bake from my still favorite bread cookbook, Kneadlessly Simple. It’s incredibly easy to make and tastes good enough to be considered dessert. It’s great with a dab of butter, jam or served as French toast.

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour, plus 3/4 cup, plus more as needed
  • scant 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon instant, fast-rising yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pan and oaf top
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, plus 4 tablespoons for garnish
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 6 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup dried currants, rinsed under hot water, then thoroughly drained and patted dry (optional, I didn’t use any)
First Rise: In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together 2 1/2 cups of the flour, the salt, yeast, allspice, and nutmeg. Vigorously stir the ice water and orange zest into the flour mixture, scraping down the sides just until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. If too dry to mix, a bit at a time, stir in just enough more ice water to blend the ingredients, but don’t over-moisten, as the dough should be fairly stiff. Stir in more flour to stiffen it if necessary. Brush the top with softened butter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. If desired, for best flavor or for convenience, you can refrigerate the dough for 3 to 10 hours. Then let rise at cool room temperature for 12 to 18 hours.
Second Rise: In a medium bowl, gradually stir the oats into the boiling water until well blended. Let stand for 5 minutes to partially cook. Stir in the butter and sugar until the sugar dissolves and let cool thoroughly. Vigorously stir the cooled oatmeal mixture into the dough until thoroughly incorporated. Add in 3/4 cup of the flour and the currants until evenly distributed throughout, then as needed, enough more flour to yield a very stiff dough, scraping down the bowl thoroughly. Using an oiled rubber spatula and working all the way around the bowl, fold the dough in towards the center.
Generously butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Add 2 tablespoons of oats to the pan: tip it back and forth to evenly distribute them. Invert the dough into the pan. Smooth out the top and press the dough evenly into the pan. Brush the loaf with melted butter. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons oats over the top pressing down to embed them. Using an oiled serrated knife of kitchen shears, cut a 6-inch long, 1/2-inch-deep slash down the loaf center. Cover the pan with nonstick spray-coated plastic wrap.
Let rise using either of these methods: For a 1 3/4- to 2 1/2-hour regular rise, let stand at warm room temperature; for a 1- to 2-hour accelerated rise, let stand in a turned-off microwave along with 1 cup boiling-hot water. Continue the rise until the dough nears the plastic. Remove it and continue until the dough extends just to the pan rim (it will rise a lot in the oven).
Baking Preliminaries: 20 minutes before baking time, put a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 375 degrees F.
Baking: Bake on the lower rack for 65 to 75 minutes, until the top is nicely browned and a skewer inserted in the thickest part comes out with moist crumbs on the tip (or until the center registers 204 to 206 degrees on an instant-read thermometer). (As necessary to prevent over-browning, cover the top with foil.) Then bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer to ensure the center is baked through. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the loaf to the rack; cool throughly.