Rosemary Sourdough

These rosemary sourdough boules are my first baking project made with my new batch of sourdough starter – not to shabby.  I made my bread dough at the beginning of last week, but I did not get around to actually baking it until the end of the week.  The timing gap was not intentional.  I had planned to bake it that next day, to just overnight it in the refrigerator, but then one night turned into two, and before I knew it it was the end of the week and my bread dough was still sitting in the back of the fridge.  Thankfully, the yeast turned out to be rather forgiving, and leaving the dough out for a few hour to return it to room temperature was enough to, miraculously, give my yeast a new lease on life.  In fact, the whole process seemed to  work to my favor, and the week spent hibernating in the back of my fridge served to enrich and heighten the sourdough and rosemary flavors.  This was particularly important, seeing as my sourdough starter is still in its infancy, and has yet to develop the deeper sourdough flavors that come with aging.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 tbsp Yeast
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh Rosemary
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 cup Sourdough Starter
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 4 – 5 cups Flour

Directions:

  1. Combine the water, yeast, rosemary, sugar, sourdough starter, salt, and 1 cup Flour.
  2. Allow the ingredients to rest for about ten minutes to form a sponge.
  3. Gradually, add half a cup of flour at a time.
  4. You want to create a fairly wet and stretchy mixture, and then knead/beat it (it will probably be to sticky for heavy kneading) for about 5 minutes.
  5. Scoop the mixture into a well greased container, and let it rise until tripled. About 2 hours.  You can also store the dough in the refrigerator for several days to deepen the sourdough flavor.
  6. Punch the dough down, divide it in half, and form each half into a boule. If you do store your dough for a few days, when you are ready to bake it remove it from the refrigerator and give it a couple of hours to return to room temperature before forming the boules.
  7. Dust the boules in flour, cover them lightly with plastic wrap, and give them another hour or two to rise.
  8. Preheat the oven and dutch oven or stone to 450 F (232 C).
  9. Fill a tray with ice cubes to place on the bottom oven rack.
  10. Once sufficiently preheated, dump one of the boules into the oven, score it’s top with a sharp knife or bread lame, and slide in the ice try underneath.
  11. Bake for 40-45 minutes, checking to refill the ice when necessary.
  12. Remove from the oven to cool, and proceed to bake the second boule in the same manner.

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