A powerhouse in the flavor department, this bread pairs well with a steak dinner. Based on the King Arthur Flour “rustic” sourdough bread recipe, it turns out terrific every time.
1/4 cup dried, minced onions
2 cups lukewarm water
2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
1 cup “fed” sourdough starter
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
Add the dried onions to one cup of warm water. By the time you’re done with the next step, they’ll be ready to add to the bowl along with the second cup of water.
Finely chop two sprigs of rosemary leaves. If you like more, less or none, then by all means adjust this to your liking. You have my permission. 🙂
In a large, non-reactive bowl (like stainless) add the onions (plus the water they were soaking in), rosemary, the remaining cup of (lukewarm) water, sourdough starter, salt, sugar, yeast and flour. Mix well.
The dough will look crumbly at first. Start kneading for about a minute or until it forms a ball. But don’t over-knead it, you want the dough to be on the “not-so-pretty-looking” side. Think “rustic”.
Using about a tablespoon of olive oil, coat the sides of the bowl. You may also want to brush a little on the top of the dough. (So hands don’t stick later.) Cover and let it sit in a warm place for 90 minutes.
After the 90 minutes, you can shape the dough into one (oblong) roll-shaped loaf or divide the dough and shape into two small loaves by tucking the sides of the dough under itself. Place it on a baking sheet or pizza peel dusted with cornmeal, cover and let the loaf rise for an additional 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. If you want to use an egg wash, do it now. If you want to top the bread with your favorite topping, do that now too. Then using a sharp knife, add a slit or two on the top. Let rise for an additional 20-30 minutes.
Bake for 30 minutes and let cool on a rack. Simply FAB!
Tip: Want a harder outer crust? When preheating the oven, set an oven-safe bowl or pan inside the oven to get it nice and hot. Once the dough goes in, add 1 cup of hot water to the hot pan to create steam. Yeah, steam! Quickly close the oven door and the steam you create will give your bread a hard outer crust: that signature texture you get from a bakery loaf. Super cool, right?
Tip: If adding a topping, brush the loaf with a bit of water to get it to stick.
Tip: A third (and equally great) flavor add-in would be parmesan cheese. Add about a 1/2 cup to the dough with all the other ingredients. Then top the bread with parmesan right before it goes into the oven to bake. Oooh, baby.
Tip: Another way to add the flavor of parmesan is to toast separate slices with it. Butter individual slices, sprinkle on a bit of the cheese and toast until golden and bubbly.
Tip: Don’t like rosemary? Add any other herb you think will do. Just consider the strength in flavor when using fresh herbs and it should turn out just fine.