The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Lemon Rosemary Sourdough

LeadDog's picture

Lemon Rosemary Sourdough

Lemon Rosemary Sourdough

I saw a post here on The Fresh Loaf  by someone looking for a formula for a Lemon Rosemary bread.  This combination sounded really good to me so I decided to give it a try.  First I had to decided how much Lemon Zest and Rosemary to put into the bread and I decided to try for about 2% for each of them.  Then I decided that I would use up the last of my bread flour and use some fresh milled whole wheat and rye.  I figured on a hydration of 70% and that the percentage of the sourdough preferment would be 20%.  It is summer time here and the temperatures have been hot so I figured less preferment would slow things down a little bit.  I now had a plan on how I was going to make this bread now I'll tell you how it went.

 The first night I made my first build of the preferment.

1st Build  Grams  Percent 
 Starter 50% 
 Flour 14  100% 
 Water 50% 
 Total 28 


 The next morning I add more flour and water to the preferment for the 2nd build.

2nd Build  Grams  Percent 
 1st build 28 54% 
 Flour 51 100% 
 Water 36 70% 
Total 114 


When I got home from work the afternoon I mixed the dough up as follows.  

 Dough Formula Grams  Percent 
 Flour* 571  100% 
 Water 400  70.05% 
 Salt 10  1.75% 
 Preferment 114  19.96% 
 Rosemary 11  1.93 
 Lemon Zest 12  2.10% 
 Olive Oil 11  1.93% 
 Total 1129  197.72% 

*Flours  Grams  Percent 
 Bread Flour 445  77.93% 
 Whole Wheat 69  12.08% 
 Rye 57  9.98% 
  First I dissolved the preferment into the water and then  mixed in the bread flour.  I let this sit while I went and milled my wheat and rye flours.  Next the wheat and rye flours were mixed in and the dough was let sit for 30 minutes.  We have Rosemary growing in the yard so I went and picked enough for 11 grams and then chopped it up into small bits.  I used a small grater to make Lemon Zest from one lemon and ended up with 12 grams.  I added the Lemon Zest, Rosemary, Salt and the Lemon Pepper infused Olive Oil all at the same time.  The rosemary went in first and my first reaction was it was going to just over power the bread.  The Lemon Zest went in last and after that all I could smell was lemon.  This seemed like it was going to be one powerful bread.  I mixed the dough until the gluten developed.  Then the dough was turned out into an oiled bowl and placed in the wine cellar for a cool ferment.  Four hours later I placed the bowl in the refrigerator so I could cook it when I got home from work the next day.  I checked the dough in the morning before I went to work and it had raised up to touch the plate that I place on top of the bowl.  When I got home that day the dough was lifting the plate off of the bowl.  I set the bowl out and let the dough warm up for two hours.  Then I turned out the dough on to a floured work surface and folded the dough over on itself to get some flour on all the surfaces of the dough.  When I looked at the dough after I did this the dough looked so nice I just want to bake it like that without shaping it any more.  I figured that if I rolled it over onto some parchment paper that it just might work.  Then I put the dough into a counche and turned the oven on to 460°F to preheat it.  I used a cast iron roasting pan to bake this bread in so it is oiled and preheated in the oven too.  When the oven gets up to temperature I place the dough in the pan and cook it with the lid on for 25 minutes and then the last 15 minutes without the lid.  The bread had great oven spring and just looked wonderful to me when I pulled it out.  The aroma of the bread just filled the house but now I had to get some sleep.  Cutting the bread would have to wait for the next day at work were my coworkers are my bread testers.   My testers really liked the bread.  They were eating great big slabs of the bread all day long.  I told my boss what kind of bread that I had made and she said she didn't like Lemon Rosemary.  Later a coworker tells my boss how great it tastes and talks her into trying a slice of it.  My boss then emails me telling me how great the bread is.  There were many great compliments on this bread, it was just incredible.



Janknitz's picture

I can't wait to try it. 

Thanks for sharing the formula, I hope to be able to make it this weekend. 

Janknitz's picture

OK, LeadDog, so I'm making this bread as we speak and questions are coming up for this newbie:

1.  Do either of the preferments get refrigerated?  

2.  In the final dough, you said you dissolved the preferment in the water and added only the bread flour and allowed it to sit while you milled the whole wheat and rye.  For the uninitiated--about how long did that take you?  5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes????

3.  In mixing the final dough, you said that you "mixed until gluten developed".  What does that mean?  Just until strands of gluten are seen, or is this kneading for a while for a particular stage of gluten development???  I'm making some wild guesses here (kneading until a moderate stage of gluten development as defined by Susan of Wildyeast on her blog), but if the bread does not come out, I'd like to know where to try to correct it next time.  

If this bread tastes as good as it smells, it will be great no matter what.  Thanks again for the formula.  

LeadDog's picture

Question 1) I never refrigerate my preferments.  I have always planned to use them in 8 to 12 hours.

Question 2)  Yes I dissolve the preferment in the water then added the bread flour.  Milling the other flours anly took maybe 10 mins.  I always like to get some food for the starter just after it is dissolved even if it is a small amount.  I normally add my largest amount of flour last.

Question 3)  I have a Bosch mixer and its mixing times seem to be faster than other mixers.  I watch the dough and can tell when it is ready.  You can also underdevelop the dough and do stretch and flolds to develop the gluten.  I perfer doing stretch and folds.

Isn't the smell of the dough just wild as you are making it?  Thanks for trying the formula.

Janknitz's picture

I baked it last night and so far so good.  It rose beautifully and had incredible oven spring.  The loaf looks fantastic and smells even better, but it was too late last night to wait for it to cool and have a taste. 

For all my anxieties and questions, it the rising and baking went very well.  It always amazes me how a thimblefull of sourdough can leaven and flavor a bread this size!  It fit exactly in my clay baker--another few ounces of dough and it would have been too big. 

We'll have it for dinner tonight and I'll take time to photograph the crumb. I already have great pictures of the boule itself to post. 


Janknitz's picture

Posted here.

Thanks again, Lead Dog, it was great fun and great results.