The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

White sourdough bread with rosemary and toasted wheatgerm

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

White sourdough bread with rosemary and toasted wheatgerm

My partner is great at preserves and has recently turned her hand to olives, which were sourced from our small potted olive tree and branches overhanging fences around the neighbourhood. We see scrumping as a form of urban harvesting - the olives we took would have fallen to the street and rotted.

Last week was the big reveal. We'd waited months for the moment of tasting, so decided to make an occasion of it with a big farmhouse platter for dinner featuring the olives, an assortment of cheeses, some crudites and prosciuotto - and of course, a nice red.

I decided to make a bread to accompany the meal, and came up with this white sourdough with rosemary and toasted wheatgerm. Usually, I'd add olives to the mix, but decided not to on this occasion, preferring the focus to be solely on our platter olives.

The bread was probably slightly underproofed, going by the explosive rise. I didn't mind, because it gave the finished bread a rustic look in keeping with the theme of the dinner. I was delighted with the blistering on the crust and the soft, creamy crumb.

As it happened, we didn't wait for dinner to sample the bread. We sliced some up and had it with avocado for lunch. Very nice. Later that night it proved to be at its very best with wine and cheese.

This is not a versatile bread. It doesn't go particularly well with sweet toppings, but as an accompaniment for savouries - oh, yes.

Recipe to follow, but for now here are some pics:

 

 

 

 

OK, back. Here's the recipe.

Ingredients
150gm starter (white, 80% hydration)
335gm water
490gm bakers' flour
10gm toasted wheatgerm (will double this next time)
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, stripped and chopped
8gm salt

 

Method

  • Hand mix and autolyse 45 mins.
  • Cut in salt, stretch and fold, then bulk proof 4 hours 15 mins. Do two more S&Fs hourly in first 2 hours.
  • Pre-shape and rest 20 minutes. Shape.
  • Final proof 2 hours 15 mins, then retard in fridge overnight.

Note: My ambient temperature was quite low - 18C/64F - so adjust proof times according to your conditions.

Bake straight out of fridge next day, as follows:

  • Heat oven to max, with pizza stone inside. Score bread and load. Immediately turn down oven to 225C.
  • 12 minutes @ 225C/440F with steam.
  • 12 minutes @ 215C/420F (steam source removed)
  • 15 minutes @ 200C/390F
  • Turn oven off and rest loaf with door ajar for 5 minutes.

Cool on cookie rack or similar for minimum 2 hours before slicing.

And the olives? Just unbelievably good. If you have access to some fresh fruit, I highly recommend you have a go at preserving your own. Not difficult - the hardest thing is having the patience to wait for the curing to be complete.

Cheers all
Ross


Comments

lumos's picture
lumos

I luuuuve bread with rosemary, too!  I sometimes add it to my baguette dough.

I love the way your crust 'exploded,' and the crumb looks really nice and open.  Never tried myself, but matching it with avocado must've worked very well. Thanks for the idea. :)

I sometimes add very coarsely ground black pepper or zest of lemon (occasionally both)to my rosemary bread.

Can't remember the French name for it, but they have levain-based bread with raisin and rosemary in it.  Thought dried fruits and strong herb like rosemary a bit weird first, but surprisingly it works. 

lumos

 

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Your coarse black pepper and lemon zest addition sounds intriguing. Might give that a go next time (thanks for the idea back!).

Not sure about that raisin or dried fruit and rosemary combo, though. I don't go for rosemary with sweet flavours. It's always seemed to me a savoury, almost meaty herb. Probably through associating it with roast lamb, I guess.

Cheers!
Ross

lumos's picture
lumos

Hi, there!

I was exactly like you about combining sweet flavour with rosemary..... until one day I bought a few petit pave (a sort of French style rustique bread rolls) from my local supermarket. I smelled rosemary, so I put a few in a bag, thinking the black bits were olives.  It was only when I bit into it I realized they were actually raisins.  The first bite came as a bit of shock, but as you chew on it, I quite grew to it and by the time I finished the whole piece, I came to like it quite a lot. And later learned that the combination is quite traditional one in France, and started adding a small amount of rosemary to my regular fruits bread, sometimes with carraway.  And now it's one of my neighbour's favourite bread since I baked one for him on his birthday. It works not only with raisin, but also very well with dried apricots, figs, prunes or even a combination of dried autumn fruits, like apples & pears. But just a small amount, though....until you managed to break and get over your pre-conception. :p

Trust me. "Those who believe shall be saved."  Amen.  :p

lumos

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

...but you can't come in! We believe in the same holey father in leaven, but belong to different denominations!

:/D

lumos's picture
lumos

::sigh::  oh,  you're such an infidel. There won't be a rosemarily, raisinly heaven for you, then.

:p

sam's picture
sam

Maybe a bit under done in the final ferment, but a good crumb structure and it looks good to me!

 

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Thanks for your comment. It really was an extraordinary crumb. Not really sure why this one worked so well, but there's always an element of mystery in this wonderful bread baking thang, isn't there? Sometimes it works for ya, sometimes against.

Cheers!
Ross

Floydm's picture
Floydm

It looks great, Ross.  Would you mind if I toss it up on the front page for a bit?

-Floyd

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I'd be chuffed, Floyd! All yours!

Cheers
Ross

lumos's picture
lumos

Congrats, Ross, for the front page feature! My new neighbour. ;)

lumos

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Only on a very short-term lease, so let's make the most of our new neighbourly relationship! I'll swap you a Swiss SD for a spicy SD fruit loaf - been doing a lot of them recently.

Cheers!
Ross

lumos's picture
lumos

Does your spicy fruit SD include rosemary by any chance?  .......just saying! :p

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I've tried combining rosemary with sweet flavours, by the way. It's just not to my taste, generally. But each to his/her own...

Cheers!
R

Syd's picture
Syd

Nice baking Ross.  You can't go wrong with rosemary.  Perhaps if you hadn't baked directly out of the fridge you wouldn't have got so much expansion.  I tend to three quarter prove my sourdoughs before I put them into the fridge, because my fridge checks their progress almost immediately.  I wouldn't do that with breads that have commercial yeast in them, though.  They would be sure to overprove. 

Best,

Syd

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Yes, I have found the same with the fridge retardation. I usually complete the final proof before I put the dough in the fridge more or less - in this case, evidently less! I do my SD bread like this all the time, partly because it suits my schedule, partly because I like the flavour and crust quality an overnight retardation imparts. The blame for this loaf being a bit underproofed is right down to the baker, I'm afraid, not his method! We've been having wildly fluctuating temperatures and this was a colder patch. Didn't read the dough as well as I should have! 

Cheers!
Ross

wally's picture
wally

Yeah, Ross, by the looks somewhat underproofed.  But very nice crumb structure and big holes.  Looks like a really eatable bread to me.

Nice bake,

Larry

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Yes, very forgiving of this baby to turn out as it did, given its less than perfect final proof. I often don't get that blistered crust effect or such a gorgeous crumb and flavour with a properly proofed bread. Actually, change "forgiving" to "generous"!

Cheers!
Ross

ehanner's picture
ehanner

What a beautiful looking loaf. It's great you had home cured olives to pare it with. That must have been a treat. Thanks for sharing.

Eric

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Your posts speak eloquently of your accomplishment as a baker, so I'm delighted to receive such a comment from you.

And yes, the olives exceeded our fondest expectations. A treat indeed.

Cheers!
Ross

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

That beautiful picture just forced me to click on it!   What a beauty!  Now having read the thread I might just need to stir up a loaf with rosemary from the front walk, lemon zest and some of those free grains of paradise "pepper" I just got.  Hmmmm.

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Thanks for your kind acknowledgement. It's warming to come across such enthusiasm, so generously expressed. And yes...DO get stirring and planning the antipasto platter...and may you enjoy yours as much as we did ours.

Cheers!
Ross

ww's picture
ww

Nice one, Ross! Pillowy soft it looks, reminds me in texture and airiness of a pugliese.

i second Lumos in the pairing of rosemary with sweet, try rosemary and blueberry.

coincidentally i'm also baking with rosemary - hamelman's roasted potato bread with some rosemary from my sister's garden tossed in.

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

hat said, it's been quite a while since I made a pugliese, and have only made one (Reinhart's). I remember how lovely it was, though, but as I recall it was past its best the day after the bake. This has been my experience generally with yeasted breads, but 95% of the breads I've baked have been SD so this is only a basic impression.

That Hamelman roasted potato bread with rosemary sounds verrry nice. Might have to look that one up. My Hamelman tome has been neglected too long.

Cheers!
Ross

ww's picture
ww

and would you know it, just as i was going to load the loaf into the oven, clumsy me tipped the peel over and it landed flat on its face. The only thing louder than the thud - it was a big fat loaf - was the sound of my scream.

what would have been a nice boule - one of the few few times i did NOT overproof, with the brotform imprint, as it was also one of the few times i used mine - became a UFO/frisbee. So great was the impact a big bubble instantly appeared next to a dent. Dimpled UFO. If i weren't so peeved i would see the humour in this.

 

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Boy, that's one handsome loaf, Ross! Great job!

Eating this with your own cured olives sounds like a treat - a great feeling of achievement and "wholesomeness", I'm sure.

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Your comment means a lot. You know how much I admire your baking. And yes, there's nothing quite like producing your own food - we're keeping the last of the olives for a 'special occasion'. That will probably be another Saturday night celebration of the three great fermented foods: wine, cheese and bread. Add good company to the equation and that = a special occasion. If only it was always that simple. Watching the 9/11 anniversary commemorations on TV last night smacked it home, yet again, that it isn't. All the more reason to direct our energy towards the good things and savour them.

Peace
Ross

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Indeed, making your own food from the very beginning is so inspiring, whether it's a simple pasta dish (where you've rolled your own pasta, carefully prepared your own stock and salted pork belly for the sauce), an elaborate meal or an afternoon plate of freshly baked sourdough bread with olives - it's all about taking things back, knowing what goes into your food and (most importantly) enjoying the process and the fruits of your labour.

That crumb looks better than any I've ever baked, Ross. Superb, and I'm certain the flavour was as well! Have a nice week!

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

...but thanks indeed. Needless to say, I agree with everything you wrote about self-produced food. Have a great week yourself!

Cheers
Ross

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Hi Ross

Well done with that loaf and achieving pin up status.

You may find that the wheat germ gives the dough a bit of a tonk along and watch out for it when you double the quantity in your future bake. We made a Vitamin E enriched loaf that had wheat germ addded and we used to bake it in a tin that we turned over for a square pan finished look and it used to sometimes kick like a mule  lifting the tin well off the tray at one end  giving anything but that square look we were after, the bread had quite a good following with one lady customer coming in at 5.00 am for half a dozen loaves for her and family and friends. she always had the right money as we had no float in the till until the girls arrived to open the shop at 7.30.

This last year was a great year for olives here in Western Australia and we managed to get almost 30 litres off the tree that we had planted to the memory of a colleague who passed away through a needless act of violence. I usually get to pick the olives on the anniversary of his passing but this year with all the hot weather through summer they were a few weeks earlier. We have given quite a lot to Grant's Friends and colleagues and just about eaten our way through them now. Each morning when i come into my office i see the olive tree outside Grant's office and think of him. The wonderfull thing is that the tree is forming flowers right now and it is looking like being another good year for olives. Grant was also my work colleague that agreed to have his students build the wood fired oven here at the college and that has now been rededicated to his and another colleague's memory. So i have two things here at work  that i get a lot of pleasure from reminding me of a really nice human being. 

regards Yozza

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Thanks for your acknowledgement, and the tip on wheatgerm - I didn't know it enhanced leavening power. Will be mindful of that in future bakes.

As for the "needless act of violence" that took your friend  - it begs the question, is ANY violence "needed"?  Seems to me darkness begets darkness and light light. Beats me why anyone would choose the former, but we are perverse creatures ever caught in the drama of that great eternal paradox of human nature - the cohabitation of the angel and the beast. Thank you for sharing that poignant story of Grant's Tree, which is a triumph of creation over destruction.

Best,
Ross

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Hi Ross

 We were always told that wheatgerm had a deleterious (great word, and i did need to double check as you are such a good wordsmith) meaning"harmfull or injurious" effect on dough and bread making. So it was with great trepidation that i first added it to a dough formula, but to my suprise it did not react the way i anticipated however on reflection it did make it a bit more unpredictable, both in the way it seemed to surge on and in large to medium scale production you do need to have a modicum of control and predictability.  The fact that the wheat germ was toasted might also assist in changing its nature somewhat!

It is also worthy of note that the West Australian chapter of TFL folk have already had their inaugeral meeting, and if the olives and White Sour dough with Rosemary and toasted Wheat germ are likely to be passed around it shouldn't be to hard to arrange our 2nd TFL meeting. Are there any other West Aussies out there, please make yourselves known!

regards Yozza

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

And what's more, we had our inaugural TFL meetup at least a year ago (even if the attendees numbered only two - it's quality that counts!). So, I guess we're trendsetters! Gotta be a first time for everything...

I'll second your call for starters for Perth TFL meetup #2...

May I add: BYO fermented consumables - all types welcome (consumables and bakers)...

Coo-EEE!

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Ok, that does it!

 

I am making it this weekend, you managed to pass ahead of a long line of breads, stepping on their feet, climbing over their shoulders, while screaming "Me! Me! Me!  BAKE ME!!!!!"

 

 

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Hopefully, this unruly and aggressive behaviour will prove to be justified! A few chews in I trust you will be able to forgive this bread its shameless attention-seeking.

Would love to know how you find it.

Cheers!
Ross

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I will report back  -  if all goes according to plan (knock on wood) - I intend to make the dough on Saturday and bake Sunday morning

sounds like a fantastic loaf of bread, I am counting the days!

 

 

Anakritis's picture
Anakritis

Gorgeous loaf!

I will be trying this one!

 

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Hope it turns out well for you. Feedback always welcome.

Cheers!
Ross

 

3 Olives's picture
3 Olives

Just took a loaf out of the oven and it looks great. Thanks for the detailed instructions!

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I'm most gratified that you tried the recipe and delighted it worked out for you. Pics puh-lease!

Cheers
Ross

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I think I'm in love......

will be blogging and Yeastspotting this one for sure, but for the time being I'll just show you a couple of photos.

 

For reasons that shall not be dwelled into, and that involve a dog - I could not use rosemary.  My plant is dead.  Killed. Murdered.

I had to resort to fresh sage instead - the bread turned out amazing!  THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE INSPIRATION!

 

Syd's picture
Syd

Looks beautiful, Sally. More credit to Ross for an excellent recipe. 

Syd

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Luuuuurve that blistered crust and your fabulous grigne, and the crumb looks so inviting. Thanks so much for posting.

And talking about inspiration...sage! Mm-HMM!

Appreciate your kind acknowledgement, Syd, and it's indeed very special for me that other TFLers have actually tried this bread - but all credit to Sally for taking it to another level.

Cheers
Ross

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

if anyone wants to jump there, here is the link

 

http://bewitchingkitchen.com/2011/09/21/wheat-germ-sage-sourdough-bread/

 

we still have half the boule left, and it's still delicious!

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Left a comment on your blog, and took the opportunity to subscribe. Look forward to your posts.

Best
Ross

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Saw it! that was very nice of you, thank you!