The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rehydrate dried Rosemary?

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MNBäcker's picture
MNBäcker

Rehydrate dried Rosemary?

Hi, all.

So, I have been baking a couple of batches of Rosemary-Olive sourdough. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results, but I have one slight problem:

the Rosemary flavor is barely noticeable in the bread. I think I used a pretty good amount of fresh Rosemary already, but I could of course increase the amount. The problem I will have is, that when I get to "production stage" and make a dozen loaves or so at a time, I'd need a bush of Rosemary every week - that doesn't sound very sustainable.

Is there a good way to re-hydrate dried Rosemary, so I could buy it in bulk and add as much as I need to the breads? Soak it in warm water overnight?

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

Stephan

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Either you need an inexpensive source for a lot of fresh, always available,  rosemary or you use dried rosemary.  Unless you yourself can greenhouse a great many rosemary plants, I think that you will be better off with dried rosemary.  I find that buying organic dried rosemary provides an herb with plenty of flavor and it works quite well in bread.  I realize that this is not ideal as fresh is better (much better) , but I found that fresh was cost prohibitive when used beyond personal needs in my own kitchen.  The other option is to move to a climate where rosemary grows year round in your back yard without a greenhouse........dried is easier!!!!!

Jeff

MNBäcker's picture
MNBäcker

Thanks, Jeff.

So, do you just add the dried Rosemary, or do you pre-treat it somehow to get it to be softer before you add it to your dough?

 

Stephan

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Stephan,

I use it dried as it comes with no pretreatment.  I have tried dried herbs from a number of different sources looking for the best aroma and flavor that I could find.  The brand found most commonly is Frontier as they supply a good many of the food co-ops around the country.  For the most part, Frontier herbs are regrettably lacking in both aroma and flavor.  Mountain Rose Herbs (on the internet) has organic herbs with excellent qualities and that is where I get my herbs.

Poor herbs make poor bread, find the best you can.

Jeff

p.s. G-man: I once lived in the PNW and the gigantic rosemary plants are one of those things that I miss the most

G-man's picture
G-man

As a general rule I know that most dried herbs are prohibited if you're looking for the full flavor.

Rosemary is the one herb that I use frequently where this is not the case. You can use it dried and get pretty much the full effect.

That said, rosemary is an evergreen plant and, while it is from the Mediterranean and does best where it's warm, we've got it growing all over the place here in Seattle, where it's cold and wet much of the year. It's a very hardy plant. It also requires very little to no tending, and in this climate at least it never even needs to be watered. Just pick the young shoots and leave the older growth to sustain the plant; it isn't good for cooking, anyway. Point is, if you want to avoid dried herbs and find fresh rosemary to be prohibitively expensive, growing your own is not out of the question, especially if you've got some land on which to do so.

Another option might be to check with your local CSAs. I know that many of the CSAs around this area get most of their operating money from restaurants and businesses buying large quantities of fresh herbs and salad greens.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Eric Hanner, in another thread on this bread, noted that he adds the rosemary to the olive oil called for in the formula, then warms the oil and allows it to sit overnight. I've tried this and it works pretty well.

G-man's picture
G-man

That is a very good idea.

I bet you could do this with most herbs, especially Mediterranean herbs.