Saturday, May 18, 2013

Himalayan Salt, Olives, Rosemary, and Garlic Sourdough

I hadn't made bread in awhile and wanted to replenish my sourdough starter... so this is what happened. So what's in the loaf: naturally fermented sourdough starter, Mediterranean olives, fresh rosemary, garlic, and Himalayan Pink Salt. I've really been into Himalayan Pink Salt lately, so many benefits from  minerals we're lacking in our diet to helping regulate hormones!  

On with the loaf, I love the texture of this bread and the toppings were perfect too. I'm glad I decided to throw some garlic in there last minute. Overall, a good moist interior, with a crunchy exterior. It also turned out really airy, which creates a nice artisan feel but good mouth feel too. I really liked the saltiness of the olives, and feel healthier (although it's supremely delicious too!) using the Himalayan Pink Salt. This bread pairs well with an Italian meal, or I even like it for breakfast with a nice spread of butter. 

If you need some basic info on beginning your own sourdough, begin with your sourdough starter. Next step try a basic boule for your first loaf. Happy baking! 

Himalayan Salt, Olives, Rosemary, and Garlic Sourdough
Original Recipe Sourdough Series
Active Time: 1 hour Inactive Time: 4 - 5 hours  Yield: 1 - 2 loaves

3/4 cup sourdough starter, at least 2 weeks old and set out at room temperature before use
2 cup lukewarm water (add 1/4 cup if using whole wheat flour)
3 cup ap white flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
3/4 tbsp Himalayan Pink Salt, ground
1/4 cup chopped Mediterranean olives
1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
cornmeal for dusting

How To:
1) Pour sourdough starter into a large bowl. Add water and flour to bowl. Stir to combine. Let rest for 20 minutes.

2) Add salt and incorporate into dough. Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 2 - 3 hours (higher elevations may take up to 4 - 5 hours to rise). After rising, the dough can be stored in the fridge for up to seven days, and formed chilled; OR proceed to forming loaf.

3) On baking day, preheat oven to 450ºF placing a dutch oven inside to allow it to heat gradually. No need to heat the lid. Coat a clean surface with a little flour and a little cornmeal. Flour your hands well and pull half of the dough up with one hand, and pinch off where you desire. Place piece of dough upon surface.

4)  Gently pat dough flat with your palms, don't poke the dough or use a rolling pin. Make one side thicker and one side flatter, the thicker side closest to you. 

5) Evenly coat the dough with the olives, rosemary, and garlic. Begin forming the loaf. Roll over the thicker side into the middle like you are beginning to roll a jelly roll. Leave it halfway rolled up. Tuck in the sides over this bottom roll. With your hands cupped around the bottom rolled section of dough, stretch it towards yourself to elongate the flatter side, then continue to roll up the dough until it is all rolled up. 

6) The rest of the forming needs to happen quickly, so that the dough doesn't get overworked. Gently tuck in ends of dough underneath creating a ball, so that the top begins to dome, and the loose ends are tucked underneath. Place roughly shaped ball at opposite edge of board. With hands cupped around ball of dough, with the sides of your hands resting on the board, pull ball of dough to yourself. By doing so, the edges are sucked in under the ball you formed and the top is "stretched" to create a tight exterior surface. Repeat this two times or so until nice and tight.

7) With a serrated knife or sharp razor, create lines across the formed loaf. Barely cut the surface by a couple millimeters. 

8) Gently pick up formed loaf and place it inside of the heated dutch oven. Cover with the oven-proof lid. Bake with the lid on for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, drop temperature to 400ºF, and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes. The internal temperature should reach at least 200ºF - 210ºF. Remove loaf from oven and let rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour, preferably until it feels cool to the touch, before slicing into.

Serve with olive oil or balsamic glaze. Bon Appétit. 

How to form a standard boule: Pictorial


  1. ahhhh, you make it look so easy! you are truly an artist with your breads! (and many other things...including art! :) )

    1. aw thanks jannelle :) you are so sweet. the bread thing took awhile to get the hang of, but just one day it clicked. thanks for your words of affirmation!

  2. I was going to say the same as janelle ! My bread never looks this perfect! you make it look easy !

    1. haha thanks alycia, you are so sweet. the best thing I stumbled upon that helped my bread making was the dutch oven. I almost think any loaf will come out beautiful if you use of the those. love you and miss you!


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