Learn to bake sourdough bread - the best bread in the world!

Asiago, Kalamata, Rosemary Loaf

Although I have not been posting as often, I still bake sourdough very often. Some of the items I have been baking are:


Italian Sourdough

New Zealand Soft White Sourdough

San Francisco Sourdough

I decided to work on a one day sourdough with a flavor wallop. I bought some very expensive Kalamata olives and some Asiago cheese to bake up what I call a Kalamata Loaf.

I also used some fresh Rosemary from my garden. I used quite a large amount of starter for the dough and also used a morphing of New Zealand starter. Morphing a starter means using two starters in one recipe.

Here is the recipe:

  • 5 oz New Zealand Starter  – 100% hydration
  • 36 oz Italian Starter – 166% hydration
  • 8 oz evaporated milk
  • 8 oz water
  • 1 oz oil
  • 2 lbs 10.5 oz bread flour
  • 1.1 oz salt

In the early morning, using your dough mixer, mix the above ingredients except the salt. This should take about 2 – 3 minutes. Autolyse. Then add your salt and mix on low speed for about 3 more minutes.

Dough before Autolyse

Dough before Autolyse

The mixing for this dough is longer than for a standard sourdough, because it is a one day dough and won’t spend as many hours developing the gluten as usual. Turn the dough out into a dough folding trough or container.

Dough folding trough

Dough folding trough

I have found a large difference in the quality of my dough since I started using a dough folding container and began to fold my dough during the bulk fermentation time. This dough was sticky at 73% hydration, but became manageable after a couple of dough folds. I allowed this dough to bulk ferment six hours and folded the dough about once an hour. You can actually see the dough get stronger with each folding. I am planning on carrying the dough containers at the store soon. After the six hours of bulk fermentation, divide the dough into four pieces weighing 1.5 lbs each.

Divide into four - 1.5 lb each

Divide into four – 1.5 lb each

Let them set for 5-10 minutes and then flatten out each piece one by one. I actually timed my shaping of the loaves 30 minutes apart, so that they would not be all proofed at the same time.

The goodies

The goodies

Chopped, cubed and drained

Chopped, cubed and drained

Stretch the dough piece into a rectangle and spread the olives, cheese and Rosemary on top. Fold the dough over a few times until a roll is formed. Tuck under the ends and place the dough into the couche.

Covered dough

Covered dough

Rolled dough

Rolled dough

Couched dough

Couched dough

When the first loaf has proofed about 2 hours or so, take the dough from the couche, stretch it slightly as you place it on the peel and then dimple the dough with your fingers lightly.

Dimpled dough

Dimpled dough

The loaves will puff up high and be almost round, even though you stretched and dimpled them. You will get larger holey pockets in the crumb if you do the stretch and dimple, the dimpling keeps the top layer of crust from separating, since there is no slashing.
Finished loaves-Asiago, Kalamata, Rosemary

Finished loaves-Asiago, Kalamata, Rosemary

By the time I took the pictures of these three loaves, the first loaf had been consumed:
Kalamata Loaves

Kalamata Loaves

This bread is heavenly, it was rated as the very best “flavored” bread yet made in our household. In two days all four loaves were eaten.
The crumb

The crumb

Crumb closeup

Crumb closeup

This dough would also be great as a Focaccia bread, just don’t roll up the dough and put some oil on the dough before putting on the olive, cheese and Rosemary. I have spent all Summer trying to work on my book and it is coming along pretty well. I have a long way to go though and will need some people willing to test the recipes. If you have experience baking with sourdough, have a kitchen scale and would like to do some testing, please email me and I will put you my list.
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  1. BartBart
    July 9, 2011    

    Thanks for the temp and time information. It turned out to be one of my best bakes ever!

  2. BartBart
    July 7, 2011    

    This recipe sounds GREAT! Especially since you don’t have to BAKE the loaves! (Nowhere did I find reference to cooking time and temperature).

    Also, we need a little bit more explanation of “stretching” the dough. How and how much?


    • northwestsourdoughnorthwestsourdough
      July 7, 2011    

      Wow! That is too funny! And you are right. I am guessing it was the normal(for loaves with milk) bake for 20 minutes at 425F with a lid, then take off the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Good luck!

  3. dougdoug
    April 22, 2011    

    I made two loaves today. it’s my wifes favorite. this is a great recipe

  4. LauraLaura
    November 28, 2010    

    OMG! No wonder one loaf was gone within minutes! I would eat one on my own as of right now it looks delicious! Yummm!
    Certainly will try it 😉

  5. singoolalasingoolala
    January 11, 2009    

    this looks absolutely divine!

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