Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Bread

This morning I read on Serious Eats that real bakers use weight measurements instead of volume (or cup) measurements. One must have and use a scale, or else they don't take their craft seriously. That's not really how they said it, but their name is "Serious Eats" so everything they write reads to me like a personal challenge. So, I'm going to get myself a scale, and I'm going to practice all the tips from this article on 11 Essential Tips for Better Pizza until I can make killer dough and pizzas using muscle memory alone, darn it!

Well, obviously, this changed the way I wrote today's recipe, because I could not bare to shame myself with foolish cup measurements. And you're all going to suffer, I mean benefit from it. You're getting the main components in grams! (With approximate volume estimations for those of you who don't have a scale. I'm such an enabler.)

The purpose of this photo really has nothing to do with garlic, but rather was an excuse to photograph the lovely new spoon rest that I received for my birthday from my parents-in-law. Thank you, Glenn and Valerie!
I made several loaves of this bread once for a special luncheon for a women's organization I belong to. This was last Fall and I still have ladies approach me asking me to teach them how to make it. Many of them thought I had purchased the loaves from a nice local bakery. It really is quite good if I do say so myself.

The bread takes some work and planning, but I promise you that none of it is complicated, and you'll come out looking like you really know what you're doing!

I like to make these extra-large loaves so that I can freeze half and just pull out a few slices whenever I want to add a little something to my dinner.

Roasted Garlic Bread
created using this recipe by Jim Lahey at Sullivan St Bakery as a base

Yield: 1 extra-large loaf

Aluminum foil
Two large mixing bowls
6 to 8 quart pot with lid (Pyrex glass, Le Creuset cast iron, or ceramic)
Plastic wrap
Parchment paper

1 bulb of garlic
olive oil
860g (6 cups) bread flour
2g (1/2 teaspoon) yeast
16g (2 1/2 teaspoons) salt
4-5 large sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed and stems discarded
690g or 24oz (3 cups) hot water
extra flour and cornmeal (for dusting)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lop off the top of  the bulb of garlic just so that most of the cloves inside are exposed.
Slowly pour a small amount of olive oil onto the top of the cloves and allow time for it to be absorbed. Do this two or three more times.
 Wrap in aluminum foil and place inside a small baking dish. Place in the oven to roast for 25 minutes, or until cloves have softened.

Allow the garlic to cool slightly. In the meantime, chop up at least 3/4 of the rosemary leaves (leaving some whole for aesthetics if you'd like.) When garlic is cool enough to handle, carefully squeeze out the cloves by applying pressure to the bottom with your fingers. (Don't squeeze from the middle or they'll just get smooshed.) Chop or mash the garlic.
Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. In the other bowl add hot water, rosemary and garlic (to let the flavors infuse into the water.) Allow water to cool to the temperature of a baby's bath. Incorporate water mixture into the flour by hand for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Dry and lightly coat the inside of the vacant bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest 12 hours at room temperature (approx. 65-72°F).
  Remove the dough from the bowl, fold dough in half, and then fold it again. Let it rest for 15 minutes in the bowl. 
Generously flour a clean, hard surface and place the dough on top. Shape the dough into a ball by tucking the sides underneath itself, and place (seam side down) onto the parchment
 paper. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let rise 1-2 hours at room temperature, until more than doubled in size. (Speed up the process by leaving it under the light of your microwave with the door slightly ajar.)
With 45 minutes left in your rising time, preheat oven to 450°F. Place the pot in the oven at least 30 minutes prior to baking to preheat. Once the dough has more than doubled in volume, remove the pot from the oven, sprinkle a light layer of cornmeal on the bottom, and invert the dough into the pot seam side up. Cover with the lid and bake 35 minutes. 
While the bread is baking, combine about 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and set aside.
After the 35 minutes, brush the top of the bread with the salted olive oil, and bake with the lid off for another 10-15 minutes uncovered, until the loaf is nicely browned.

Serve with Spicy Lentil & Sausage Soup and the rest of the Rainy April Menu.


  1. Janna made this for us right after we had moved and had no food in the house. It was absolutely heavenly, I couldn’t get my hands on the recipe fast enough. Go get in the car right now and get ingredients to make this. In fact, while you’re at it you might as well double it.

    1. Shauni, you're so great. Thanks for the rave review! We really do love this bread. I think I've made it... twenty times now? Yum!

  2. Articles that are very interesting and I really like your thoughts in article writing is very extraordinary.
    raja poker

  3. Hi.. saya sangat menyukai isi dari blog ini.. Sangat bermanfaat.. Jangan lupa juga untuk berkunjung di blog saya.. nama anak