Roasted Garlic Rosemary Sourdough

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Sourdough bread filled with mashed roasted garlic and fresh rosemary. This is a delicious, aromatic sourdough loaf that your whole family will enjoy.

It doesn’t get much better than roasted garlic and fresh rosemary all mixed into a beautiful sourdough loaf. The flavor of this roasted garlic sourdough bread is outstanding and we couldn’t stop eating it, with lots of exclamations of: “This is the BEST bread I’ve EVER eaten” which is saying something because we make a lot of delicious bread! So much garlic and fragrant rosemary – you’re going to love this roasted garlic rosemary sourdough.

Why You’ll Love Rosemary Roasted Garlic Sourdough

You are going to love this recipe because it’s so flavorful and delicious. Garlic bulbs are roasted until tender. Fresh rosemary is used to give a fragrant boost of flavor. The garlic is front and center, but in a sweet and muted way. The rosemary shines through. I’m confident everyone is going to love this rosemary garlic sourdough bread!

Sample Baking Schedule for Rosemary Roasted Garlic Sourdough

A sample baking schedule helps me when baking with sourdough. Sourdough takes much longer to rise than commercial yeast bread. This schedule helps me plan my bake.

A few notes: This schedule assumes the dough temperature is 78°F throughout the process. If you’d like to make the bread all on the same day, skip the cold fermentation and let the dough rise for a few hours in a banneton or bowl before baking.

Day 1Levain/Mixing/Bulk Fermentation/Shaping/Cold Fermentation
8:00 AM 11:30 AMMix Levain. Let sit at 78°F for about 3-4 hours until doubled/bubbly and ripe.
Roast garlic and let cool
11:30 AMFermentolyse: Mix bread flour, whole wheat flour, water and ripe/active/bubbly levain. Let sit for 30 minutes before adding in the salt and reserved water.
12:00 PMMix dough with salt and reserved water
12:30 PM
1:00 PM
1:30 PM

2:00 PM
Stretch and Fold #1
Stretch and Fold #2 Add roasted garlic and rosemary
Stretch and Fold #3
Stretch and Fold #4 if desired
3:30 PMBench rest
4:00 PMShape dough
Begin cold fermentation
Day 2
9:00 AMPreheat Dutch oven
9:30 AMScore and bake

Important Ingredients

  • Sourdough Starter: Use an active/ripe sourdough starter (doubled in size/bubbly/mild sour aroma) to mix the levain.
  • Bread Flour: I almost always use a 12.5% protein bread flour for any bread that I am kneading. The higher protein content and properly activating the gluten result in a lighter, springy baked good.
  • Whole Wheat Flour: I add whole wheat flour to this recipe for a little extra depth of flavor and to encourage fermentation. You can use freshly milled whole wheat flour or whole wheat flour from the grocery store. Or substitute bread flour if you don’t want to use whole wheat.
  • Roasted Garlic: This bread is filled with the flavor from 3 bulbs of garlic that are roasted with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt. The roasted garlic is then cooled and smashed before being added to the dough.
  • Rosemary: I love the flavor of fresh rosemary in this bread. Use 1-2 sprigs of rosemary, taking off the leaves and chopping the leaves until fragrant and small. Add them to the dough with the roasted garlic.
  • Salt: Salt enhances the flavor, don’t leave it out!

How to Make Rosemary Roasted Garlic Sourdough

Mix Levain

1:1:1 Levain (ready in 3-4 hours/same day): This recipe calls for a levain mixed the same day you mix the dough. It should take 3-4 hours until it’s ready to be mixed with the dough, if you keep the levain temperature at 78-80°F. Levain is ready when it has doubled in size, has lots of bubbles, a slightly sour aroma and is just about to start going down from its peak height. Mix together:

  • 40 grams of ripe/mature starter
  • 40 grams of warm water
  • 40 grams of bread flour

If you prefer to mix the levain the night before, you can mix a 1:10:10 levain that is ready in 10-12 hours or overnight. Mix together:

  • 5 grams of ripe/mature sourdough starter
  • 55 grams water
  • 55 grams bread flour

Sourdough Starter: If you have a ripe, bubbly active sourdough starter, you can substitute it for the levain in the recipe. 100 grams of levain is equal to 100 grams of sourdough starter.

Roasting Garlic

Right after mixing the levain, prepare the roasted garlic. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Prepare 3 bulbs of garlic by peeling away the outer skin and slicing the tops of the garlic bulbs about 1/2 inch from the top. Place the bulbs on top of a piece of tinfoil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little bit of salt. Wrap the cloves up and place in a baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes until fork tender, soft and caramelized. Let the garlic cool completely and then push the cloves of garlic out of the bulbs, starting at the bottom and pressing them out into a bowl. Mash the garlic with a fork and set aside to add to the bread dough.

Note: This loaf of bread is garlic forward. If you prefer a more mild garlic flavor, use 1-2 bulbs instead of 3.

Begin Bulk Fermentation: Fermentolyse

As soon as the levain is ready (bubbly, doubled in size, peaked), mix together the ripe levain, bread flour, whole wheat flour and water. This method helps strengthen the gluten strands in the dough and gives a better overall texture and crumb to this bread. Cover the dough, set it in a warm (78°F) place and let it rest for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add the salt and 25 grams of reserved water. Pinch chunks of dough and reincorporate them together gently. Pick up one side of the dough and fold it over on itself. Wet your hands as needed and continue to work with the dough, gently kneading until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is smooth and mixed. This will probably take 3-5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a plastic container or a glass bowl if desired.

Bulk Fermentation: Stretch and Folds

In making artisan style bread, we don’t use traditional kneading methods, instead we use a series of gentle folds to help strengthen the gluten strands in the dough. This dough usually gets about 3-4 sets of stretch and folds over a 2 hour period, if the dough is kept right around 78°F.

Stretch and Fold: To “stretch and fold,” wet your hand (so it doesn’t stick to the dough). Reach down to the bottom of the bowl of dough and pull the dough up and over the top of the dough. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat the stretch and fold. Turn another quarter turn and repeat. Perform one more quarter turn with stretching and folding the dough. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes. Repeat every 30 minutes for a total of 3-4 times.

Adding Roasted Garlic and Rosemary to the Dough

Right before your second set of stretch and folds, pull the rosemary off the sprig and chop into small pieces. Add the smashed garlic and fresh rosemary to the top of the dough. As you stretch and fold the dough, the inclusions will incorporate. Repeat another set or two of stretch and folds until the garlic and rosemary is spread evenly throughout the dough.


Bulk Fermentation: Resting and Pre-Shaping the Dough

Rest: After the 2-hour period of stretch and folds, let the dough rest in a warm 78-80°F place until puffed up and jiggly with a few scattered bubbles around the top. This usually takes 1.5-2 hours. If the dough doesn’t look like this, give it another half hour and check again.

Pre-Shaping: Once the dough has rested and is showing signs of readiness to be shaped, dump it out on the counter. Wet your hands (and the bench knife if needed) and push the bench knife under the dough on one side, with your free hand on the other side to tuck the dough under itself. Turn the dough tightly on the counter until it forms a smooth round ball. If any of the inclusions pop out, simply remove it from the top of the dough and push it into the underside of the dough. Let the dough sit for about 30 minutes, uncovered. It will flatten out a little bit during this time and will be ready for shaping.

Shaping the Dough

Prepare a banneton or small bowl. Place a kitchen towel or hair net in the bowl and liberally flour. If you use the hair net, you should not need to use much if any flour if using a cold ferment.  Using the bench knife, lift the dough up off the counter and place it on top of the countertop, floured side down. Pull the dough down toward you and then fold up to the middle of the dough. Take the right edge and pull out and then into the middle of the dough. Take the left side of the dough and stretch out and then back to the middle. Repeat with the top of the dough, forming a little “package” of dough. If any roasted garlic pops out, remove them from the top of the dough and place them inside the bottom of the dough. This keeps them from burning on the top. Gather the bread into a circle or oval and lift the bread, placing it in your lined bowl.

Optional: Stitching – Let the dough rest for a few minutes and then “stitch” up the dough by taking dough from the outer edges and pulling it into the middle, continuing until the dough is stitched up.

Cold Fermenting the Dough

I almost always use a cold fermentation for my sourdough artisan bread, and the same goes for this caramelized onion sourdough bread. Cover the dough and place in the refrigerator for 12-18 hours. If it goes a little longer than that, it may overproof but will still taste okay – up to as much as 72 hours depending on the temperature of your refrigerator.

Want to skip cold fermentation and bake the same day you mix the dough? Leave the dough to continue rising in a warm place for a few hours until puffy, jiggly and risen. Pre-heat oven and bake.

Baking Roasted Garlic Rosemary Sourdough Bread

Pre-heat the Oven: Put a Dutch oven (top and all) into the oven and preheat to 500°F. Allow the Dutch oven to heat for about 30 minutes to an hour at 500°F. This builds up steam, which is necessary to achieve the beautiful oven spring and perfect crust that artisan bread is known for.

Scoring the Dough: Once the oven is preheated for 30 minutes, pull the loaf out of the refrigerator. Remove the plastic wrap (this is easy to do straight out of the refrigerator if the dough is chilled – not easy if the dough warms up) and place a piece of parchment paper on top of the bread dough. Flip the dough over so that it is now sitting on the parchment paper. Take off the bowl/banneton and kitchen towel. Smooth the flour over the top of the dough and use a bread lame or very sharp knife to score the dough. I find a simple score is best when working with this dough.

Baking the Bread: Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the 500°F oven with hot pads. Take the top off and place your bread into the Dutch oven (including parchment paper – this helps with the transfer). Be very careful not to touch the sides of the hot Dutch oven. Put your hot pads back on before you pick up the lid of the Dutch oven and place it on top of the bread. Put the whole Dutch oven back into your oven. Lower the temperature to 450°F and bake for 25 minutes. Once 25 minutes are up, take the top off the Dutch oven and continue baking for 20 minutes until the bread is fully baked. Let cool completely and enjoy!

Amy’s Recipe Tip

I like using a cold fermentation for my sourdough loaves. This lets me leave loaves in the refrigerator for up to a couple of days before baking. For best results, cold ferment the loaf for 12-18 hours, but I often leave loaves for up to 72 hours – they may bake up a little flatter but still taste delicious.

Substitutions

  • Garlic: If you prefer leaving the cloves of garlic whole, that also works well for this recipe. Whole cloves of garlic can be substituted for the mashed roasted garlic. Reduce the amount of garlic for less garlic flavor.
  • Rosemary: 1-2 teaspoons dried rosemary can be substituted for fresh rosemary
  • Whole Wheat Flour: Bread flour can be substituted for whole wheat flour if desired. Note your dough may take a little longer to go through the fermentation cycle.

How to Store Leftovers

I like to let my loaf cool completely. Then slice, stick in an airtight bag and freeze. You can also freeze the whole loaf and then let it thaw or warm back up in the oven for a few minutes before enjoying.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this bread without a Dutch oven?

Yes. You can open-bake the bread with steam in your home oven. Read more about that method here.

Can I let this dough rise on my counter overnight?

The way this recipe is written, it is not recommended to leave the dough on the counter overnight because it could easily over-proof. If you want to make an overnight loaf, reduce the levain or starter in the recipe to 50 grams instead of 100 grams. Let the dough bulk ferment overnight in a cooler spot before shaping, chilling for a few hours and baking.

Can I use fresh garlic instead of roasted?

It is possible to use fresh garlic, but you won’t get the same rich flavor of roasted garlic. Use about 1-2 Tablespoons of freshly minced garlic in place of roasted.

Rosemary Garlic Sourdough Bread

Amy
Sourdough bread filled with mashed roasted garlic and fresh rosemary. This is a delicious, aromatic sourdough loaf that your whole family will enjoy.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Fermentation Time 1 day 1 hour
Total Time 1 day 2 hours 45 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf

Ingredients
  

Levain (1:1:1, 3-4 hours at 78ºF)

  • 40 grams ripe sourdough starter
  • 40 grams bread flour
  • 40 grams water

Prepare Roasted Garlic

  • 3 bulbs garlic about 120 grams of mashed, roasted garlic
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • sprinkle of salt

Rosemary Garlic Sourdough Bread

  • 100 grams ripe/bubbly/peaked levain see recipe notes
  • 450 grams bread flour 12.5% protein content
  • 50 grams whole wheat flour
  • 375 grams water 25 grams reserved for after the fermentolyse
  • 10 grams salt
  • all of the roasted garlic cooled to room temperature
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped about 3-4 grams

Instructions
 

Levain (1:1:1, 3-4 hours at 78ºF)

  • Mix Levain: Mix together ripe/active sourdough starter with bread flour and water. Cover loosely and let sit 3-4 hours at 78°F until doubled, bubbly & peaked.
    Note: If you have a ripe, bubbly, active sourdough starter that is fed equal parts flour and water – it can be substituted for the levain in this recipe.

Roasted Garlic

  • Right after you mix the levain, prepare the roasted garlic. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Prepare 3 garlic bulbs by peeling any excess outer skin. Slice the tops of the garlic bulbs about 1/2 inch from the top of the cloves, cutting away the skin until the garlic cloves are exposed. Place garlic cloves in the middle of a large sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and a little salt. Wrap garlic cloves in the foil completely. Place in a baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes until cloves are very soft and caramelized.
  • Remove roasted garlic from the oven and let cool completely. Squeeze garlic cloves from the bottom of the bulb, pushing the cloves out of the bulb and into a container. Mash with a fork and set aside. This step can also be done a day or two before making this recipe – refrigerate the garlic until ready to use.

Rosemary Garlic Sourdough Bread (keep dough at 78-80ºF to follow baking schedule)

  • Fermentolyse: Once the levain is ready (bubbly, doubled in size, milky sweet smell), mix together 100 grams levain, 350 grams water (warm the water if the ingredients are too cold and cool water if the ingredients are too warm), 450 grams bread flour and 50 grams whole wheat flour. Let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Mix the Dough: After 30 minutes, add the reserved 10 grams salt and 25 grams of water. Combine using your hands by squeezing the dough between your fingers, pinching chunks of dough and reincorporating together. The dough will break apart and then reform in the bowl through this process. Pick up one side of the dough and fold it over on itself. The dough will be sticky. Wet your hands as needed and continue to work with the dough until all the salt and water has been incorporated. Transfer the dough to a plastic container or a glass bowl and cover.
  • Stretch and Folds: Perform a series of “stretch and folds” throughout the next 2 hours. The goal is to strengthen the dough. To “stretch and fold,” wet your hand (so it doesn’t stick to the dough). Reach around the dough down to the bottom of the bowl, pull the dough up and over and place it on top of the dough. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat the stretch and fold. Turn another quarter turn and repeat. Perform one more quarter turn, stretching and folding the dough. Cover and set aside. Take note of how the dough feels through this process. It will go from feeling a little shaggy to smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl and wait about 30 minutes in between stretch and folds.
  • Stretch and fold #1: 30 minutes into bulk fermentation
    Pluck the rosemary stems off the sprigs. Carefully run your knife through them to chop into small pieces. Set aside.
    Stretch and fold #2: 30 minutes later – during this stretch and fold, add the roasted garlic on top of the dough. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary. Perform stretch and fold #2, incorporating the garlic and rosemary in as you fold.
    Stretch and fold #3: 30 minutes later, the dough will spread out. Stretch and fold again, incorporating the roasted garlic and rosemary into the dough.
    Stretch and fold #4: Optional, if you feel your dough needs it, stretch and fold again, incorporating the roasted garlic and rosemary throughout the dough.
  • Rest: Cover the dough and let rise for 1.5-2 more hours. You’ll know the dough is ready to shape when the dough is puffed up, jiggles when you shake the bowl, has scattered bubbles visible on the sides and top. The dough will not double in size, but will rise about 30-40%. If it is not showing these signs, let the dough continue rising and check back in 30 minutes.
  • Pre-shape: Tip the bowl upside down, allowing the dough to fall onto a clean counter surface. Be gentle to avoid degassing the dough as much as possible. Wet your hands and the bench knife if needed and push the bench knife under the dough on one side and your free hand on the other side to tuck the dough under itself. The goal is to introduce some tension into the dough. Repeat this process, going around in a circle until you have a ball of dough. If any pieces of garlic pop out during this time, take the garlic and stick it on the underside of the dough.
  • Bench Rest: Let the dough rest uncovered for about 30 minutes at room temperature. The dough will flatten (like a pancake) during this period of time. This allows the gluten in the dough to relax and prepares the dough to be shaped.
  • Shaping: Prepare a bowl or banneton. Place a kitchen towel or hair net in the bowl and liberally flour as needed. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough. Using a bench knife, lift the dough up off the counter and place it on top of the countertop – floured side down. This ensures that the flour is staying mainly on the outside of the dough. Going around in a circle, pull the dough sideways towards you and then fold up to the top of the round. Move 90 degrees and repeat the same process pulling the dough sideways and then folding up to the top. As you continue this process around the dough, increase the tension as you pull. Gather the bread into a circle and place into a lined bowl. Remove any roasted garlic that has popped out on the surface of the dough to prevent burning in the oven.
    Note: It is possible to shape the dough without any extra flour. The dough can stick to the kitchen towel but doesn't stick to the hair nets if cold proofed.
  • Cold Fermentation: Cover the dough with the tea towel/shower cap/plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 12-20 hours. If you want to bake the same day, you can let the dough rise for about 3-4 hours until puffed up and risen. Then bake according to recipe directions.
  • Preheat: Put a Dutch oven (top and all) into the oven and preheat to 500°F for 30 minutes. You are working with very high temperatures, so make sure you have some good hot pads. Once preheated for 30 minutes, pull the loaf out of the refrigerator. Remove the covering. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. Flip the dough over so it is now sitting on the parchment paper. Take off the bowl/banneton and the kitchen towel.
  • Scoring: Use a very sharp knife or bread lame to score the dough. Take the bread lame and score on one side of the dough, at a shallow angle, about 1 inch deep. Remove any inclusions that pop out. Score straight from the refrigerator for best results.
  • Baking: Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the 500°F oven. Take the lid off and place your bread into the Dutch oven (including parchment paper – this helps with the transfer). Put the lid on and put back in the oven. Lower the temperature to 450°F and bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, take the lid off the Dutch oven and continue baking for 20 minutes until the bread is a crackly deep brown. Remove the Dutch oven and let bread cool. Enjoy!

Notes

This recipe is based on my sourdough artisan bread recipe. You can use all bread flour in place of the whole wheat flour in the recipe and add a little extra time to the bulk fermentation.
Levain: I like using a levain method for this sourdough bread. If you have a very active, bubbly sourdough starter that has been fed equal weights of flour and water (100% hydration), you can substitute sourdough starter for the levain if desired. Substitute 100 grams of bubbly sourdough starter for 100 grams of levain.
Rosemary: If you prefer to use dried rosemary, substitute 1-2 teaspoons of dried rosemary for fresh.
If you’re looking for the kitchen tools I use to make this bread, you can find everything I use linked on my Amazon Storefront.
Keyword roasted garlic sourdough bread, rosemary garlic sourdough, sourdough bread with roasted garlic and rosemary
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