Roasted Garlic bread; A sourdough method

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Finally I ventured into the sourdough bread meaning naturally leavened bread. I have started seriously baking bread only since last year. It is was not easy for me to work with yeast, first they won’t corporate, now I feel that phrase is wrong, in fact I did not know how to handle them. I started making bread with “honey wheat bread” using chapathi flour and bread flour. Then after reading lots of recipes and books on bread baking I came to know that each and every step in bread making is important and should be done in a particular way. Bread baking is not easy like that if you have some wheat gluten in your hand and then dump it on any bread you make. Yes wheat gluten is important, but it is needed only in whole wheat bread. Whole wheat does not produce enough gluten, and hence addition a little bit helps. However if you use whole white wheat flour, then addition of gluten is optional as it contains gluten by itself. 
Another important factor that I learned is adding the right amount of yeast; it is a misconception that for fluffy bread, you have to dump a lot of yeast. No that is not correct way, and a small amount of yeast is enough. For instance in a marriage ceremony food where you have arranged only for 100 people but if you invite 300 people then food may not be enough. But if you invited only 75 people, then there is plenty of food and everybody is happy. Yeast needs to be happy to perform its own work. 
Once again, I am not any authority of bread baking; I am still learning, also happy to share what I have learned in a hard way with others. I am always on the lookout for some tips to improve.
Coming to sourdough, it has been a long time in the making. I was thinking of starting a starter; however I was not that confident enough to start. Finally Zorra of Kochtopf commented in 100% whole wheat bread  with oats and raisins which I  submitted for Bread baking day event. She told me that it is not that difficult as I think. I felt that I needed to start my sourdough starter, which meant I had to capture those precious lactobacillus and natural yeasts roaming around in my kitchen as well as present in the flours. 
In an Indian kitchen capturing this natural yeast and bacteria is common as in the form of fermenting our dosa/idly (rice and lentil crepe/pancake) batter, making yogurt. Sourdough bread contains lot of health benefits, easily digestible starches, lowering insulin response by improving glucose tolerance. It also protect vitamin B1 from the heat of baking, breaking down the gluten activating phytase enzymes to dissolve phytates thus realizing zinc, iron, magnesium, copper and phosphorus  read more from here .
Nowadays I am making mainly whole wheat breads, so decide to start a sourdough starter (mother starter) with whole wheat flour and rye flour. I found a good forum on sourdough bread, where they post various write-ups on sourdough starting from how to start to and different recipes.

After reading various posts and based on tips from the forum, I was ready to start the mother starter. The first 4 day after setting up the starter, not much was happening. This was exactly like what I had read. From day 5 onwards some activity in the form of bubles should be observed, whereas mine was so silent, no activity. At this point I knew the mother starter was not working and I needed to do some trouble shooting. After reading this link I came to know pH of the medium should be slightly acidic which would enable wild yeast to grow, and for that I need some apple cider vinegar. However my hubby forgot to get some, and I decided to use diluted lemon juice. After adding it, the mother starter was happy and showed some activity and fruity smell. I was happy too because I was able to make mother starter from the scratch. First I made some pistachio raisin bread with some sourdough starter and instant yeast. Then my hubby told me, if you are not using mother starter by itself how would you know whether it is working and good. Thus I tried this garlic bread, which is an adaption of Della Fattoria’s Rustic Roasted Garlic Bread, from the book of Artisan baking by Maggie Glezer.
I didn’t want to use the 1+1/2 garlic head as mentioned in the recipe so reduce to 1 whole garlic head (about 12 cloves). I was planning to use Gouda cheese at first, but later changed my mind and made without cheese in them. Instead of oven roasting I did pan roasting of garlic cloves. Both whole white wheat flour and bread flour were used instead of bread flour alone as mentioned in the original recipe. Bread has not so overpowering with garlic flavor with a slight tangy taste, and we loved it. Sure I am going to making it again. Here goes the recipe.

One year ago: Vegetable Puffs
Print recipe from here

What you need

Sourdough starter
Water: 50g
Rye flour: 15g (I used organic rye flour)
Whole wheat flour: 35 g (I used unbleached whole wheat flour)

For garlic bread

100% hydration sourdough starter: 14g mature
Water: 31 g
Rye flour: 15g
Whole wheat flour: 55g

For roasted garlic puree
Garlic head: 1 ( about 12 cloves)/36g
Extra virgin olive oil: 2 tablespoon/18g
Salt : ¼ teaspoon

Final dough
Whole white wheat flour: 163g/ 1 cup
Bread flour: 313g/ 2 cup
Warm water: 271g/1 ¼ cup
Salt: 3 teaspoon/ 12 g
Vital gluten: ½ tablespoon /6g
All of the levain

How I made

For starter

Take a glass bottle and spatula or wooden spoon wash them with hot water. To this add 
Day 1 : Feed 50g water+ 15 g of rye flour and 35 g flour and set aside for 24 hours.
Day 2: Feed the same and set aside for 24 hours
Day 3: continue to feed and set aside for 24 hours
Day 4 : remove ¼ cup of contents from the bottle and replace with fresh rye and whole wheat flour and set aside. 
Day 5 : Remove ½ of the contents from the bottle and again replace with fresh ingredients. You are supposed to see some activity (means small bubbles)
Day 6: Keep about 2 tablespoon of contents in bottle and add 100g of water, 70g of whole wheat flour and 30g of rye flour and also a drop of lemon juice. Set aside for 24 hours. You will see the lot of bubbles and contents in the bottle has been doubled 1/3 in volume. This means success
Day 7: Discard most of the contents in the bottle and add 100 g of water, 70g of whole wheat flour and 30 g of rye flour and also a drop of lemon juice. Set aside for 24 hours. You will see the lot of bubbles and also have some fruity odor. This means you are ready with your sourdough and start baking from tomorrow. 
However I changed the contents twice and refresh them before and start baking from 9th day. 

Garlic bread
In the evening of day before baking in small bowl, combine the leavain ingredients and mix everything well with wooden spoon or with your hands until well incorporated. Cover loosely with cling wrap and set aside for ferment for 8 hours or until well expanded. 
On the baking day, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the fermented levain, flour, salt, and about 85% of the water. Mix in low speed until combined. Loosely cover the dough and set aside for autolyse for about 30 minutes.
In the mean time in a small pan roast the garlic cloves in extra virgin olive oil. Once they are cool in enough to touch, crush them with salt using a mortar and pestle and set aside. 
After 30 minutes and change to dough hook in stand mixer and increase the speed to medium and mix all the dough containing levain with remaining water and until it is incorporated. The dough will be very soft not sticky. Add crushed roasted garlic puree to it and knead well until dough pass windowpane test or register internal temperature of 70F.
Transfer the dough to a covered, lightly oiled container. Ferment for about 6 hours at room temperature, with folds after 30, 60, and 90. Initially the dough will be very slack and not hold its shape well, but will have significantly more body after the folds.( After this proof if you want you can keep the dough in the refrigerator for overnight next morning take out the dough and bring to room temperature and do the second proofing. ).

Turn the dough into a lightly floured counter and shape them into a boule/ batard/ loaf shape. Mist the top of the loaf with oil and press sesame seeds if using. Set aside for proof at room temperature for 2 hours .cover the loaf with dusted tea towel. 
By the end of second proof preheat the oven to 425 F. Keep an empty broiler pan in the lower rack of oven. Add boiling hot water into the broiler pan when you are ready to bake the bread. (This will create steam, necessary to make the thick crust).

Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the center become golden brown, and make a hollow sound when thumped in the bottom. If using instant thermometer, when it is done bread should register 185-190 F. Rotate the loaf pan at 180 degrees in between around 20 minutes of baking.
When the loaf is finished baking, remove them immediately from the pans and cool on rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing and serving.
Enjoy as much as you wish. 

Preparation time: For levain: 8 hours, preparation of dough; 25 minutes, first fermentation: 6 hours, second proof; 2 hours, baking; 35-40 minutes.
Yield: 1 loaf
Verdict: Yummy
Will you make it again: Yes I will.

Inspiration of this bread came from

 Sourdough companion 
 Della Fattoria’s Rustic Roasted Garlic Bread, from the book of Artisan baking by Maggie Glezer.
Susan’s wild yeast
Starting sourdough 101 tutorial 

Sending  this beautiful bread to   Yeast spotting 

Bread baking day 37: Bread with preferment/sponge hosted by champa of versatile kitchen originally started by Zorra of Kochtopf


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  1. says

    wow…ethu adipoli aytund to, i love sour dough breads…I have a lot of bread baking to do, been postponing it like anything…This looks absolutely delicious, Swathi…

  2. says

    That loaf is absolutely beautiful! Yeast is definitely a tricky thing, but once you master it (as you obviously are well on your way to!), it’s such a great thing!

  3. says

    You made the starter awesome! Informative anecdote, I read it twice :) True,the citation on marriage feast is apt for yeast. Perfectly baked bread. Nice post and a keeper.

  4. says

    I love baking bread and have been wanting to try my hand at sourdough for like… forever….
    Congrats on your successful loaf, it looks wonderful! There’s nothing better than homemade bread!!

  5. says

    Dear Swathi,
    Good Morning!
    Wonderful shots and yummy dishes!
    I appreciate your efforts for the perfect for the perfect loaf!
    Soooo tempting and mouth watering…
    Enjoyed a lot.
    Wishing you a beautiful day ahead,

  6. says

    oh amma! was a very big post… Was nice reading the concept of yeast.
    The bread looks nice and the preparation and presentation was good.

    I have never tried bread at home, rather I would prefer a shop one. I would love to try one on a weekend with pretty good arrangements, a fire extinguisher, a tablet for stomach control etc… as is first time :)

    Just kidding…

  7. says

    I am so impressed that you made your own starter Swathi! Your bread is beautiful. Like a professional. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  8. says

    Love the bread..looks like the one we get from Deli:-)
    You have written the recipe soo well that I feel like making it right away:-)
    First time here and you have a great collection here…happy to follow u..