… with Garlic and Rosemary.
Ever since we moved to the middle of nowhere a few years ago, we’ve been baking bread at least once or twice a week. That’s ‘cos in this land of plenty, buying ONE loaf of natural crusty wholegrain bread is a huge project.
Albertson’s which is close to our home, stocks bread that’s old. Very old. Hardly anyone goes to that store and things gestate on the shelf for days.
Then there’s our co-op. It takes us five to 10 minutes sometimes at the tail end of grocery shopping to go down the bread aisle reading all the labels. Most of their freshly baked loaves are made of white (refined) flour. Or reek of cinnamon. Or are laden with crap – like high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats and preservatives. The lovely gourmet bakery is a 20-mile round trip. And we need one loaf – not three as they sell at Costco.
You know you live in a sucky place when the two or three types of bread you can tolerate AND access easily are all at the sweatshop.
We actually step in there sometimes. Oh, the indignity of being part of the hoi polloi!!! Now before one of you launches into how Hell-Mart tortures little kids in Vietnam, the closest fartsy place like Whole Foods is 500 miles from our home. (We’ve been to Whole Foods when we lived in the midst of ‘civilization’ and weren’t too impressed. Trader Joe was our grocery destination of choice.)
And there’s the sourdough starter in our fridge.
Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads, from where we made the starter, comes with military-style instructions on how
- the starter must be used within three days for baking as it loses its gluten strength thereafter
- it must be replenished within a week
- there’s a special procedure to replenish starter that has been around for two weeks
- old starter can herald various doomsday scenarios.
Dude, you think we don’t have much to do besides coddle the stupid starter? And you think we’re made of flour? What’s the deal with adding 10-something ounces of flour to it each time and throwing away everything but a little bit for the next batch of starter?
We just give it the stink eye and ask it to go ahead and die already, but it lives on.
We’re assuming that these instructions are for those who treat their starter like virtual pets. Have you read the shyte about feeding a mock fish? You log in everyday to this site (or this or this) and
In this world it is vital to create your own Fish … that will need your care and attention! You will need to give food, take care, play with him and help your Fish fight other opponents that may appear. Make your Fish your best pal and have fun!!!
Yeah, sure. When we’re bored out of our brains, feeding The Fish and fantasizing about ‘him’ going potty are the obvious and natural things to do.
So where were we? Sourdough starter. We’re not into watching the bodily functions of, feeding often, or playing with sourdough starter. We just attend to it when we remember, which is once a week. Or two. Or three. And we add the ‘throwaway’ bits to anything we’re making at that moment – pancakes, flatbreads or loaves. It lends everything it encounters a lovely, distinctive flavour.
That’s how this bread came about. It’s way easier and more delicious than any store-bought loaf where we live. You don’t even need sourdough starter for this.
Sun-drying tomatoes in season is quite simple. Store-bought sun-dried tomatoes are often treated with sulphur dioxide to retain their colour. HERE’S HOW you can do it naturally – in the sun, or food dehydrator or an oven.
SOURDOUGH SUN-DRIED TOMATO ROLLS WITH GARLIC AND ROSEMARY
** If you do not have sourdough starter, use 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour plus 5 tablespoons water plus 1/4 tsp active dry yeast. Mix and let it sit covered, unrefrigerated for 8 hours.
(8 medium or 6 large rolls)
1 cup stiff sourdough starter
**same hydration as final dough – about 240 grams
2 cups bread flour (or all purpose flour)
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
0.5 cups finely ground whole grain cornmeal (or semolina)
0.5 cups dark rye flour (or whole wheat flour)
2 cups warm water
2.25 tsps active dry yeast
2 tsps vital gluten
2.5 tsps salt
1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary, or 1 tsp dry (or herb of choice)
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
You can used oil packed sun-dried tomatoes (drained), or dry. We use dry. (Oil-packed products carry the risk of botulism). If using dry, soak 1 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (we use kitchen scissors) in 1/2 cup hot water for 15 minutes, along with 2 tsps extra virgin olive oil, some dried herbs, and 1 clove of chopped garlic. We added it to the recipe along with the liquid.
1. Add the salt to the mixing bowl or bread machine bowl, then add the water, flours, remaining ingredients, with the yeast on top.
2. Knead for 6-8 minutes until you get a smooth, elastic ball of dough. If it is too dry, add 1 tbsp. water at a time. If it is too wet, add 1 tbsp. flour at a time.
3. Put it in a large bowl, cover the bowl with a plate, or oiled cling wrap, and keep it in a warm place until doubled in quantity. (one to 1.5 hours)
4. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal/semolina or line with parchment.
5. Punch the dough down gently, knead it a bit, divide it into 6 or 8 parts, depending on how big you like the rolls.
6. Roll each piece into a ball, then put a drop of water on the surface and roll it really well on the damp surface, cupping your palm, into tight balls. The dampness generates friction.
7. Place the balls on a baking sheet, press then down very lightly, and cover them with a floured tea towel. Let them rise again in a warm place until almost doubled (about 30 minutes).
8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 F. Keep one rack in the middle and an empty metal (not non-stick) baking sheet or pan on the top rack.
9. When the oven is ready, put 1/2 cup hot water in the empty container on top. It will generate immediate steam, so be careful.
10. Lower the heat to 400 F. Bake the breads for 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in them comes out clean.
11. Cool them on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Sourdough Sun-Dried Tomato Rolls go to Aparna @ My Diverse Kitchen for BreadBakingDay, where the theme is Small Breads
- Bee and Jai