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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:57 pm    Post subject: Roasted (Whole) Garlic Bread Reply with quote

This is a bread Iíve had on my list for a while, and now Iím wondering what took me so long. Besides looking pretty, itís heaven on earth for garlic lovers. That would be me! I can't get enough roasted garlic!

The recipe comes (with a few adaptations) from one of my favorite baking books, Maggie Glezerís Artisan Baking:

Whether you are a beginning baker or an old hand, I think youíll love the meeting the farmers, millers, and bakers profiled therein who share a wealth of baking knowledge, skill, and recipes. This bread is from Della Fattoria, a small northern California bakery featured in the book.

A dusting of flour is needed to protect the parsley from burning, but most of it can be brushed away after baking to bring the green leaves into the light. Even so, I would try using a bit less flour next time. Also, in the future I will not use a fine Microplane grater to grate the cheese. It was so fluffy and voluminous that when it melted down it left a good-sized cave in the center of the bread. But Iím still pretty happy with the way this turned out Ė crisp-crusted, cheesy, and mouthwateringly garlicky.

Roasted Garlic Bread
(Adapted from Della Fattoriaís Rustic Roasted Garlic Bread in Artisan Baking by Maggie Glezer)

Yield: 2 loaves

* Ferment the levain: 8 hours
* Mix final dough: 30 minutes
* First fermentation : 4 hours with folds at 30, 60, and 90 minutes
* Preshape, rest, and shape: 30 minutes
* Proof: 4 hours
* Bake: 45 minutes

Desired dough temperature: 75F
NOTE: An instant-read thermometer is a good investment:

Levain Ingredients:

22 g mature 100%-hydration sourdough *starter
31 g water
30 g flour
30 g whole wheat flour

Final Dough Ingredients:

500 g flour
390 g water
all of the levain
12 g salt
Filling and Embellishment Ingredients:

3 T. roasted *garlic paste (*SEE RECIPE BELOW)
60 g grated hard cheese (I used Manchego; the original recipe calls for Dry Jack or Asiago)
2 whole unpeeled garlic cloves
8 whole parsley or cilantro sprigs

In a small bowl, combine the levain ingredients and mix with your hands until well incorporated. Cover and ferment for about 8 hours, until well expanded.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the fermented levain, flour, salt, and about 85% of the water (i.e., reserve about 60 g). Mix in low speed until combined.

Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing to a medium level of *gluten development. (*SEE GLUTEN DETAILS BELOW)

Add the remaining water and mix until it is incorporated. The dough will be very soft and will not come together around the dough hook, but it should have strength and elasticity.

Transfer the dough to a covered, lightly oiled container. Ferment for about 4 hours at room temperature, with folds after 30, 60, and 90 minutes. Initially the dough will be very slack and not hold its shape well, but will have significantly more body after the folds.

My dough immediately after the first fold.

Turn the dough into a lightly floured counter and divide it into two pieces. Preshape them into light balls and let them rest, covered, for 20 minutes.

For each piece of dough: Turn the dough smooth-side down on the floured counter. Gently press it into a thick disc. Spread 1.5 T. of the garlic paste in the center of the dough and top with half the grated cheese.

Pull the sides of the dough up around the filling to form a pouch. Turn the dough over and gently round the dough into a smooth ball, trying to keep the filling in the center. Pinch the seam on the bottom firmly closed.

Make a small x in the center of each loaf and twist an unpeeled garlic clove into it. Wet 3 or 4 parsley or cilantro sprigs and arrange them around the garlic.

Dust the loaves with flour and place them, decorated side down, into floured, linen-lined baskets.

Proof at room temperature, covered, for 4 hours.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven, with baking stone, to 425F. You will also need *steam during the initial phase of baking, so prepare for this now.

Turn the proofed loaves onto a sheet of parchment paper and slash a circle around each, about an inch from the edge.

Slide the parchment paper with the loaves onto the baking stone. Bake for 10 minutes with steam, and another 25 minutes or so without steam, until the loaves are golden brown. Then turn off the oven and leave the loaves in for another 10 minutes, with the door ajar.

Cool on a wire rack. Brush excess flour from the parsley with a pastry brush.

Before serving, heat for 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven.


Roasted Garlic Paste

Yield: About 3/4 cup

Time: 1.5 hours


3 whole heads of garlic
3 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 350F.

Cut about a quarter inch off the top of each garlic head to expose the raw cloves, but leave the heads whole. Remove any loose papery skin from the outside of the heads.

Place each head in the cup of a muffin tin, and drizzle with about a teaspoon of olive oil each. Cover the tops of the heads with foil.

Roast for about one hour until the cloves are soft.

Cool until handleable, then remove the cloves from their skins.

Mash together the garlic, 2 T. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

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Last edited by couponqueen on Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Raising a starter seems to be something that is perceived as mysterious, complicated, or hard. But in my experience, itís not; it just requires attention and patience.

I did this a couple of times, once with rye and once with whole wheat flour. Both worked, but the rye worked better, so thatís the one Iím summarizing. (Note: this ends up as a white starter. The rye is just in the beginning, to get things going.)

Ready to try it?

Sourdough Starter from Scratch


White flour (bread or all-purpose), preferably one that contains malted barley flour. Most white flours do, but some do not, especially if they are organic. Check the label.

Rye flour.

Water. I use bottled (not distilled) water because I donít want the chlorine in tap water, and I do want the minerals that are removed by my water softener. If your tap water is not softened, you could let some sit out for a few hours to allow the chlorine to dissipate. All the water should be at about 85F; the yeast you want to nurture likes warmish water. I heat a small amount of water in the microwave and mix it with room temperature water, checking it with an instant-read thermometer. If you donít have one, the water should feel about neutral to the touch.


A 1-quart or larger container with a lid, preferably transparent and with straight vertical sides (this makes it easier to gauge the activity of the culture).

A kitchen scale. If you donít have one, get one. In the meantime, Iíll give the approximate volume measurements. But just this once; really, weigh your ingredients! (I never said I wasnít opinionated.)

An instant-read thermometer is useful for checking water temperature.

A rubber spatula or plastic dough scraper.

Transparent tape.

A way to heat water.

A warm(ish) place, preferably around 80F. The room I used fluctuated from low 70ís to mid 80ís. A room thermometer is helpful.

General process:

The stuff youíre growing is a ďcultureĒ before it is mature and stable enough to bake with, at which point it becomes a ďstarter.Ē

The volume measurements Iíve given do not corresponding exactly to the weight measurements, but the proportions are the same. Donít mix weight and volume measurements.

You will initially leave the culture alone for 24 hours, after which you will ďfeedĒ it at 12-hour intervals; choose your starting time accordingly. I arbitrarily assume youíre starting in the morning.

Feeding involves removing and discarding a portion of the culture, and adding water and flour to what remains: first mix the culture and water together thoroughly, then add the flour and mix until thoroughly blended.

Before you begin, itís helpful to mark the weight of the container on the bottom with a Sharpie, or note it elsewhere. Then when itís time to discard some of the culture, you can just keep taking some out and weighing the container until you know that the remaining culture is the right amount. I do not wash my container between every feeding.

Contrary to a somewhat popular belief, it is OK to use a stainless steel spoon for mixing.

After mixing, use a spatula or dough scraper to squeegee the sides of the container so theyíre nice and clean. This helps you see how much the culture has risen, and keeps things tidy.

When youíre done mixing, smooth the top of the culture flat as much as possible. Place a piece of tape running straight up the outside of the container, and mark the level of the culture. This is how you will know how much it has risen.

Replace the container lid when youíre done mixing. If itís a screw on lid or mason-jar type, you may want to leave it a little loose to give accumulated gas an escape route. If it is a plastic snap-on lid, you can snap it tight; the lid will pop off if the pressure inside gets too high.

Day 1 (Morning):

Make sure your container is clean, well-rinsed, and dry.

Mix 100 g water, 50 g rye flour, and 50 g white flour (or 1/2 c. water and 3/8 c. of each flour.)

Leave the culture in its warm spot for 24 hours.

Day 2 (Morning):

Hopefully you will see signs of life. Has the culture risen a little? Are there any bubbles in it, even one or two? (These are sometimes best seen by picking it up and looking at it through the bottom of the container.)

Pyrex containers amd cookware are all great for this:

It is possible that you will see a large rise (50% or more) at this point. Donít be fooled; this does not mean youíve birthed a miracle baby. In the initial stages of a culture, a type of bacteria called leuconostoc may predominate; it produces a lot of gas and causes the rapid rise. This bacteria is not desirable, but not harmful either, and it will eventually die out as the beneficial critters settle in and the culture becomes more acidic. You may also notice that the culture has a rather unpleasant odor; donít worry, this too shall pass.

(If you see absolutely no sign of life whatsoever, I suggest leaving it alone for another 12 hours before proceeding. If there is still nothing, why not forge ahead anyway and see what happens?)

Discard all but 75 g of the culture. Feed this with 75 g water, 25 g rye flour, and 50 g white flour (1/3 c. starter, 1/3 c. water, 5 teaspoons rye flour, and 1/3 c. white flour).

Set it back in its warm spot for 12 hours.

Day 2 (Evening):

You may see signs of activity, but the culture may be either more or less lively than what you saw this morning. Anything from a single bubble to a 100% rise is good.

Again, feed 75 g of culture with 75 g water, 25 g rye flour, and 50 g white flour, and return it to the warm spot.

Day 3 (Morning):

Your culture may appear dead, but itís probably not. Donít worry, just go ahead and feed as before.

Day 3 (Evening) and every 12 hours thereafter:

Continue to feed as youíve been doing. At some point things should pick up steam, and you will notice that the culture gets a little more vigorous with each feeding.

When the culture at least doubles itself in 12 hours and is looking nice and bubbly, start feeding with only white flour (75 g culture / 75 g water / 75 g flour). This happened for me around the end of Day 4.

After about 5 Ė 7 days, hopefully you will observe that the culture can double itself in 8 hours or less, smells pleasantly sour, and is full of bubbles. Congratulations, you have raised a 100% hydration starter thatís ready to bake with!

At this point you can also start decreasing the amount of culture in relation to the feeding flour and water, and use room-temperature instead of 85-degree water. You have been mixing 1:1:1 culture:water:flour at each feeding. Now try 1:2:2 and see if the starter can still double in 8 hours or less.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gluten Development (with Windowpane Photos)
*HINT: High-gluten flour (about 14% protein) can be ordered from here:
If you do not have it, you can substitute 675 g of your regular bread flour plus 18 g of vital wheat gluten, available in most natural food stores.

I took (actually, my husband T took, while I ďwindowpanedĒ) some photos of the stages of gluten development. I hope someone will find these useful. Most of the breads I make call for the gluten to be developed to a medium stage.

Gluten development is tested with the ďwindowpane test.Ē Pinch off about two tablespoons of dough and try to stretch it into a thin membrane (windowpane).

If you can do so without tearing, but the membrane is mostly opaque, you have barely developed gluten.

If you can stretch a paper-thin, very translucent windowpane, the gluten is fully developed.

A medium level is in between these two extremes: the windowpane is translucent with some opaque areas.

The progression from minimally to fully developed gluten:

Not Ready

1/2 way Ready

100% Ready
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Steam is important during the initial phase of baking most hearth breads. It facilitates oven-spring by preventing the crust from setting too rapidly, and enhances crust color. Breads baked without steam can taste fine, but the crust is likely to be a dull, pale grayish color rather than the rich brown most of us are after. Ready for a photo quiz? Hint: the top thing is not a peanut on steroids.

I have spent way more time than I should have scouring books and online articles and discussion groups looking for the perfect way to introduce steam to my baking loaves. Iíve spent hours and hours, and more than a little money, trying just about everything. But in the end, itís come down to two methods that work for me.

The first is a home-made version of a La Cloche Brick Oven:
It is made for a fraction of the cost. I got the idea from a contributor to The Fresh Loaf. The materials (one unglazed 10-inch terra cotta flower pot, one eye bolt, two washers, two hex nuts) were under $15. You can buy a lead-testing kit if you want to make sure the pot is lead-free.

Two of these fit in my oven, and each can cover a 2-pound boule or small batard. I preheat them in the oven along with the baking stone. Then when the proofed loaves are loaded onto the hot stone, I immediately cover them with the preheated cloches. The moisture in the dough itself provides the steam; no spraying or other addition of water is necessary. The cloche simulates a brick oven, holding the steam close to the bread. The cloche is removed after the first 10-15 minutes to give the crust a chance to brown. This is my method of choice when Iím baking one or two loaves that fit comfortably under the cloches.

Woman cannot live by boules alone, though. For those times when I canít use the cloches, hereís what works: I place a shallow pan filled with lava rocks (the kind used for barbecue grills) on the bottom rack and allow it to preheat with the oven. It is as far forward and to one side as possible, with the baking stone a couple of racks above it. Two or three minutes before loading the proofed loaves, I throw a damp dishtowel into the oven and remove it just prior to loading the bread (tongs are good for this). This pre-humidifies the oven chamber. (I canít absolutely swear that this does any good, but I think it helps.) Once the bread is in the oven I quickly pour about 3/4 cup hot water into the stone-filled pan and shut the door. An oven mitt is essential to keep my pouring hand from getting a steam burn, and a long-spouted watering can is a good idea too. After the first 10-15 minutes I remove the steam pan from the oven; although all the water may have evaporated, opening the door to vent the moisture is important.

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