Rosemary sourdough bread is Italian bread that is flavoured with fresh rosemary, extra virgin olive oil and a hint of honey. It’s called a “Pane Marino” in Italy which means bread of the sea. It’s a bread that once you taste, you will never forget!
Honestly one of my favourites. Try to use Italian 00 flour if you can get it. The rosemary sourdough bread combines sweetness from the honey with a fresh, delicate flavour that makes something that is above “just bread”. Italian rosemary sourdough is a hard bread to conquer, but is a bread of beauty when you pull it off. Expect it to take around 16 hours to complete. You can speed it up by adding yeast if you wish.
This dough can also be turned into baguettes, just divide into 200g for short or 500g for large ones. You can also include ingredients like olives, raisins and walnuts. It’s a very versatile dough! If this is your first sourdough recipe, you may prefer my sourdough bread recipe for beginners.
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What you need to make a sourdough with rosemary bread
To make this amazing sourdough bread, you’ll need the following equipment:
- A banneton
- Mixing bowls
- A metal and plastic dough scraper
- A lid or some plastic wrap (something to cover the bowl)
- Scales, if you don’t a decent set you might want to try these scales from Myweigh
- A baking stone
Using a thermometer will help you with controlling proofing times. For accurate dough temperature readings try this thermometer from Gdealer. Aim for dough temperature between 25C and 30C (77-86F).
What if I don’t have a baking stone?
A baking stone conducts heat into the loaf. Using one increases the height of the oven spring and helps to give an even bake on the base of the loaf. If you don’t have a baking stone, preheat the thickest baking sheet that you have.
Can I use a dutch oven to make this recipe?
Yes, if you would rather use a dutch oven to make this rosemary sourdough recipe you won’t need to add steam to the oven. Simply preheat the dutch oven and drop the dough inside on a sheet of parchment paper to bake. If you are looking to get a dutch oven, I recommend getting this one from Challenger.
For the 1st refreshment:
- 36 grams of sourdough starter
- 24 grams of white bread flour
- 18 grams of water
For the 2nd refreshment:
- 30 grams of white bread flour
- 24 grams of water
For the dough:
- 300 grams of white flour
- 200 grams of water
- 6 grams of salt
- 4 grams of honey
- 3 grams of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 grams (pinch) of fresh rosemary
To speed this bread up, you can add a small amount of yeast. Add 2g of fresh yeast (1g dried) when mixing. The final rise will be around 2-3 hours.
Changing the size of the recipe
This recipe makes 1 medium sized bread. If you want to change the size of the recipe, use the bakers formula.
Method for a rosemary sourdough
1) Start the sourdough refreshment
Take a mixing bowl and weigh the water. Zero the scale and weigh the sourdough in the same bowl. Weigh the flour and mix together and mix using a spoon or finger until an even mixture is created. Leave covered for 4-6 hours or until at least doubled in size.
The development time can be adapted. To increase the time use the fridge for part of the time for example: 0800 1st refreshment, 1900 2nd refreshment put in fridge, 2300 remove from the fridge and place on the kitchen table. To speed it up, place it in a warm place.
2) Second refreshment
Once the starter has risen again we have a second refreshment. Here add the flour and water into the bowl and mix until even again. Leave for another 4-6 hours until it has risen and a nice thick structure has developed.
3) Weigh the ingredients
To make the dough, first weigh the ingredients. Add the sourdough refreshment and the other ingredients excluding the honey, olive oil and rosemary to a large mixing bowl.
4) Start mixing
Set a 10 minute timer. Using a dough scraper gently combine the ingredients. When the bowl is starting to hinder the kneading technique, remove the dough onto a workbench. Slow kneading using a slow, stretching technique until the timer sounds. Place back into a mixing bowl, cover and put in the fridge for 10 minutes.
In a dough mixer:
Set a timer and mix slowly for 8 minutes, then increase the speed and mix for another 8 minutes. As the timer goes off, lower the speed and add the honey, oil and rosemary and knead for another 2 minutes or until incorporated. Skip to step 5.
5) Increase the kneading speed!
Remove from the fridge and set a timer for 8 minutes. Fast knead using the stretch, slap and fold technique. Once the timer sounds, place the dough back in the bowl, add the honey, rosemary and olive oil to the centre of the bowl and knead. Finish off on the table.
6) Bulk fermentation
Place into a lightly floured mixing bowl, cover and bulk ferment in the fridge for 45 minutes.
7) Stretch and fold
Remove the dough from the bowl and knock it back or complete a stretch and fold
8) Bulk fermentation pt 2
Place the dough back in the bowl, cover and leave to rest on the worktop for 45 minutes.
9) Second stretch and fold
Complete a second knock back or stretch and fold.
10) Bulk fermentation pt 3
Place the dough back in the bowl, cover and leave to rest on the worktop for 30 minutes this time. By now the dough should be gassy with sufficient gluten development so that it’s ready for shaping.
11) It’sss preshape time!
After the dough has fermented, preshape it into a round (boule) and leave to bench rest on a lightly floured area of the worktop for 20 minutes.
12) Prepare the proofing tray
Prepare a board or peel by lightly four dusting, using a combination of flour and semolina or rice flour works well. Instead of a board you can use a banneton if you prefer, preferably with a liner cloth to remove the lined indention of the basket.
Take the dough piece, turn over and push against the table to remove much of the retained air. Shape into a round again and place seam side down on the floured board.
14) Final proof
Leave to proof with a mixing bowl placed upside down to reduce airflow and prevent the crust from drying out. Proof for 3 – 5 hours, spraying lightly with water occasionally if it does dry up on the crust area. The warmer the room, the faster the rise so put it in a warm place like an oven with the light on to speed it up if you wish.
Preheat the oven with a baking stone and a lipped tray beneath it to 240C (465F)
15) Make the cuts
Once the dough has almost doubled in size and passes the poke test it’s ready for baking.
To cut the 8 star pattern that I used, you are best using a sharp pair of scissors instead of a traditional bakers lame. Any pattern will work so keep it simple with an “x” if you’d rather.
Check the dough is not stuck to the bottom of the board/peel by sliding a metal dough scraper underneath it and then slide it onto the baking stone. Add plenty of steam to the lower tray and drop temperature straight away to 220C (430F). Bake for 35 minutes, opening the door after 25 to release the steam. You may want to turn down the heat to 210C (410F) if it starts to colour too quickly.
17) Testing when it’s ready
Once baked, the bread will sound hollow when tapped and have a light colour (the bread in the photo above is a little darker than I prefer). At this point, remove it from the oven.
18) Finishing and cooling
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt flakes in the cracks of the bread. Allow to cool for 2 hours.
Italian rosemary sourdough video
Nutritional information per loaf
Calories: 1397kcal | Carbohydrates: 288g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 4g | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 18mg