In my experience dealing with different herbs, I consider rosemary and thyme the dynamic duo of herbs. There’s a unique way these two perennial plants can transform an ordinary sourdough loaf into something extraordinary. If you’ve used the herbal combo in your slow-roasted beef tenderloin, roasted herb chicken, or tried our rosemary and thyme whole grain bread, you’d attest.
There’s something deliciously irresistible about this wonderful fusion of flavors, which will transform an ordinary meal into something bouquet-worthy. Anyway, enough of the praises. As we plan our rosemary and thyme spiced chicken roast, let’s see what a fragrant, rustic sourdough loaf we can spruce up from this homemade rosemary and thyme sourdough loaf recipe.
Rosemary and Thyme Sourdough Loaf Ingredients
Let’s start with the ingredients you’ll need. For the Sourdough starter:
- 1 cup active sourdough starter
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- 3 cups bread flour
For the Bread:
- 4. 4 cups bread flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (finely chopped)
Rosemary and Thyme Sourdough Loaf Baking Instructions
Here are the steps to make this healthy organic Rosemary and thyme sourdough loaf.
Step 1: Preparing the sourdough starter
- In a large bowl, combine your active sourdough starter, warm water, and 3 cups of bread flour. Mix until you have a dough-like consistency.
- Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let it sit for 12-16 hours. This will allow your starter to ferment and develop that characteristic sourdough flavor.
Step 2: Mixing the Bread dough
- Once your starter is ready, it’s time to make the bread.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 4 cups of bread flour, salt, chopped rosemary, and thyme.
- Gradually add your sourdough starter to the dry ingredients. Mix well until you have a sticky dough.
Step 3: Kneading and rising
- Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise for about 4-6 hours. It should double in size.
Step 4: Shaping and second rise
- After the first rise, gently shape the dough into a round loaf.
- Place it on a floured surface, cover it, and let it rise again for 1-2 hours.
Step 5: Baking
- Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). If you have a Dutch oven, place it in the oven while it’s heating up.
- Carefully transfer the risen dough into the hot Dutch oven.
- Score the top with a sharp knife or razor blade to allow for even expansion.
- Cover the Dutch oven with its lid (or use a second baking dish as a lid if you don’t have one).
- Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, and then remove the lid for an additional 15-20 minutes to let the loaf brown.
Step 6: Cooling
- Once your bread has a beautiful golden crust, remove it from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. This helps the flavors set and makes it easier to slice.
- Use fresh herbs for the best flavor. Dried herbs can be substituted, but fresh is always better. Also, you can experiment with the quantity of herbs to suit your taste, increasing or decreasing the amount to your liking.
- Also, avoid rushing the rising process. A longer rise will give you a better flavor. For a crispier crust, you can remove the lid earlier during baking.
- Finally, practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first loaf isn’t perfect; baking sourdough is an art that improves with time.
Why Use Rosemary and Thyme In Your Sourdough Bread?
It’s worth noting that these herbs aren’t just about flavor – they come with health benefits, too. Rosemary is known for its antioxidant properties, which support gastrohealth. It aids in digestion and improves memory and concentration.
As for thyme, the Mediterranean herb is rich in vitamins and minerals, and it’s known to support respiratory health, which boosts the immune system.
What to Eat With Your Rosemary And Thyme Infused Sourdough Loaf
This rosemary and thyme sourdough loaf pairs perfectly with various dishes. Here are a few suggestions:
- Herbed butter: Create a simple herbed butter with fresh rosemary, thyme, and salt.
- Soup: It’s a delightful accompaniment to a hearty tomato soup or roasted vegetable soup.
- Bruschetta: Top slices of this bread with diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Cheese platter: Serve it with a selection of cheeses, fruits, and honey for a delightful appetizer.
A Word on Baking Rosemary and Thyme Sourdough Loaf
This rosemary and thyme sourdough loaf sourdough loaf is an excellent introduction to homemade sourdough baking. The combination of rosemary and thyme adds a pleasant aroma and brings their unique health benefits. Remember, patience is key when working with sourdough. Allow your starter and dough ample time to develop their flavors, and you’ll be rewarded with a beautifully rustic loaf. Enjoy!