Do you love the smell of fresh baked bread? We do too! This recipe is incredibly simple and easy to make, especially if you prepare it the day before baking it! You could speed up this recipe by increasing the amount of yeast, but we recommend letting it sit overnight and taking advantage of the benefits of sourdough fermentation.
Did you know sourdough bread is healthier for you than even commercial whole grain breads? Here’s why: The outer coating on wheat kernels (also known as the bran) contains a substance called phytic acid. These phytic acid molecules do 2 things:
They inhibit enzymes that are needed for the breakdown of proteins and starches in the stomach. The lack of these enzymes in our stomachs often causes digestive issues (including a wheat or gluten intolerance).
They bind with other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, which makes these important nutrients unavailable to us.
However, as wheat flour and water sit, a reaction called fermentation occurs, and the wild yeast and lactobacillus (lactic acid bacteria) in the leaven neutralize the phytic acid, as the bread proves through the acidification of the dough. This prevents the effects of the phytic acid and makes the bread easier for us to digest. The sourdough bacteria pre-digest the flour, which releases the micronutrients and makes them available to us. This whole process takes place as you let the bread sit on your counter for several hours. Sourdough bread also has a low glycemic index and takes longer to digest, so it won’t affect your blood sugar like ordinary bread.
The rosemary essential oil in this recipe is enough to provide a delightful hint of the herb in every bite. Feel free to add the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and black pepper if you want more of a savory taste.
1/2 tsp. (1.5 g) active dry yeast (increase to 2 1/4 tsp. (7 g) if you don’t want to wait all night)
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) warm water
3–4 drops rosemary essential oil
1/4 tsp. (200 mg) Italian seasoning (optional)
1/4 tsp. (800 mg) garlic powder (optional)
1/4 tsp. (500 mg) black pepper (optional)
Fresh rosemary, roughly chopped, for garnish
In a large bowl, stir the flour, salt, and yeast together. Add warm water and rosemary essential oil, and stir to combine. It’s fine if it looks like a shaggy mess or on the dry side.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set at room temperature for 8–24 hours (it is done sitting when it looks wet and bubbly and has doubled in size).
Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, and gently pull it into a squarish shape. Sprinkle on Italian seasoning, garlic powder, black pepper, and fresh rosemary. Fold the corners in like an envelope; then flip the dough over and shape it into a ball. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, put your baking dish with high sides (we used a dutch oven) in the oven, and preheat to 450°F (230°C).
After the 30 minutes are up, flip the bread over (seam side up) or cut an “x” in the dough, sprinkle with fresh rosemary, and carefully place it in the hot dutch oven. Cover with the lid, and cook for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and continue cooking, uncovered, for 10–20 minutes, or until bread is golden brown.
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