When this Pain au Romarin is baking, your whole house will have an amazing aroma wafting through it.
The bread is so moist and flavorful. It is excellent with butter, and incredible toasted. While there is a decent amount of whole wheat flour, it does not dominate.
The recipe is pretty flexible, in that, once you have shaped your loaves, you can bake the bread the same day, or let them slowly rise for up to 18 hours prior to baking. The levain (starter) can also be refrigerated a day or two after it has been mixed and allowed to ferment.
One of things I love about cold fermented bread is the resulting bubbly crust.
Flexible baking schedule for making the bread in (almost) one day:
The night before baking day, feed your starter to create the levain.
9:00 am: Mix, autolyse, knead, and ferment your dough.
12:30 pm (approximately): Shape the loaves.
2:30 pm: Bake the loaves.
Flexible baking schedule for making the bread over two days:
7:00 am: feed your starter to create the levain.
6:00 pm: Mix, autolyse, knead, and ferment your dough.
9:30 pm: Shape the loaves and refrigerate.
6:00 pm: Remove the loaves from the refrigerator and preheat the oven.
7:00 pm: Bake the loaves.
These schedules are given as guidelines, and can be customized based on your own schedule.
The original recipe calls for 28 grams of finely chopped fresh rosemary, which is quite a bit (about 1/2 cup). I cut it back to about 17 grams, and the loaves were still very aromatic. If you want big rosemary flavor, definitely go for it.
This formula for this bread was contributed by my breadhead friend David of Hearth Baked Tunes. It was inspired by the book From the Wood Fired Oven by Richard Miscovich.
The author/baker always bakes a sprig of rosemary into the bottom of the loaves. How cool is that?
Pain au Romarin Recipe
227 g bread flour
227 g water
45 g starter
Mix the levain ingredients in a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature for 8 hours. At this point, you can either use the levain immediately, or refrigerate it up to 24 hours.
454 g water
454 g of the levain (I used all of it)
457 g bread flour
228 g whole wheat flour
17 g salt
17 to 28 g finely chopped rosemary, depending on taste
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix all of the ingredients except the salt and rosemary. Let sit for 30 minutes (autolyse).
- Add the salt and rosemary, and knead with the dough hook for about 8 minutes.
- Place the dough into an oiled bowl and let it rise for about 2 1/2 hours, folding the dough four times at 30 minute intervals.
- When the dough has doubled in size, gently pull it out onto a lightly floured work surface.
- Cut the dough in half with a bench scraper, and shape each half into a ball. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Dust two bannetons with flour, or line two 9 inch bowls with floured tea towels.
- Shape the boules a second time, creating a taut "skin" on the outside of the dough. Place the dough, seam side up, into each basket.
- Cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature, for about 2 hours, until puffy. Alternatively, refrigerate the dough for about 18 hours.
- Place two Dutch ovens in the oven and preheat it to 500 degrees F (If you only have one Dutch oven, bake one loaf at a time).
- Remove the hot Dutch ovens and place the dough, seam side down, into them. Slash the loaves with a lame or sharp knife, cover, and place back into the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
- Bake for 25 minutes covered, and 15 to 20 minutes, uncovered. The interior temperature of the bread should be 205 to 210 degrees F.
- Cool the loaves completely on a wire rack.
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