Last night I found myself with a bit of leftover basil after dinner. It wasn't enough for pesto, but far too much to compost. Oh, what to do? Well, it just so happened that I had planned to make some bread last night. I've experimented with a few different sourdough bread recipes, and have come to settle on one version that's become my go-to"farm loaf."
The recipe I'm sharing here is simply a modification of what I make every week. In addition to the 1/2 cup of chopped, fresh basil, I toasted three garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and added that as well. Everyone in my family loved it. My husband thought it was a bit basil heavy and wished it had more garlic, but he LOVES garlic. When adding flavors to your baked goods, play around with recipes until you land on the version that works for you.
150 g Bubbly sourdough starter
300 g Water
500 g Flour
9 g Kosher salt
1/2 cup Fresh basil, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 Tbsp olive oil
Prepare your dough 8-12 hours before you plan to bake it. Place the garlic and olive oil in a pan and cook over medium heat until the garlic is golden and softened, about 5-10 minutes. Be careful to turn the garlic so that it doesn't burn. Set it aside and cool. Once it's cool, peel the garlic and slice it into pieces you'd like to find in your bread. Some people like bigger chunks than others. In a large bowl, add the sourdough starter and water. Stir to combine. Next, add the flour, salt, basil, garlic slices, and olive oil to the mixture. Stir the mixture until all of the flour is incorporated and a sticky dough is formed. Let it rest for 30 minutes and do a round of stretch and fold. Cover the dough and leave it to proof on the counter overnight.
The morning of the bake, place your oven rack on in the center position and add a lidded dutch oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F. While the oven warms, place your dough on a floured piece of parchment. Form your loaf by pulling and folding all four sides until a tight skin is achieved. Carefully flip the dough, right side up, and let it rest, covered for 30 minutes. Once the oven is preheated and the dough has rested, score the top of your loaf. Then, carefully place the bread in the dutch oven and place the lid on top.
Lower the oven temp to 425°F and set a timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and bake for an additional 20 minutes until a crispy crust has formed. Once the loaf is done baking place it on a cooling rack and allow the bread to cool completely. Enjoy!