Go out and buy the book already. I had a rough week. I was looking forward to the weekend and bread baking. Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking is filled with delightful stories from bakeries all over the US. When you read the account of Della Fattoria you become aware that an artisan bakery, with a wood burning stove is a 24 hour commitment. Who feeds the starter, who stokes the fire. I love reading stories in cookbooks and am really enjoying this one.
One of Della Fattoria's most popular varieties is the Rustic Roasted Garlic Bread. You need a little time on your hands to make this bread. First you will need a firm sourdough starter that has been refreshed 8 hours earlier. Glezer tells you how to make your batter type starter into a firm starter, buy the book, you won't regret it.
The starter is mixed with water, bread flour and wheat flour and allowed to ferment overnight. I enjoy having things fermenting on my counter. It makes me feel like I am back in lab.
At some point, you roast three heads of garlic in the oven for about an hour. After they are roasted, pop the cloves out of their skins, mash them and add some olive oil, salt and pepper to make at least 3 Tablespoons of garlic paste.
The next morning, mix the fermented levain, water, and bread flour. This forms a wet, soft dough that you mix in a stand mixer for 25 minutes. Not a typo. So far the recipes in Artisan Baking have had a longer mixing time. After 25 mins you add some salt. You end up with a very soft dough. I can't help but wonder if the 25 minutes is really necessary. It would be nice to have a bake off.
Now starts the four hour fermenting. Put it in a container, every 30 mins take it out and fold it, do this for 3 times or 90 mins, then leave it alone for 2.5 more hours. It will slowly rise. Divide it into two. Form it into rounds, flip them over, squash them down, smear on some garlic paste and asiago cheese, pinch the dough together to make a pleated pouch. Flip it over, make a nice parsley wreath and put a clove of garlic into a slice in the the center of the loaf. Put the loaf parsley side down in a floured, linen covered bowl. Let it ferment for four more hours. Flip it onto a sheet. You were supposed to slice around the perimeter right before baking. I forgot that part. Bake it on a baking stone in a 425 oven.
Then, let the bread cool. Slice it open and fight over who gets the piece with the most garlic puree. It is clear that the hours spent fermenting add to the flavor of this bread. This is not bread for the faint of heart, it screams hearty, flavorful, not white, garlic lover bread.