Sourdough bread with white port and basil
Ingredients for 4 breads:
1 cup rye flour
1 cup wholegrain flour
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pinch of Espelette Pepper (option)
100 ml of white port
2/3 cup natural sourdough (my recipe) or 1 tablespoon fresh yeast
Dried basil for rolling
In a bowl, mix both flours and the other dry ingredients, including the Espelette pepper (except the dried basil). Mix well with a fork to aerate and homogenize.
Crush the fresh basil with a little salt in a mortar. Gradually dilute the puree obtained with olive oil.
Dilute the natural sourdough with a little sugar and lukewarm water. Pour in the middle of the bowl containing the dry mixture. Also add the mashed basil, the white port and as much lukewarm water as necessary to obtain a thick dough, as for a cake. Cover the bowl with cling film and a towel. Let rise gently in a warm corner. As it takes 6 to 8 hours, it’s wiser to knead the dough in the evening and let it ferment overnight. On the other hand, if you use baker’s yeast, 2 hours are enough for fermentation.
Next morning, with oiled hands and generously floured working surface, knead the dough until smooth. Then divide it into 4 equal balls and roll each in a sausage. Generously sprinkle the dried basil on a sheet of baking paper. Then roll the sausages in this basil mat. Give a preferred shape (I have just cut the sides with scissors). Transfer the 4 breads to a baking dish covered with parchment paper. Let stand for 1 hour in a warm place.
Put the sourdough breads in an oven preheated to 210°C and bake for about 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C. Bake for a further 35 to 40 minutes. Once out the oven, leave to cool on a rack.