By itself, I think that sour cream tastes awful.
I mean, it is really, really bad. It’s both a texture and a flavor thing for me. I know a lot of people like adding it to tacos and goulash and whatnot, but the mere thought of eating sour cream raw triggers my gag reflex every time.
As terrible as I think it is as condiment by itself, in my experience, I have found that it is a stellar ingredient to bake with.
What it lacks in texture or taste by itself, it more than makes up for when it’s time to improve the texture of baked goods; practically any baked goods, really. For instance, I never go without sour cream when making biscuits if I can help it. It’s become one of my secret baking weapons.
I use it with biscuits and scones all the time and now, it turns out that I can now add it to the yeast bread repertoire.
I’ve made bubble bread a couple times before on the blog. It makes for an eye-catching presentation, it’s pretty simple to shape/assemble, and it’s a good tear-and-share loaf– if you’re inclined to share, anyway.
There are very few things that garlic, herbs and butter can’t make taste good, and bread is certainly no exception. I don’t know which I was a bigger fan of; the texture of the bread itself thanks to the sour cream and the bread flour, or the buttery herby garlicky flavor that’s in every bite.
Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to pick and neither do you should you decide to give this a try.
Just enjoy it.
Herbed Sour Cream Pull Apart Loaf
- 3¼ cups bread flour, divided
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup water
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- ½ teaspoon flaked sea salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together 1½ cups of the flour, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and 1½ teaspoons kosher salt by hand.
In a medium saucepan, heat sour cream, butter, and ¼ cup (60 grams) water over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Sprinkle the active yeast on top, then sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the sugar on top of that.
Allow to sit for 10 minutes, until yeast is proofed and frothy.
With mixer on medium speed, pour warm sour cream mixture into flour mixture, beating until combined and cooled slightly, about 1 minute. Add egg, and beat at medium speed until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add remaining 1¾ cups flour, beating until well combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl, about 1 minute.
Lightly spray a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
In a small bowl, stir together melted butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
Divide dough into 36 pieces. With lightly floured hands, working with 1 piece at a time (keep remaining dough covered to prevent it from drying out), roll each piece into a smooth ball. Dip each ball into melted butter mixture, and place in a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan. Pour any remaining melted butter mixture over dough in pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 35 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sprinkle risen dough with flaked salt.
Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 35 to 40 minutes, covering with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and garnish with rosemary, thyme, and parsley, if desired.
Serve warm or at room temperature.