Monday, March 16, 2009

carbo load: rosemary bread

One of the things I love about bread is that it is so incredibly versatile. Take a basic bread recipe and add whatever you like and it will transform into something else entirely. I had a bunch of beautiful rosemary that I wanted to use this weekend, and it popped into my head that I would love a nice simple rosemary bread to dip into some of the good Tuscan extra virgin olive oil.

I also love how the aroma intoxicates the air. Yeast is one of my favorite perfumes. This recipe really couldn't be easier. It is a bread making basic, with minimal work and maximal satisfaction.

The crust is very soft for this one, so if you prefer it a little crispy, try brushing with an egg wash at the end, instead of the olive oil. It is also great toasted on the second day. Recipe after the jump:


1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt, plus additional for sprinkling
4 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, separated

Combine yeast, sugar, and warm water in a large mixing bowl and allow to rest until foamy. Add in 1 TBSP olive oil, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Stir to combine, then add 3 TBSP of the rosemary. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand until smooth and elastic, adding up to 1/2 cup additional flour if the dough is too sticky. Shape dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled in size.

Punch down dough, then separate in half. Shape each half into a small football shaped loaf and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle the top with the remaining rosemary. Cover with the towel and allow to rise another 1 hour, until doubled.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake loaves for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with remaining one tbsp of olive oil, then lightly sprinkle with salt. Allow to cool before slicing.


sharilyn said...

i tend not to use white flours anymore as much as possible in my baking... can this be made with a fine whole wheat flour, like King Arthur's white whole wheat flour? i'd love to try the recipe....

faycat said...

I tend to go with 50/50 white to wheat to preserve the texture of the bread, but I think with the white whole wheat it would probably be fine to completely replace it. It may not be quite as soft and dense, but I'm sure it will still be delicious.

sharilyn said...

great, thanks! i'll have to give it a try! : )

darren said...

I've got a tub of rosemary I'm growing, which is going crazy. I thought I'd try making bread for the first time, and yours is the recipe I'm trying ; )

What do you think about adding tomatoes, or is that too much? I guess they would have to be dried, or at least well drained....