So, I preface this post with this – I’m not a great baker. I for some reason have more success with the ‘cooking’ end than the ‘baking’ end of culinary abilities. Nonetheless, I’m determined to change that! I’ve dabbled in cakes and cookies but one thing I want, no DESIRE to become good at is bread making. Maybe it’s the kneading thing or that it’s just fun to watch rise. Or that it smells divine when it’s baking. I even loved play-doh as a kid (ask my mom!) and I think it’s all about me, deep down, wanting to be a master of bread.
Ok, that’s a bit extreme. Either way, I’m trying to attempt some variations of breads to see what I like, what’s fun to make etc. This past weekend, while I had the lasagna simmering on the stove, I attempted to make Rosemary bread. I found this recipe on pinterest.com which took me to the recipe I used on a great blog: A Hint of Honey. I can’t wait to peruse the blog for other tasty recipes!
This was a great bread recipe for a newbie like me – not a lot of steps but still kneading fun involved. 🙂 I modified the recipe a bit, but see A Hint of Honey for the original recipe and other delicious ideas.
Rosemary Olive Oil Bread:
- 1 cup warm water (not scalding hot but fairly warm)
- 1 Tbsp. cane sugar
- 2 tsp. active dry yeast (if you’re like me and get the packets, you’ll have a bit left over, 1/4 tsp to be exact)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped or 2 tsp. dried (I only had dried, but LOVE rosemary and decided to use 2 Tbsp anyway. Up to you!)
- 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (or pinch of each ground garlic, dried oregano, and dried basil) (I went with her suggested concoction and it turned out great, as an FYI)
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (I used normal whole wheat flour, again, up to you!)
- 1/2 cup bread flour + extra for kneading
- 1 egg, whisked + 1 Tbsp. water, for egg wash
- dried rosemary, for sprinkling
How to Make:
In a large bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. To a new bread maker, this process allows the yeast to ‘proof’. For those that know all about breads, I’m sorry I didn’t know about this term. I’m now more educated.
Stir in the salt, rosemary, seasonings, olive oil, and whole wheat flour. I didn’t mix it all the way in, just enough to have the flour and liquid start to mix together. Then, add in the bread flour and stir until it starts to come together. Mine came together in many little balls but it’s supposed to come together in one larger ball. Either way, now it’s time for FUN! Let’s knead…
Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes. Yes, I know, you want to knead for 10 minutes. I too had to cut myself off from kneading. You’ll survive. If the dough becomes sticky, add in more flour to the dough or your heads, or both! It shouldn’t be sticky, but smooth when you’re all done.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl; cover (I used a clean kitchen towel for this); and let rise until (about) doubled in size. This step takes about an hour. If you’re making the lovely lasagna from my post a few days ago, this gives you time to continue work on that. Or drink a glass of wine. Or watch some Netflix. I may have done all three.
Now, more kneading fun, well, just punching. Punch down the dough and form it into a round loaf. I then placed my load on a pizza pan sprinkled with bread flour. The original recipe also states you can place the dough on a flour dusted pizza peel or parchment paper. Whatever is in your kitchen should be able to work. Again, cover that baby up and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes this time around
At this time, hopefully your lasagna (or other items in the oven, if there are any) are out and you can turn the head to 400 F. The recipe suggests to preheat and bake on a pizza stone, an item lacking in my kitchen. I simply warmed up my pizza pan (moved the dough to a new, floured spot while this preheat was happening.) Once the dough has risen, brush that baby with the egg wash and with a hearty helping of dried rosemary.
Bake on preheated stone (or for those with less cooking items at their fingertips, a preheated pizza pan) for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. I did not tap mine, but it was golden brown and looked/tasted done to me.
This recipe makes one, lovely, round load of glorious smelling bread. It also goes FABULOUSLY with lasagna. Just saying.