Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Rosemary Bread

Incredibly easy to make, great tasting, a classic bread that's crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle and flavoured with rosemary. Delicious Mediterranean ingredients here: olive oil, rosemary, whole wheat! 

This bread rises quickly and bakes in 30 minutes. It's an enriched bread, a type of bread whose dough contains fat. In this case, the fat, in the form of 5 tablespoons of olive oil, is a good type of fat: 70% of olive oil is comprised of monounsaturated fats, and evidence shows that monounsaturated fats in the diet reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. In addition to its health benefits, olive oil makes bread taste better, keep better, and stay softer longer. 

Check out the recipe, and then bake some for yourself. Try it and you'll love it! 

  • 1½  tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water 
  • 3/4 cup water 
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the bowl and to oil the top of the loaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary, plus 2 tablespoons whole rosemary leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
  • In a measuring cup stir together the yeast and the warm water.  Add the sugar and 1 tablespoon of flour.  Let stand for about 10 minutes until the mixture starts to bubble and rise.
  • Into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook add the rest of the water (3/4 cup), the olive oil, the salt, and the chopped rosemary.
  • Add the yeast mixture and begin stirring on the low setting. 
  • Add the bread flour and the wheat flour and continue to mix on low speed until the dough comes together, about one or two minutes. 
  • Raise the speed to medium-high, and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. If needed, use a rubber spatula to move the dough away from the sides of the bowl and closer to the dough hook.
  • Lightly dust a surface with flour and place the dough on top. The dough should be soft and really pliable.  Roll it in the flour and shape it into a ball.
  • Grease a large bowl with olive oil and place the dough ball inside. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then cover it with a towel. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  • Press down on the dough to release the gas created by the yeast. Let it rest, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide it in half.
  • Roll one piece into an 11-inch long loaf. Gently twist the dough to create contours, then tuck the ends underneath. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Press the rosemary leaves into the loaves, creating a decorative pattern.
  • Cover the loaves with plastic wrap, place them in a warm, draft-free spot and let them rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
  • Brush the tops of the loaves with olive oil and dust them with a little flour or cornmeal.    
  • Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Let them cool on a wire rack before slicing. 
Based on a recipe by Martha Stewart.