Tuesday, May 1, 2012

ROSEMARY BREAD

Great tasting, fantastic bread!  I fell in love with it.  It's crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle and flavored with rosemary.  Delicious Mediterranean ingredients abound here:  olive oil, rosemary, whole wheat. It's baked with all purpose flour into which whole wheat flour is mixed.  There is olive oil in the dough, and the rosemary flavor is just right:  neither overwhelming, nor subtle. The bread itself is relatively easy and quick to make. It rises quickly, and it bakes in just 30 minutes.  You get two loaves out of the recipe.  One to "just taste," and another to save for later.  Try it, you'll like it. Rosemary bread, based on a recipe from Martha Stewart's website.   
A morsel of rosemary bread topped with a spoonful of hummus I had made. 

This is 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. That's because 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 the health benefits, olive oil makes bread taste better, keep better, and stay softer longer.
Now, check out the recipe, and then bake some for yourself!  Come on, give it a try!
Ingredients:
1½  tablespoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup water, warm to the touch (not boiling)
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 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon whole leaves
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
Directions:
  • 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.
  • Add 3/4 cup water, the olive oil, salt, chopped rosemary, and yeast mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer.  Start stirring.  It's all right to use the dough hook to mix.  
My lovely rosemary plant lives in a planter on the back patio, just off the kitchen. That's where I grow all my herbs.  
  • Add the all purpose flour and the wheat flour to the bowl.  Mix on low speed until the dough comes together, about one or two minutes. Then raise the speed to medium-high, and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  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 it. 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 the rosemary leaves into the loaves.
  • 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. 
The bottom of the rolls is nice and golden.  The rosemary leaves pressed on top didn't fare too well during baking.  I should have pressed down harder.
  • Brush the tops of the loaves with olive oil and dust them with a little flour.       


  • Bake the loaves until golden, about 30 minutes. Let them cool on a wire rack before slicing. 
Such tasty bread...  I can't live without bread, that's for sure!

6 comments:

  1. greek girl from queensMay 2, 2012 at 7:03 AM

    Ana, this rosemary bread looks so delicious that I could almost smell its beautiful aroma wafting from my PC's monitor! I'm a bread lover too (both the edible kind and the audible kind - as in the 70's band bread) and cannot live without it. Next to chocolate, it is my go-to comfort food. I've made rosemary bread a couple of times, so I know how delicious it tastes, but your loaves look so much prettier and ornate than mine have. I also love that it doesn't take as much time as a regular loaf of bread takes to bake (the rising/proofing and second proofing, in addition to the baking time).

    Thanks for sharing this, Ana. And for re-inspiring and re-motivating me to make some more very soon. Bread love, June

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  2. Wow! Your bread looks wonderful….I could eat one of those loaves by myself! Yum!

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  3. I'm not sure why mine never got crunchy. Even the crust was soft although it browned up nicely. You must have the magic touch :) I loved the flavor just not the texture. And might try to make it again but with a little less oil. I'm convinced that was what made it too soft. I've never made bread with that much fat in it unless it was a brioche.

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  4. Deliciousness! I love the pic with the hummus on top!

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  5. I bet this was soooooooooper tasty..:)
    new to your space Ana..
    lovely space you have
    happy following you..:)
    do stop by mine sometime
    Tasty Appetite

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  6. I know your herb garden on the lovely patio right off the kitchen of your home where you grow not only your rosemary, but also many other herbs. Actually, it is fantastic. Why don't you show us followers more photos of your herb garden, please.

    Yes your bread is very beautiful, and I bet just as tasty having used your on home grown rosemary. Good for you, Ana.

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