kitchenklutz: (fresh baked bread)
[personal profile] kitchenklutz
Being on a baking kick, I'm taking new looks at many old recipes I've had for a while but never pursued. One of those is

Delectable Rosemary Bread

Ingredients:

Starter Stage:
* 1 (0.25 oz) package active dry yeast (If you decide, as I did, to go on a baking binge and just get a big container of active dry yeast from CostCo or the like, you'll need to measure 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast.)
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 1/8 teaspoons salt
* 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

Dough Stage:
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup bread flour
* 3 tablespoons crumbled, dry rosemary (fresh works too)
* 1 - 2 tablespoons basil
* 1 tablespoon oregano
* 1/2 - 1 teaspoon paprika (I recommend half-sharp)


Method:

1. Mix the yeast, brown sugar and salt in the warm water, stirring until mostly dissolved. Wait until the yeast has bloomed enough to look frothy (around 10 minutes).

2. While waiting, mix the rest of the ingredients (flours, rosemary, basil, oregano and paprika) together with a whisk. After the yeast has properly bloomed, start mixing the water/yeast with the flour. (Neat trick that seems to work well -- create a small crater in the middle of the flour mixture, then pour the yeasty water in and stir to combine. The dough should end up thick, and a little bit dry around the edges. Knead the dough by hand until it becomes smooth and elastic.

3. Form the dough into a rough ball and place in a greased (olive oil FTW!) bowl, making sure to coat all sides of the ball. Cover with a damp, warm kitchen towel and allow to rise for approximately one hour or until the dough has doubled in volume. If it's cold out, you may need to let it rise for longer or find someplace warm to put it (like near an oven vent). If you don't let it rise enough, the baked dough will be much denser than it should be -- you want this bread to be fluffy and light.

4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

5. After the dough has risen, plop it on a flat floured surface and form into four small oblong loaves. Spread a small amount of olive oil over the top, and crumble extra rosemary over it before baking. Pop it in the oven and keep an eye on it -- it should end up slightly browned and a little crispy and crusty, but not burnt. (For my oven, that meant cooking the four small loaves for 23 - 25 minutes. If you have fewer, larger loaves, extend the cooking time towards 30 minutes; if you have more and smaller ones cut the cooking time down.)

Just as tasty-good as my earlier Italian Herb & Garlic Pretzel Bread, but with totally different aroma and flavor. Enjoy!
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March 2015

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