Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rain and Rosemary Bread

This is day 3 of solid rain (or is it day 4?).  I don't have a photo session booked for today.  I don't want to or have a reason to go outside so why not bake?  I just made a cinnamon coffee cake (kind of an 'experimental' recipe, I'll let you know how it went) and plan on making soup for dinner so baking some bread is in order.  

This recipe  makes '4 small loaves' but in my opinion it makes 4 large buns.  These buns are delicious, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.  The smell of it baking is intoxicating and when my husband walks in the door he has the 'death by bread' look on in face.  Bread is like crack to him.  Seriously.

Rosemary Bread
Yields 4 small loaves.

  • 1 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and serving
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 cup of warm water (110 degrees F), divided
Stir the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water  in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, the flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons rosemary, the fine salt and 3/4 cup warm water and stir with the dough hook until a dough forms.  Knead the dough in the mixer on medium high speed for about 8 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.  If the dough is still sticking to the bottom of the bowl add a tablespoon of flour.
Grease a large bowl with olive oil. Add the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until more than doubled, about 2 hours.  (I cover the bowl and place it in the oven (turned off) with the oven light on and let it rise there).
Brush 2 baking sheets with olive oil or use silpats. Generously flour a work surface; turn the dough out onto the flour and divide into 4 pieces*. Working with one piece at a time, sprinkle some flour on the dough, then   turn the dough over, tuck the corners under to form a ball. Place seam-side down on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, putting 2 balls on each baking sheet. Let stand, uncovered, until more than doubled, about 2 hours.  (again, I let it rise in the oven).
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  (remove the loaves first).   Bake the loaves 10 minutes; brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with the kosher salt and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon rosemary. Continue baking until golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. 
*I weigh the whole ball of dough and then divide it by 4 so I end up with equal portions of dough.


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