Saturday, May 22, 2010

Homemade Rosemary Bread -- So. Much. Yum.

Hello all! :)
[A sprig of rosemary harvested on my run home]

Yesterday was glorious. As in homework free, sunshine-filled, and bread delectabl-ified (Merrian Webster would have been so jealous of this word) GLORIOUS.

[A golden crumb, a rosemary crown, a speckle of sea salt-- Ah yes, now I remember why I love this bread]

Let's recap.

7:45 a.m. - Zing! Body channels inner cuckoo bird alarm clock. Ummm, excuse me little cuckoo bird, are you out of your mind? Apparently, my little birdie is not daylight savings friendly.

8:00 a.m. - Pearly whites were brushed clean, and hair was thrown in a quick pony tail, and I was supposed to start SAT practice. Unfortunately, there were more important things on my mind like...

8:15 a.m. - PANCAKES. Actually, while the homemade cinnamon buttermilk syrup that accompanied these babies was scrumptious, the hot cakes themselves were somewhat unremarkable. I still prefer Kittencal's pancakes over these.

12 p.m. - 24 Hour Fitness for a workout. Confession: I love the gym. Little kids get playgrounds with swings and slides. Big kids get playgrounds with treadmills and medecine balls. Sounds like a fair trade to me!

2:00 p.m. - Following the workout, I met up with M for a trip to Yogurtland.
Plain tart + berries = domination.

9:00 p.m. - No food for 7 hours? You must be out of your mind! I wasn't particularly hungry for dinner, so I snacked mainly on fruit (strawberries, apricots, cherries) while I waited for the best thing since sliced bread.....Homemade bread! This rosemary-olive oil bread was pure heaven and by this, I mean that I probably ate around half a loaf. Perhaps my version of heaven is a bit different from most...

[Did you know that bread can tan in the sun? Good, neither did I. Let's not question it.]

A few months ago, I made a similar bread in an attempt to recreate Macaroni Grill's rosemary olive-oil bread. Ironically, I wasn't attempting to mimick the restaurant recipe this time, but this bread was far closer in both taste and texture than the last. I ended up using Costco's wholegrain unbleached flour, and while I'm sure it isn't quite as good as true whole grains, the result was certainly pleasant. Though I normally use only 1 tablespoon of either butter or oil, this bread came out much more tender than most breads I've made. Whether or not the same effect could be achieved with a reduced amount of butter/oil, I'm not sure, but I'll be sure to report back seeing as I'm planning on making another loaf tomorrow.

[NOM NOM NOM NOM..need I say more?]

Veg Adaptability: easy
sub earth balance or other vegan margarine for regular margarine
sub soymilk for cow's milk

Crusty Rosemary Sea Salt Bread
Adapted from Allrecipes

1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tablespoon sugar (I used sucanat)

2 1/2 cups flour (All purpose is fine)
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper ( Try not to get carried away in the pepper-cracking vortex like I did)
3 tbsp (may use more) fresh chopped rosemary OR 1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tablespoon margarine (melted)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 to 3/4 cup warm water
milk or soymilk
olive oil
coarse sea salt

1. Combine water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside for 10-15 minutes or until the yeast has virtually created its own foamy bubble bath.

2. Meanwhile, mix together flour, salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and rosemary in the bowl of a food processor with a dough hook (if you're feeling super duper fancy) or in a regular 'ole bowl (if you're feeling like an average Joe).

3. If you're using a food processor: Add yeast mixture to flour mixture and pulse until gently combined. Add margarine and oil, pulsing a few more times to incorporate each into the dough. Then, with the machine running, slowly drizzle water in until a humungo dough ball is formed. Stop for a moment to scrape down the bowl and then return food processor to high speed, allowing it to work the dough for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, check to ensure that soft and pliable but not gooey like a mysterious rosemary silly putty.

If you're feeling more like the average Joe: Stir together yeast and flour mixutre in a standard mixing bowl. Mix in margarine and oil. Add water until dough becomes workable. Begin kneading 5-10 minutes or until your hands lose all feeling.

4. Place the dough in an oiled and covered bowl.

5. Let dough rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

6 Punch down dough and form into 1 loaf. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

7. Allow dough to rise for one more hour. Brush the dough with a combination of milk and oil.

Sprinkle with coarse grain sea salt so you too can be a salty sailor.

8. Dough will have since expanded lik the Incredible Hulk. Bake 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.

9. Devour half a loaf. Don't forget this step; it's definitely the most important!

1 comment:

  1. Rosemary really is gods gift to the earth! It smells so good and makes things taste yummy. Your bread looks incredible!