My Weakness

Believe it or not, I have actually said this phrase aloud, “I don’t have a bread problem – I have a no-bread-in-my-mouth-right-now problem.” Lots of people find their will bending to chocolate or salty potato chips, but not me.  Sure, I like those things – who doesn’t, but when it comes down to it I’d take a warm piece of bread over a fresh slice of cake just about any day of the week.

That said, I feel I don’t need to elaborate on the subject much more.  Here is a fantastic recipe for an easy loaf of rosemary bread that I found over here at A Hint of Honey.  It’s quickly becoming my go-to for a simple bread recipe.  I’ve made it for family gatherings (it was great on Thanksgiving last year), I’ve made it for just my husband and I to share alongside some excellent cheeses, and just this past week I made it to take to a friends house who was graciously providing me with dinner. It’s just that fantastic.

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

1 c warm water (100-110°F)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp dry, active yeast
1 tsp sal
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary or 2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp Italian seasonings (I usually mix garlic, oregano, & basil)
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour (or all purpose)
1/2 c bread flour + more for kneading (I probably used closer to 1 cup)
1 egg + 1 Tbsp water
Dried Rosemary for finishingDon’t be afraid of yeast breads – they’re not as difficult as you think, and they yield tasty, tasty results.

First – combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it proof for about 10 minutes – that’s just a fancy way of saying let the yeast chow down on the sugar and get all bubbly.  And make sure your water is warm.  If you have the temperature too low it won’t be able to activate the yeast, and if it’s too high you’ll risk shocking and basically killing the yeast – hey it’s a living organism too.  When in doubt, pull out your trusty thermometer and double check – I usually just pop a candy thermometer in the water to make sure I’m on my mark.

Once everything is done getting nice and frothy stir in the salt, rosemary, Italian seasonings, olive oil, and whole wheat (or all purpose) flour.  After everything is incorporated add in the first 1/2 c of bread flour.  The dough should start to ball up pretty quickly.  As you’re kneading (by hand or by kitchenaid) keep an eye on your dough to make sure it’s not too sticky and wet.  Add additional bread flour as needed and keep kneading for about 5 minutes.

Take a large bowl and add in some oil to grease it up.  Place your kneaded dough into the bowl, cover it, and let it rise at room temperature for at least an hour. Here’s my before and after shots:Now that the first rise is complete, take some of your waiting frustration out on that dough and punch it down – but just once.  You don’t need to rough it up too much.

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper take your punched down dough and form a round loaf.  Cover it up again, and let it rise for another 45 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400.  This won’t obviously take 45 minutes, so just be mindful of how long your oven takes to heat up.  Take the risen loaf and brush it with the egg wash (1 egg + 1Tbsp water), and sprinkle some dried rosemary over the top.  I like to crush mine up a little before sprinkling, but that’s because I don’t like to bite into big pieces of rosemary.Bake for 20-25 minutes.  You’ll know it’s done when you tap on the top and it sounds hollow.  Then find someone who will make you a fantastic dinner (thanks Lisa!!),And be a good guest by bringing some delicious rosemary olive oil bread to share.Of course there is also the benefit of having a house that smells like fresh baked bread before chowing down – the second best part of having bread in my opinion :)

Now go, make something delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

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