Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rosemary Bread

When I saw this Bread over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe I just knew I had to try it. If you haven't figured this out yet I love bread in all forms. And homemade bread is just out of this world. It is hard for my family and I to even stomach store bought bread anymore. Now I know that some of you are scared to make bread but just let me tell you that you won't get better at it unless you practice. Just like playing an instrument or sports or whatever the more you practice the better you get at it. It took me a couple years to get really good at it. The first few times I attempted it flopped and I mean flopped. I was very discouraged but decided to keep trying and what do you know I can now make just about any kind of bread. So my advice to you all out there is give this bread and all bread a try. Keep practicing and you will not be disappointed. I served this bread with spaghetti. It had a nice crusty outside and soft interior. So good for dipping in sauce but would also be good dipped in a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil. We ate it the next day as toast slathered in butter and it was amazing!!!

Rosemary Bread
1 T. instant yeast or 1 1/2 T active dry yeast
1 T. Sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 3/4 -4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 T. dried rosemary, chopped and divided
2 T. Melted butter
Coarse salt, parm cheese, and garlic powder for sprinkling

In the bowl of your mixer, combine the yeast, sugar and water. If using active dry yeast, let the mixture stand until foaming and bubbly, about 5-10 minutes. If using instant yeast, proceed with recipe. Add two cups of the flour, salt, and 1 T. of the chopped rosemary. Mix. Continue adding flour, gradually, until a soft dough forms. Judge the dough based on textures and feel vs. how much actual flour you have added. The dough should be slightly tacky to the touch but should hold it's shape while still being soft and smooth. Knead the douch by hand or with the mixer for 4-5 minutes, adding flour only if the dough is sticky and not clearing the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours depending on the warmth of your house. Once doubled, gently deflate the dough and divide in half. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment papper or a silpat liner. Shape the dough into two smooth oval shaped loaves and place on the baking sheet, one on each half of the tray so they have room to rise and bake without touching. Use a brush to slather on the melted butter over the top of the loaves. Continue brushing the butter until it is gone(the loaves will be well saturated)Sprinkle each loaf with salt, parm cheese, garlic powder and additional chopped rosemary if desired. Cover the loaves with lightly greased plastic wrap and let them rise again utnil puffy and nearly doubled, about and hour. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake the loaves for 18-20 minutes until browned and baked through. Transfer to a cooling rack and just try and not eat both loaves in one sitting!!!

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