Homemade Rosemary White Bread
On Sunday this past weekend, Oli and I decided to start our day at the crack of dawn, drag Sam to the grocery store, and pound on a ball of dough while blasting Blink 182 before any of our neighbors had even woken up. We were having far too much fun in the kitchen and Sam was giving me that look like, "is this what I get for the rest of my life?" while debating whether to drink his coffee or head back to bed. Believe it or not, this is a pretty normal occurrence in our household, hence the look I know so well.
A few months ago, after we celebrated National Bread Day (that's a thing now) at my Aunt's house by eating an unhealthy amount of carbs straight from the oven, I attempted to make my own by copying their recipe. It didn't work out so well and, although it photographed phenomenally, once the bread cooled down, it was as dense as a bout of London fog. I trashed all of the photos and decided that maybe I just wasn't meant to be a bread maker for a little while. After all, I had just taught myself how to cook eggs without setting off every smoke alarm in the house. Let's take it one day at a time here. I didn't want to let you guys down and being a bread snob myself, I just knew the recipe wasn't good enough... yet.
Then, earlier this month, I started experimenting with recipes again and trying to come up with a new combination that would be both light, and extra flavorful. Now, although Sam and I live in the city and a grass sighting is a rarity in our area, I've somehow managed to keep a rosemary bush very much alive each year in my little garden box hanging outside. Every year that it comes back is really a shock to me, since I usually forget to water it for weeks at a time. This is a particularly pleasant surprise for me since rosemary is my go-to herb to cook, bake, and make cocktails with. Plus, I knew that with Spring rolling around, rosemary would be a perfectly abundant flavor to finally make this bread recipe a success.
(Makes 2 loaves)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
- 3 tablespoons butter
- extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground sea salt for serving
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, sugar and water and allow mixture to foam, usually around 2-4 minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter (you'll use the rest later on), salt and 2 cups of flour and with the dough hook attachment, turn mixer on to 2.
- Add in 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped rosemary and mix until the dough is smooth, elastic and pulling away from the bowl. If it sticks to the bowl or your hands, add in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. This will all depend on your environment though I found I had to add the additional flour, each time I've made it.
- Remove dough from mixer and shape in to an oval. Add olive oil to a large mixing bowl and coat thoroughly. Place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest until dough has doubled in size, usually 1 hour.
- Once dough has doubled in size, punch down and divide in half, shaping dough in to ovals, like before. Place on a large, greased cookie sheet and let rise for another 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Sprinkle each loaf with rosemary.
- While dough rises for a second time, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- To give your dough a unique look, almost like a crown, you can cut an "x-shape," in the center of each loaf. This technique is called scoring and should be done just before placing in the oven.
- Cook for 18-20 minutes until lightly browned. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and brush each loaf. Generously sprinkle with freshly ground sea salt and more rosemary.
- Store leftover bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.
When guests come over for a quick happy hour or passing through on their way to an activity in the city, my favorite thing to serve is fresh, warm bread and different types of olive oil and wine. This combination makes for the easiest tasting bar and I've found that people really think that you've put more effort into it than you truly have. Also, it looks fancier than Cheez-Its and Digiorno pizza so... that's a plus.
I like to keep the aesthetics simple and clean with white plates, a natural cutting board to hold the fresh bread, and leftover herbs to decorate. This allows the focus to remain on the tasty, homemade rosemary bread and not on your last minute, $11 purchase of cheap, red wine.
Let me know how your Homemade Rosemary White Bread turned out! Don't forget to tag us in your final photo for a chance to have it featured on our Instagram or Facebook page.
xo Anna Elizabeth