I must prepare you for the pure feeling of satisfaction that baking fresh bread brings. The smell of warm bread has always lured me to a bakery. I could have eaten my weight daily with warm croissants, scones, and baguettes during my visit to Italy. Now that I have successfully nurtured a ball of dough into a deliciously risen loaf, I feel like I can take on anything.
Kneading dough is so therapeutic, I may need to incorporate it as a weekly routine. This week I enjoyed a double dose of bread destress. Experimenting with one garlic & rosemary loaf and one rosemary loaf. I'm partial to only using rosemary. I've also learned that placing your dough in a sunlit window is perfect for proving. I checked it constantly like a kid at Christmas, waiting for the slightest rise. Once in the oven, I peeked through the glass just to be sure it wasn't over done. I rarely go by exact baking times. I use more of a look, poke, and check the center method.
Fresh from the oven, nice and hot is the best way to eat this rosemary loaf!
1½ tsp active dry yeast 1 cup warm water, 110-115F 2 tsp organic white sugar 2 tsp fine salt 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2½ cups bread flour 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary 1 head of roasted garlic (or substitute for 1 Tbsp dried rosemary)
- In large bowl, add yeast to 1 cup warm water with the sugar and salt. Let sit for 10 minutes. (will start to bubble)
- Next add olive oil and flour. Gently knead by hand for 10 minutes. Add rosemary and garlic. Knead for another 5 minutes.
- Oil another large bowl and gently place dough ball in center, rolling a few times to coat with oil. Tightly cover bowl with plastic wrap. ( I tie a string under the lip of my bowl for added security. Shower caps also work swell!)
- Place dough in warm location until dough has doubled in size. I tend to use a warm sunlit window. If your area is cooler, it may take 2 hrs to rise.
- Once dough has doubled, push down into a rounded loaf shape. Take a sharp knife and cut a criss cross pattern on the top.
- Place rounded loaf on baking tray with covered with parchment paper. (I try to avoid greasy sprays at all costs). Place a large mixing bowl upside down on the loaf. Let it rise for about 1hr.
- Know that dough has doubled gain, gently brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and more rosemary.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30min, or until crust is golden brown.