Saturday, May 30, 2009

Simple Rosemary and Olive Oil Bread

1 1/2 cups room temperature water
2 packages flischmann's active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon honey
2 1/2 cups bread flour
salt to taste
2 tsp. crushed Rosemary from Spice Islands
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pour the water into a large bowl, empty yeast packets into the water, then add the honey. Give it a little stir and let the yeast grow for about fifteen minutes. Add the flour and stir with a spoon until all the flour is mixed in, it will look like a lumpy, sticky mess at this point. Toss in the crushed Rosemary. Now coat your hands with the olive oil and knead the dough until you can shape it into a smooth, slightly sticky, elastic lump in your hands. You may need to re-coat your hands with olive oil once or twice, and just coat the inside of the bowl with olive oil too, to keep the dough from sticking to the inside of the bowl. Place the lump of dough in the center of the bowl, and cover it with a light tea towel, set it aside, in a warm place. When the dough doubles in size, coat your hands with olive oil again and punch the dough back down, at least one time, and let it grow back up again for the second time, then punch it down, shape it, and put it into your olive oil coated bread pan, let it rise to double its size again. Poke deep holes in the loaf with the tines of a large fork, score the surface of the loaf about three or four times with a sharp knife. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Spread butter on the top while it's still hot, cover tightly with foil until ready to eat. Delicious served warm.
variation: Sprinkle regular or black sesame seeds on the loaf before it rises for the last time before you bake it.

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"If it ain't simple, I don't cook it."