Recently, I felt compelled to obey that bread-making compulsion that comes calling now and then. Everyone knows the fall season is synonymous with a sudden onset of baking activity. For me, that includes bread. Armed with a craving for rustic bread, an addiction to garlic, and a fondness for the heady aroma of rosemary, I decided to bake the Best Rosemary Garlic Bread ever. If such a thing can be decided
I was super thrilled that this actually resulted in the Best Rosemary Garlic Bread we’ve ever had. It’s most definitely a family favorite now. The mouth watering aroma from the oven is one big ridiculous temptation. Seriously, we all sooo wanted to tear into this loaf the minute it came out.
Needless to say, once the dinner bell was officially rung, the bread lasted maybe seconds. Oh-So-Good. The exterior has that artisan, rustic texture – a gorgeous golden crisp crust. The inside? Everything I’d want in a hearty dinner bread… it’s chewy, soft, yet robust… delicious. The roasted garlic and rosemary are absolutely meant for one another. The seasoning flavors this bread perfectly.
I always make homemade bread by hand, only because I’ve never purchased a bread maker. I’ve thought about getting one, but so far it’s been fine without; if you don’t have a bread maker, no worries. You can absolutely make this fab bread at home with a little extra elbow grease.
Plan ahead to allow time for rising. Depending on the temperature of your room, it could take a couple of hours for the dough to double. I like to put mine in an oven that has been slightly warmed up, which helps the rise time go a bit faster. No doubt, this bread is so worth it. You’ll be one popular baker at the dinner table. Enjoy!
RECIPE (makes 1 loaf)
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water, 110-115F
2 tsp white sugar
2 tsp fine salt
3 TB extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 TB dried rosemary
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 head of roasted garlic
extra olive oil for brushing on top and serving
coarse sea salt for sprinkling on top
balsamic vinegar for serving
clean water in spray bottle
In large bowl, Sprinkle yeast into 1 cup warm water. Mix in the sugar and salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes or until it foams. Add in olive oil. Add flour and knead (by hand or stand mixer) for about 10 minutes. Add rosemary, black pepper, and oregano. Knead another 5 minutes. Finally, gently knead in roasted garlic by hand, about 1 minute. Dough should come together well at this point; slightly sticky is fine. Place dough ball in well oiled bowl, turning dough a few times so that dough surfaces are protected by oil. Tightly cover bowl with cling wrap. Place in warm, draft-free area to rise until dough is doubled, approx. 1 hour, depending on room temp (if your room is cooler, it could take 2 hours.)
After dough is doubled, punch it down and shape into a rounded loaf. Using sharp knife, make a criss-cross design on top. Place rounded loaf on greased baking sheet. Cover up loaf with large mixing bowl inverted over it. Make sure bowl is large enough that it gives your loaf room to rise. Let rise until doubled again, approx 1 hour.
After dough has doubled again, gently brush with olive oil, sprinkle with coarse sea salt and a bit more rosemary. Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes, spraying loaf with water once during the middle of baking. Bump oven up to 425F and spray loaf with water again. Watch carefully – bake just until top is a nice golden brown, taking care not to over bake.
Serve bread fresh and warm, with your favorite blend of good olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and balsamic vinegar!
by chewoutloud, adapted from Jo’s Rosemary Bread