I haven’t shared yet one of the best things I love about baking. I LOVE baking bread.
I love the smell of the yeast proofing, watching the dough rise, my mouth watering the entire time it is baking. I have had a few bread fails but nothing so major as to turn me off to it completely. The only problem I ever have with it is having the time to make it. Even the first time I attempted a yeast dough, I didn’t think to read ahead in the directions (I was a teenager), I started it way late in the evening, oops. My girls have activities in the afternoons so any recipe needs to be able to be risen and baked before we leave or I have to be willing to stay up late with it or (and I love these recipes, I don’t have enough) be able to be put in the fridge to rise overnight. I have a sourdough recipe I like to make that I have timed perfectly from when I get home from taking my daughter to school to just before I pick her up, but that is another post (I killed my sourdough starter in the spring, I have to start another). Regardless of how involved it can be, nothing can beat freshly baked bread.
This is a Rosemary Olive Oil bread from ahintofhoney.com. It was awesome dipped in olive oil and balsamic. My eight year old and I ate half of it all by ourselves in about ten minutes. Do I have to tell you how much I love that she loves dipping her bread in the olive oil and balsamic? Anyway, this is a fairly easy and quick bread to put together. The only issues I had were that the recipe called for a pizza peel and a pizza stone. Those problems were easily remedied with parchment paper and an upside down sheet pan. Once I did use my cast iron skillet warmed in the oven but in trying to get my dough from the parchment paper to the skillet, I ended up deflating it. I may try that again but next time I will turn the skillet upside down and just leave the dough on the parchment.
I really recommend getting your hands on some fresh rosemary. I have made this twice and the fresh rosemary makes SUCH a difference.
As far as my GeekyLink goes, where the heck is my frikin (yes, I said frikin!) Pottermore entrance email? What is the point of winning early access if I only get a two week jump on the general public? There are people that have been on the site for almost two months! Plus, Twitter just keeps rubbing it in because it is house pride week and they are picking a house a day and people tweet about what is great about their houses. Here I am all early access with no email and I have to read about all of these people that are so proud of their houses and I haven’t even been put into one yet! My eight year old (actual and my inner one) is super bummed.
Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
from a hint of honey
1 cup warm water (100-110 F)
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (or pinch of each ground garlic, dried oregano, and dried basil)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour + extra for kneading
1 egg, whisked + 1 Tbsp. water, for egg wash
dried rosemary, for sprinkling
In a large bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit 10 minutes to proof.
Stir in the salt, rosemary, seasonings, olive oil, and whole wheat flour. Add the bread flour and stir until the dough forms a ball. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking, until smooth.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough and form it into a round loaf. Place it on a cornmeal dusted pizza peel or parchment paper (I did dust cornmeal on the parchment paper), cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven (and pizza stone or upside down sheet pan) to 400 F. Once the dough has risen, gently brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with dried rosemary.
Bake on preheated stone for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
Makes 1 round loaf.