Monday, January 9, 2012

Garlic & Herb Topped Rosemary Bread

How many foods can you think of that are chewy, crunchy and light??  Ok, popcorn fits the bill but I have something better than boring old popcorn ... and you eat it slathered with butter too!  Bread!!  I realize that me showing some love for a loaf is as shocking as seeing a Kardashian on a magazine cover but this bread honestly knocked my proverbial socks off.  So much so that I've made it twice in the last couple of weeks.  It's one of those loaves that you could easily (and happily) sit down with a chunk of butter and sow down on it for lunch (note: I have not done this yet but it's on my 2012 bucket list. Seriously.). 

How do I love this bread?  Let me count the ways.  A) my bread machine does most of the work, B) it has a crusty yet chewy crust, C) it has an awesome herby-garlicy topper and D) the bread itself is light and airy.  That's a little slice of heaven in my book!
I'm not the only one who loves this bread.  Brad and my mini humans love it too but they're biased because they're total carb addicts (takes one to marry one/make one, right?). 

Since our little family liked this loaf so much I figured I'd make it for our final Christmas extravaganza with Brad's family this past weekend.  I wanted to get some more feedback before I posted it here on the blog (and, if I'm being honest, because I wanted to eat it again).  Well, it went over so well that I got some great yummy noises from my SIL (sister-in-law), BIL and MIL!!  Needless to say, I have married into a carb lovin' family!

Garlic and Herb Topped Rosemary Bread

 

1 cup water

3 tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp white sugar

1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano

2 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 tbsp yeast

Topping: additional grapeseed oil, additional fresh rosemary (finely chopped), salt, pepper and garlic powder (all to taste)

Place the ingredients in the order stated by the manufacturer of your bread maker (mine states to put the liquid on the bottom and the yeast on the top so that the moisture doesn't activate the yeast until the dough is ready).

Set the bread maker to its 'Dough' setting (mine takes 2 hours).

Place a piece of parchment paper onto a baking stone or baking sheet.  Lightly flour or grease the parchment paper.  Remove dough from machine and place onto the parchment paper.

Shape dough by hand so that it's approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick and the surface is as smooth as you can get it (a smooth surface will make a prettier loaf).  I shaped mine into more of a rectangle.  Note: This is not going to be a tall loaf.

Cover dough with a tea towel and let it rise in a warm spot (mine was just sitting on my stove in the sun) for approximately 1/2-3/4 of an hour.  Have a cuppa tea and play some 'Words with Friends'. 

Brush oil lightly onto the top of the dough.  Sprinkle with additional finely chopped rosemary (you don't want pine needles sticking out of the top, right?), garlic powder, salt and pepper (all toppings are to taste).  The addition of these 'toppings' gives this loaf that little extra oomph which will have people willing to do anything for just one more slice.  It's that good.  This is what it should look like ....


Place loaf into the COLD oven.  Turn oven temperature setting to 375F and set timer for 45 minutes.  As the oven heats up it will give the loaf that extra time to rise.  Trust me, this technique works!

Remove loaf to a cooling rack (it should sound hollow when tapped).  Serve warm or cooled and attempt not to eat the entire loaf in one sitting (I'm still working on that one).
Recipe Inspired by: Anissa's Kitchen

Linked to: A Little Nosh's 'Tastetastic Thursday' Link Party


5 comments:

Amy Anderson said...

Any idea how you could convert this for those of us that don't have a bread machine?

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Hi Amy,
I'm more than a little in love with my bread machines so I tend to let them do all the work of mixing, kneading and some of the rising. I find that using a bread machine doesn't tie me to the bread making process as much as doing it manually.

Here's what I found on line that uses a Kitchen Aid mixer to help with the mixing. Unfortunately most of the posts I found on line had to do with converting traditional bread recipes to bread maker recipes.

If you don't have a Kitchen Aid (or similar mixer) then you could mix and knead by hand. If this works for you (or you find another non-bread machine method) please let me know. I should wean myself off my bread machines a bit. ;)

- mix dry ingredients in Kitchen Aid mixer bowl
- add wet and mix in slowly with paddle
- allow dough to rise in the mixer bowl
- switch to dough hook and knead
- allow for 2nd rise in the same bowl
- knock down and shape on lightly floured counter
- cover with a tea towel and allow dough to rise again
- bake

Jen at The Three Little Piglets said...

I'm a huge fan of homemade bread as well - especially topped with herbs. It just makes the whole dang house smell good!

Anonymous said...

Laurie - you are making me want a bread machine! Unfortunately, carbs are NOT my friend and I avoid them everyday. I can just smell the fresh bread....
Steph M.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Jen -- I will admit that I did get a little giddy when I walked into the house after picking up the kids and my house smelled like rosemary carb BLISS! Is there something wrong with me that I get so excited about bread??

Steph -- It's not a matter of 'do you want a bread machine'. You need one. I have two and they get used all the time. Think of all of the preservatives you're eating from store bought bread, you'll save money on the loaves that you do buy (which can be close to $4 for a fancy loaf), your house will smell like a bakery, you can make amazing homemade pizza dough ... I can go on and on. :) I'm sure E and Mr B wouldn't say no to homemade bread either. ;)

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