Happy Sunday Bread Heads!
This week we’re going to make one of my all around favorite breads, Rosemary Garlic Bread. It is made with both white and whole wheat flour and has a wonderful texture to go with the evocative aroma of rosemary that you get any time you are near this bread.
This is great sandwich bead, but I particularly like it for cheese toast on a cool fall morning. Topped with a nice slice of sharp white cheddar and broiled for 2 minutes it turns into a hearty and satisfying breakfast that even the little ones will ask for!
But enough talk, let’s bake!
Rosemary Garlic Bread
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 ¼ cups bread flour or all purpose flour
2 packages (4 ½ teaspoons) yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 cups hot (120-130 degrees) water
¼ olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary (if you can’t get fresh you can substitute 1 tablespoon dried)
Baking pans – 1 sheet pan, covered in parchment paper
Be sure to start by preparing the garlic and the herbs. Even if you have a food processor, you are better off working on your knife skills with the small amounts you will be chopping and mincing. I actually leave my garlic a little less than minced because I like getting small bursts of garlic flavor in the bread.
It is really important that you spend the time it takes to get the rosemary really small. Even fresh rosemary is rather tough and woody, so you do want it truly minced.
In your large mixing bowl or the work bowl of your stand mixer measure out 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1 cup of white flour, the yeast, salt and black pepper. Give this a quick whisking with a wire whisk to combine.
Pour in the hot water and the olive oil. Using a wooden spoon or the flat paddle attachment for your stand mixer, mix vigorously for 2 minutes, to make a batter.
Stir in the herbs and garlic. Then stir in the remaining 2 cups whole wheat flour. Add the white flour ¼ at a time, completely stirring it in before adding the next ¼ cup. A shaggy dough will develop.
If you are doing this by hand turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead with a push-turn-fold method. If the dough is sticky you can use up to ¼ cup more flour in small sprinkles to control it. Knead for 8 minutes, and the dough will become smooth and elastic under your hands.
If you are doing this with a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook and knead at low speed for 8 minutes. Keep an eye on the dough ,if might be a little sticky and need a few sprinkles of flour. It should revolve under the hook and clean the sides of the bowl.
Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
Turn the risen dough out onto a work surface and punch it down. Divide it into two equal portions and form them into balls. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow the balls to rest for 10 minutes.
To form the loaves, flatten one of the balls under the palm of your hand so that you have an oval that is a bit longer than your loaf pans. Fold it over the center and tightly pinch the seams together. Tuck the ends under and place in the loaf pan seam side down. Press it down a little to get the dough into the corners of the pan. Repeat with the other dough ball.
Cover the pans with wax paper and allow to rise until they are above the edges of the pans, about 30 minutes.
20 minutes before baking, set a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 400 degrees. When the oven is hot and the loaves are risen, slip the pans into the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
The whole kitchen is going to be filled with the smell of garlic and rosemary, when the loaves are done. Check for doneness by turning one loaf out and thumping it with your middle finger. It should produce a nice hard, hollow sound. If it does not put the loaves back in the oven for five more minutes.
When the loaves are done, turn them out of the pans onto a wire rack to cool.
This bread is one that freezes very well. It will keep for up to 12 months if it is double wrapped in plastic wrap. To revive it, remove it from the freezer and allow it to come to room temperature in the plastic (it will take about 24 hours). Remove the plastic wrap and slip the loaf into a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes.
I hope you enjoy this bread as much as I do. It is really excellent to bring to pot lucks as it goes with just about any kind of casserole, soup or stew!
The flour is yours.