shaker style rosemary bread
December 26, 2011 § 1 Comment
I love rosemary. I think it’s awesome. It has a great scent, looks nice, and adds a nice dimension of flavor to everything. I want to roll around in bales of rosemary, douse myself in rosemary infused oils, and dare I say it? I would even take it out on a date. Go nice and slow so I don’t scare her off. Because, guys, Rosemary is the herb of my dreams.
Okay, well that’s debatable, but it’s true that I do love rosemary. I always buy it in larger quantities than I really need (for steak) and since it tends to go brown at the tips and lose it flavor pretty quickly, I typically end up tossing a good 80% of it in the garbage. But not this time. This time I’m determined to use as much of that blessed herb as I can. In anticipation, I added lots of recipes to my queue, aiolis, different types of bread, and infused oils, but it turns out that preparation was unnecessary because this bread was so well-received that there was close to no rosemary left at the end of two days.
On another, really random note, I think Rosemary would be a great name for a girl. Though I really shouldn’t be allowed to name kids because I also think Eugenie, Rose, and a handful of other ‘old man’ and ‘old lady’ names are also great. I’ve made a few friends at college that, I’m sure, won’t allow me near the hospital until that baby is named with the birth certificate signed and notarized. Yeah, I should probably not be allowed near children…ever.
Shaker Style Rosemary Bread
halved and adapted from A Chow Life
1 cup very warm whole milk (120°F)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup warm water (110°F to 115°F)
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 large egg, beaten
3 1/2 (about) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Pour milk into large bowl. Mix in sugar, butter, and salt; cool to lukewarm. Place 1/4 cup warm water in small bowl; mix in yeast. Let stand 6 minutes. In the meantime, beat the egg in a small bowl.
Stir yeast mixture and 1/2 of the beaten egg into lukewarm milk mixture. Mix in 2 cups flour. Beat with wooden spoon until mixture is smooth. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sponge stand until bubbles appear at edge, about 15 minutes.
Mix rosemary into sponge. Mix in flour, 1/3 cupful at a time, until soft, slightly sticky dough forms. You may need more or less than 3 1/2 cups of flour, depending on the humidity. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead until smooth and no longer sticky, sprinkling with flour as needed, about 10 minutes. Brush clean large bowl with oil. Add dough; turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Brush a loaf pan lightly with oil. Punch dough down and turn out onto work surface; shape into a loaf and place in pan. Let rise, uncovered, until almost doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Using serrated knife, make shallow cut down center the loaf. Brush with the other half of the beaten eg and bake until golden and crusty, about 35 minutes. Turn bread out of pan. Cool on racks.