I am super excited to share today’s recipe for Rosemary Garlic Loaf. Not only was the recipe tasty, it was my first attempt at free-form bread. I’ve made banana, pumpkin and other various breads in the tin but not bread that involved delicate work with kneading and testing to see if the gluten was worked correctly.
I absolutely love the two key flavors in the bread – Rosemary and Garlic. Nothing like the smell of cooked garlic in the house or the way it just seems to melt in your mouth on potatoes, in sauces and on basic garlic bread. Rosemary is also one of my favorites, I’ve been growing it for years in my garden and I especially like it on roasted pork.
For someone whose not yet made bread from scratch, you’d think I’d follow the recipe to a tee but that didn’t happen. I thought I had all the ingredients but quickly realized that I did not have any bread flour in the house. That seems like it would be make or brake in the recipe but I forged ahead with all-purpose flour. In addition, the recipe called for dried rosemary but that seemed too weak to me, so I opted for fresh. I may have also added more rosemary than the recipe called for, but like I said, I like the flavor.
Given that I used all-purpose flour, I think my loaf was a little stickier than the original recipe so I went off of my gut and added a bit more flour when I was kneading. In addition, the timing needed adjustment as the center seemed a bit underdone when I took it out of the oven. I tapped on the bottom to hear the halo sound and while the edges definitely were correct, the center seemed like it needed more time. So I wrapped the edges in tin-foil and kept a close watch on the loaf to achieve the desired doneness.
Let me tell you, this was SOOOOOOOOO good. The house smelled like rosemary and garlic for hours afterward. I paired the bread with rosemary and garlic roasted pork, garlic quinoa (I added some drippings from the pork) and sugar snap peas. Dinner that night was fabulous – everything paired quite well. As for the bread, I think I may have had 3 (okay maybe four) pieces – I just couldn’t help myself. LOL
All in all, I would make this again (and again, and again) – either the same way I made it the first time or with bread flour to see the difference. I’m sure the rise will change but if the flavor is on par, this one will be a staple in our house for years to come. One thing I learned from this experience is that original recipes are not always to be followed exact, if you have confidence to attempt some changes, you might be surprised what comes out of it. I’m pretty sure that won’t always be the case but for this recipe – I’m glad I experimented.
I hope you enjoy – the original recipe is below.
- 1½ tsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water, 110-115F
- 2 tsp white sugar
- 2 tsp fine salt
- 3 TB extra virgin olive oil
- 2½ cups bread flour
- 1 TB dried rosemary
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 head of roasted garlic
- extra olive oil for brushing on top and serving
- coarse sea salt for sprinkling on top
- 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, area to rise until dough is doubled, approx. 1 hour, depending on room temperature.
- 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 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 375º for 25-30 minutes, spraying loaf with water once during the middle of baking. Bump oven up to 425º 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.
Adapted from Chew Out Loud