Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Rosemary-Olive Bread (easy recipe)

Time again for another recipe. I made this last night in lieu of buying rosemary-olive bread from Firehook. It's a different taste and texture then theirs, but then it's not made on a sourdough base.


3 tbsp. dried rosemary
1 c. chopped olives
1.5 tbsp. active dry yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1.75 c. boiling water
.25 c. olive oil
1 tbsp. salt
5-6 c. flour


Place 1 tbsp. (or so) rosemary in tea ball and pour boiling water over it. Let steep until water is just warm (100-100 degrees). Remove tea ball and add olive oil to make 2 c. liquid. Pour oil/water into large bowl with yeast and sugar. Let proof. Once yeast is proofed, mix in 1 c. flour with wooden spoon. Add 2 tbsp. rosemary and chopped olives. Mix well, then continue adding flour until too hard to mix with spoon. Turn onto floured table and continue kneading in flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Knead a little longer. You can tell that you are done when you poke the dough with your finger and it springs back. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until about double in size.

Remove dough from bowl and form into two longish loaves. Sprinkle cornmeal over baking sheet and lay loaves down. Slash top diagonally in couple places and put in cold oven. Set the temperature to 400 degrees and bake about 30-35 minutes. The top should become golden brown. The best way to test yeast breads is to turn them over and knock on them with your knuckles. If the bread sounds hollow, it is done.

Remove, let cool for 10 minutes and slice.


This is a very easy bread recipe I've adapted from James Beard's "Beard on Bread". You can make an egg white/water wash to put on the bread before baking. You might also sprinkle the loaves with crushed rock salt or rosemary after brushing the loaves with the egg wash. Replacing 1.5 cups of the flour with semolina gives some depth to the flavor. Decreasing the amount of oil and replacing it with water will give you a brittler crumb if you don't like your breads to be soft. This bread is fantastic toasted. Finally, don't take the measurements of rosemary and olive to be writ in stone. You might like lots of olives in your loaf. I don't see why that won't bake just as well.