Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rustic Rosemary Bread (Vegan!)

by Darla

Well, the hubster is still abroad and I gotta be honest – it’s really wearing on me. We have three weeks down and one left to go, but I was done about four days ago. I am seriously ready for him to be home. Add to that the fact that the kiddo spent Spring break visiting family last week, and you have one grumpy baker here.

I quickly learned, after hubs had been gone for two weeks and I had just dropped the kid off at the airport, that I am obviously motivated/inspired by those two. I wasn’t in the mood to bake or cook much of anything without my boys here. Sure, I had ideas rolling around in my head, but I didn’t feel like seeing them through. I picked our boy up from the airport on Sunday, though, and quickly got my act together to feed my boy.

Both the hubster and our boy are huge bread lovers, and bread is such a filling, easy thing to make, so I decided to make a yummy, homey loaf of bread that I could split in two. Half of the loaf went to accompany a huge pot of homemade chicken and dumplings that we’ve been able to share over a couple of meals. The other half went into the freezer, so that we could share it with hubs when he gets home this weekend (YAY)! I’ve made this bread several times before but this is the first time I’ve ever frozen it, as well as the first time adding any herbs to it.

This is one of my favorite breads to make. It’s quick to throw together, and a snap to shape and bake, but the flavor and texture are as good as any time consuming “fancy” bread out there. Adding a little fresh rosemary took it a step higher, and it was so delicious.

You’ll  need bread flour, all-purpose flour, warm water, honey or sugar, olive oil, fresh or dried rosemary, salt, and yeast. I love that this recipe is naturally dairy free…no tweaking necessary – just use sugar instead of honey and voila! It’s vegan!

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer with the dough hook attached, combine the flours, salt, yeast, rosemary, and sugar, if using.

In a small bowl, combine the warm water, honey, and olive oil. Mixing slowly, add the water mixture in a slow, steady stream.

Mix the dough until everything just comes together (it will be a wet, sticky dough).

Turn the mixer off and cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap (you don’t need to remove the hook or anything). Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Once rested, continue kneading until a cohesive dough forms and it becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If the dough is still very sticky after five minutes of kneading, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough barely sticks to the bottom of the bowl.

Transfer the smooth dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about one hour.

Once the dough is double, turn it out onto a clean work surface. I never need to flour the surface, but if your dough is a little sticky, add a light dusting of flour. Flatten the dough into a circle by pressing your fingers into it and dimpling it. Once flattened, bring the edges into the center of the dough. Lift the dough by those edges and shape it into a smooth boule, placing the seams down.

Once you’ve formed a boule, place it on a piece of parchment paper set onto a rimless baking sheet. If you don’t have a rimless sheet, just turn over a rimmed sheet and place the parchment and dough on the bottom of it. Cover the dough with a clean, dry towel. I like to use an old, threadbare one because it is lighter weight and won’t weigh the dough down while it’s rising. Allow the dough to double in size, about one hour.

After the dough has been rising for about 20 minutes, place a baking stone on the center rack of your oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Allow it to continue heating while the dough rises in order to bring the stone up to 500 degrees. This bread should be sprayed with water while it bakes, but if you don’t have a spray bottle, then place an empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of your oven and allow it to preheat with the stone while you bring two cups of water to a boil.

When the dough is doubled, score the top with a sharp knife. If you have a spray bottle, spray the dough with water before sliding the loaf and parchment off of the baking sheet and onto the baking stone. If using a spray bottle, bake the bread for one minute, then spray with water. Repeat this step twice more for a total of three sprays in three minutes. Continue baking for another 8 minutes (a total of 11 minutes). Reduce the heat to 400 degrees and continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.

If you’re not spraying the bread, and you have a loaf pan preheated in the oven, as soon as you place the bread in the oven, pour the two cups boiling water into the loaf pan and immediately close the door. Bake for 11 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees. Place on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.

With the exception of rest and rise times, this bread is mixed, shaped, and baked in less than an hour. It’s made with simple, easy ingredients, and can be altered to suit your taste or needs. Any herb works well in it and it’s wonderful plain. Plus, it’s very easily doubled.

This bread is soft and flavorful on the inside with a dense and chewy crust. There’s the perfect hint of rosemary to compliment the white bread flavors, without overpowering them. It perfect to serve with soups and stews, because it’s strong enough to hold up to dipping, but soft enough to work as a sponge. I typically like my bread with smooth, salty butter, but this one is excellent dipped in oil too. Just pour a little olive oil in small dish for dipping, crack some fresh pepper over it, sprinkle in a little kosher salt and some extra rosemary, and this bread becomes a great appetizer.

If you’re pressed for time, but want fresh, homemade bread that tastes fantastic, this is the perfect bread to make. With or without herbs added, it’ll impress, and you don’t have to slave away at it. Enjoy!

Rustic Rosemary Bread
Makes 1 loaf
Ingredients

1 1/2 cups (190 grams) bread flour
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon rosemary (preferably fresh)
1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) instant yeast
1 teaspoon (6 grams) salt
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon (35 grams) honey (sugar for vegan)
1 tablespoon (19 grams) olive oil

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer with the dough hook attached, combine the flours, salt, yeast, rosemary, and sugar, if using.

In a small bowl, combine the warm water, honey, and olive oil. Mixing slowly, add the water mixture in a slow, steady stream.

Mix the dough until everything just comes together (it will be a wet, sticky dough).

Turn the mixer off and cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap (you don’t need to remove the hook or anything). Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Once rested, continue kneading until a cohesive dough forms and it becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If the dough is still very sticky after five minutes of kneading, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough barely sticks to the bottom of the bowl.

Transfer the smooth dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about one hour.

After the dough is doubled, turn it out onto a clean work surface. I never need to flour the surface, but if your dough is a little sticky, add a light dusting of flour. Flatten the dough into a circle by pressing your fingers into it and dimpling it. Once flattened, bring the edges into the center of the dough. Lift the dough by those edges and shape it into a smooth boule, placing the seams down.

Once you’ve formed a boule, place it on a piece of parchment paper set onto a rimless baking sheet. If you don’t have a rimless sheet, just turn over a rimmed sheet and place the parchment and dough on the bottom of it. Cover the dough with a clean, dry towel. I like to use an old, threadbare one because it is lighter weight and won’t weigh the dough down while it’s rising. Allow the dough to double in size, about one hour.

After the dough has been rising for about 20 minutes, place a baking stone on the center rack of your oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Allow it to continue heating while the dough rises in order to bring the stone up to 500 degrees. *This bread should be sprayed with water while it bakes, but if you don’t have a spray bottle, then place an empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of your oven and allow it to preheat with the stone while you bring two cups of water to a boil.

When the dough is doubled, score the top with a sharp knife. If you have a spray bottle, spray the dough with water before sliding the loaf and parchment off of the baking sheet and onto the baking stone. If using a spray bottle, bake the bread for one minute, then spray with water. Repeat this step twice more for a total of three sprays in three minutes. Continue baking for another 8 minutes (a total of 11 minutes).

Reduce the heat to 400 degrees and continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.

*If you’re not spraying the bread, and you have a loaf pan preheated in the oven, as soon as you place the bread in the oven, pour the two cups boiling water into the loaf pan and immediately close the door. Bake for 11 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees. Place on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Recipe by Darla

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rita April 5, 2011 at 9:31 am

You’re terrible for my diet. And the fact that your new posts pop up at around 11:30 pm only encourage me to raid the pantry before bed! It’s not fair!!!
That being said, that bread looks fabulous. Fresh, homemade bread always makes my husband happy :)
I’m dreaming about that, with a light sprinkling of fresh grated parmesan… mmmmmmm
*floats off to my happy place…*

Reply

2 Melinda April 5, 2011 at 10:10 am

This bread looks absolutely heavenly. I love dipping fresh breads in spiced oil..so good! Thank you for a quicker bread recipe! :)

Reply

3 Lucy@The Sweet Touch April 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I suddenly have an urge to carb load – no idea why?!

I might have to make dinner based around this yummy looking loaf!

Reply

4 Maria April 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm

I wish I could rip into this bread right now! YUM!

Reply

5 Darla April 5, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Is your little pea carb loading? :)

Reply

6 kate@ahealthypassion April 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm

bread and herbs = seriously best thing ever!

Reply

7 Stephanie April 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm

This looks delicious! I love making bread, esp bread with herbs in it.

Reply

8 Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes April 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Gosh does this bread look good! I am a super fan of rosemary so this bread is calling my name. I can’t wait to give it a try – thanks for the recipe and lovely photographs, as always!!

Reply

9 bttrflybabydoll April 7, 2011 at 10:10 am

Oh how I love rosemary. I will be making this on Friday I think. Mmmmm….

Reply

10 Sarah April 8, 2011 at 10:46 am

My roommate and I made this the other night and it was so unbelievably delicious! The loaf disappeared completely in no time flat!

Sarah

http://www.iwishforcourage.com

Reply

11 Nicole Makris May 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Hello: I just want to make a comment, this bread is not vegan. To be considered vegan it does not have any animal products (i.e honey)

Thanks!

Nicole

Reply

12 Nicole Makris May 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Sorry I saw that you had a substitution my bad! The bread looks amazing! I am so excited to make and eat it! Sorry again for my mistake.

Reply

13 Darla May 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm

No problem…I appreciate the head’s up, even though I had a sub in there already. :) You never know when you might miss something and it’s good to have people let you know, so thanks! :)

Reply

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