Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rosemary Bread

I'm not ready to talk about it yet.

But no matter what else happens in life, I know that when I get home at the end of the day if I mix egg yolks with chocolate and sugar and a little butter, it will thicken.

The pictures are from a class I took on bread baking.

Eat Rating: Awesome
Difficulty: Medium

Adapted from Bread Baking Success class, September 2009

5 1/2 - 6 cups of flour (all-purpose preferred)
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 packets active dry yeast (that's 4 1/2 tsp if you're using the jar)
2 cups milk
1/4 cup olive oil or butter
2 tsp fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped

In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine milk and oil or butter. Heat until warm, bubbling around the edges but not boiling.

Add the milk to the flour and mix until combined. You should have a thick liquid. Add the rosemary and stir again.

Measure out the remaining flour in a separate bowl. Gradually add the flour to the liquid, stirring in between each addition. The liquid will begin to thicken, then become doughy. You want to continue adding flour until the dough won't take in any more. If should be doughy, but not sticky.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a floured cutting board or counter. Knead for several minutes until the dough is consistent throughout. (Don't worry about overkneading. It's not really possible to overknead. I find it very relaxing to knead dough. I think I could do it for hours)

Lightly butter or oil the sides of a clean bowl. Place the dough in the oiled bowl and cover with a cloth. Allow to rise for 1 hour.

After one hour, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from bowl and re-knead. Using a knife, cut the dough into two equal size pieces.

Grease two loaf pans, preferably metal ones. Shape the dough into loaves and place in the pans. Place on top of the warmed oven and cover with a cloth. Allow to rise for another hour.

After the second hour of rising, bake the bread for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove from pan, and brush the sides with oil or butter. Allow the bread to cool completely on a wire rack, laying on its side.

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