I love the scent of rosemary.
I’m not sure why it affects me so, but that sweet pine-y scent makes me happy inside.
Now pair that with one of my other favorite smells, baking bread, and you’ve got one very joyful baker.
(And I needed a little pick-me-up after only getting about 3 hours sleep last night. Long story, summed up: 20 month old figured out how to climb out of his crib, got hurt, now terrified of crib. Awesome night.)
Anyways, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long in life to figure out how making bread – the process including the mixing, kneading, resting, and baking – is cathartic. It’s stress-relieving, and I truly think good for the soul.
And you get to eat the results. How can that be anything but right?
Rosemary Bread, adapted from Food.com
1 T yeast
1 T sugar
1 c warm water
2 1/2 c flour
1 t salt
2 T rosemary
2 T butter
Place yeast, sugar and water in large bowl or food processor and allow mixture to become bubbly. Mix in 1 T butter, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Add one tablespoon of the fresh chopped rosemary. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or in food processor about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Add more flour if necessary.
Oil a bowl, put dough in it and cover with a towel. Let dough rise in a warm place for one hour until doubled.
Punch down dough and divide in half. Let dough rest about 5 minutes. Spray baking pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray. Shape the dough into 2 small rounded oval loaves. Sprinkle remaining 1 Tablespoon of rosemary over the loaves and press lightly into the surface. Let loaves rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Carefully remove from oven, brush with remaining butter (and salt if desired.).
First off, I just need to say that I adore my husband’s KitchenAid Mixer. (I know I’m beyond spoiled with all the gadgets, gizmos, and kitchen toys that Hubs has collected over the years. They really do make cooking easier.)
That heavenly dough hook did almost all the work – unless I wanted to do some kneading on my own (which today, I did). Within 10 minutes, my dough was already set to rise.
After being punched down, I divided it in half (and almost evenly this time, too!) and placed in on the cookie sheet to rise again.
The loaves turned out light, airy, and with a subtle rosemary taste. They were almost sponge-like in their texture. I highly recommend sprinkling the salt on the top – it definitely adds to the flavor.
Another bread success (food-wise and beyond).