People sometimes get intimidated by making homemade bread...Trust me it's so easy, just follow the directions exactly and you can't go wrong. This is one of the easiest bread recipes I have made, and the result is very rewarding! It's such a artisan style bread that goes perfect with soup, pasta, salad. It's also good by itself dipped in Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar and garlic and a little salt mixed together. I have seen a few variations online but this one is the best I think. (Thanks to The Sisters Cafe) Love it!
1 Tbs. Dry Yeast
1 Tbs. Sugar
1 cup warm water
2 ½ cups white flour, divided
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp dried rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
Put the yeast, water and sugar into a mixer. Mix it until it is frothy. Then turn your oven on to warm, or about 200 degrees. You are just wanting to warm it up a bit
To the mixing bowl of yeast mixture, add two cups of the flour, salt, and half of your chopped rosemary. Knead the dough for a few minutes. Add the rest of the flour as needed to get the dough to the right consistency (soft and stretchy without being overly sticky).Turn the oven off
Lift the dough out of the mixing bowl. Add the olive oil to a bowl and swirl it around. Roll the dough in the olive oil so it is well coated and let it sit in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and place it in the turned off but still warm oven. Let the dough rise for about an hour. It should be approximately doubled in size. Punch the dough down and knead it again. Divide it into two equal sized lumps and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes.
Prepare your baking pan. I use a cookie sheet. If the surface is not naturally non-stick, spray it with the cooking spray. Shape the dough into two oval-shaped loaves and arrange on the pan. Melt the butter or margarine. Use a brush to paint the surface of the loaves with butter. Use all of the butter. The loaves will be quite saturated when you’re done. Take the rest of the chopped rosemary and sprinkle it over the loaves. Pat it down gently to set it into the dough. Return the loaves to the oven. Don’t turn it on yet. Let the dough rise again, for about 45 minutes. Remove the loaves and preheat the oven to 450°. Sprinkle a little bit of kosher salt over the loaves. Return the dough to the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes until light brown.Makes two loaves.