Rosemary Sandwich Bread

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I’ve been very ill for the past one week. One would think that I’ll get fussed over by Mr. Snax on this unfortunate occasion. But no – he is even more ill than I am. So we tried to fuss over each other the best we can. Outside looking in, it would probably appear hilarious. We were so sick, I felt like the fever will burn me alive.

So I made soup.

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We had soup for dinner 5 nights in a row.

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I made Shutterbean’s Sweet Potato & Sausage Soup and Julie Goodwin’s Rich Chicken Noodle Soup. Even though we were both gravely ill, we agreed that both soup were impressive.

I’m also a new fan of kale. Then I heard about kale chips. Oh hello… This is the beginning of a very interesting friendship I believe.

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Anyways, beside the point, I’ve been serving the soup with cheddar dill biscuits. No one told me soup soaked biscuits are so good! Glad I uncovered that one! There is no going back. Well, until I ran out of biscuits…

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I don’t have dill or chives at home and there’s no rooftop or balcony in my city apartment to even begin trying my luck with growing my own herbs… but I do have dried rosemary and right in front of me is a Rosemary Sandwich Bread recipe. I took it as a sign.

There’s always a sign.

Even though the recipe did mention that for the best result, use fresh rosemary but I’m cannot imagine taking two steps out the door without feeling like falling completely apart and it’ll be about a gazillion steps before I arrive at Coles. I would’ve died a few times.

So guess what? Beggars can’t be choosers. We will have to live with dried rosemary.

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The loaf came out from the oven beautiful – both in appearance and fragrance. Golden brown and the warmth smell of rosemary filled my home. I instantly fell in love.

It was the perfect side to a bowl of hot soup.

But now that I’ve run out of soup (but yet to outrun the flu), I’m using the bread to make toasted sandwiches for lunch.

It is beautiful…

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Rosemary Sandwich Bread

Recipe from Pastry Affair

Yields 1 loaf

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup (235 ml) warm milk
1/3 cup (80 ml) warm water
2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, chopped)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
3 1/2 cups (445 grams) bread flour

In a large mixer bowl, sprinkle the yeast over lightly warmed milk and water. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes until frothy. Mix in the olive oil, rosemary, black pepper and salt. Slowly add bread flour and continue mixing until the dough comes together in a shaggy ball. Switch to dough hook on the mixer and knead the dough for 7 to 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

If not using a mixer, turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 7 to 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled in a warm place, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Punch down the dough before turning out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into an even log and place in a lightly greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Lightly press the dough down to fill the pan around the corners evenly. Cover with kitchen towel and allow dough to rise for another 40 to 60 minutes, or until doubled. It should stick out of the pan by 3/4 of an inch.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Sprinkle the top of the dough with salt, pepper and rosemary if desired. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove bread from pan and allow to cool slightly before slicing.

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