Look, look, it’s a recipe that didn’t come from Smitten Kitchen! Ha. Instead, this is from another favorite food blog Always With Butter. I absolutely adore this blog because it combines breathtaking photography with delicious recipes. It’s the kind of blog that almost makes me too intimidated to even try…but then I forget my intimidation as I rush to the store to stock up on whatever ingredients I need to make the next amazing thing.
This rosemary garlic bread is DIVINE. Of course, when you’re combining olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and sea salt, how can you go wrong? I even killed my yeast, altered the rising times, and partially overbaked it, and it was still some of the most delicious bread I’ve had in a long time. And that leads me to a confession: I have basically no experience making bread and yeast is not very forgiving. It’s a trial-by-fire kind of process and you have to be committed because there’s hours and hours of rising and baking before you even know if it worked. In my case, I killed the yeast right at the beginning by using water that was much too hot (recently boiled water = not good! My friend Noah, who is basically a bread expert – at least compared to me – told me he simply uses warm tap water and that’s hot enough to activate the yeast without killing it). Noah also saved my bread from an early death by teaching me to alter my rising times after I let the bread rise too much the first time (simply cut back on the second rising time) and he helped me determine when it was finished baking. Thank you, Noah! Pretty sure I couldn’t have done it without you. Anyway, back to the recipe: learn from my mistakes and I’m sure you will make an even better loaf.
Rosemary Garlic Bread:
From Always with Butter
2 cups warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
5 1/4 cups flour (plus additional flour for dusting)
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/3 cup rosemary, chopped
4 tsp sea salt
Sprinkle the yeast on the surface of the water, let stand for 3 minutes. Whisk to combine, then whisk in oil.
Combine flour, garlic, rosemary, and salt in a large bowl. Add in yeast mixture. Stir. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 5-10 minutes until a smooth, elastic but slightly sticky dough forms. More flour may be needed if it’s too soft. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 2 hours or so until doubled in size. (I turned on my oven to 500 for 2 minutes, turned it off, and put the bowl in there to keep it warm. I read, however, on another blog that dough does not need to be in a warm environment to rise, so do whatever you think is best.)
Dust two baking sheets with flour.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and press dough to deflate. Divide in half. Roll out into a square and then roll tightly into a log. Place each log on a baking sheet and dust heavily with flour. Cover both with a towel and let rise until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.
Heat oven to 500 degrees and place the racks on the lowest shelf of oven. Cut 3 slashes in the top of both loaves. Place in oven and reduce temperature to 450. Bake for 20 minutes, lower temperature to 250 and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Note: I also froze a loaf of this bread and it still tasted wonderful when I pulled it out of the freezer.