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Rosemary Garlic Bread

2012 October 1
tags: ,
by admin


I was on a long run the other day and ran by a park that was closed, with this sign expressing the reason why:

I think the high that September day here in South Carolina was 89 degrees.  It is true – 89 is a far cry from our summer high of 109 degrees, but still, declaring September as winter is a little extreme.

Well, not really for South Carolinians, but maybe for others.

I don’t really think it is wintertime, but I do have the craving to warm up the house with hearty meals nowadays, which is a very wintery habit.

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I was the very happy recipient of a La Cloche baker recently.  It was regifted by a friend (I am aware of the regift; the original gifter is not).

The La Cloche is a stoneware covered baker that is used to create a brick-oven-like environment in your home oven.  It is perfect for making artisan breads and roasted tenderloins and chickens.

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I chose to use bread as my first experiment in the baker and was super pleased with the looks of this crusty loaf when I pulled it out of the oven.  If you don’t have a La Cloche baker, you could use a large enamel pot or simple bake free-formed.

Not only was it beautiful but the crust was unreal.  Perfectly thick, not too thick, and hardy with that oh-so-desirable crunch.  The inside of the bread, spiked with dried rosemary and garlic, was soft and delicious.  I gifted half the loaf to my neighbor who provided me with the La Cloche which means I’ll be baking up a 2nd loaf of this stuff sooner than expected!

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When enjoying this loaf the second day, I whipped up a delicious combination of oil and vinegar.  Rich extra virgin olive oil plus chocolate balsamic vinegar with a pinch of herbs de provence.  The chocolate undertones were rich and savory.  Beyond delicious.

Rosemary Garlic Loaf (adapted from Williams Sonoma)

Ingredients

2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast (1 package)
2 cups warm water (110°F)
5 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried minced garlic
11/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water; let the mixture stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flours, rosemary, garlic salt and yeast mixture.
  3. Knead on medium speed until the dough is soft and smooth, 10 to 12 minutes. Turn out onto to a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball.
  4. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch the dough down and let rise until doubled, 45 to 50 minutes.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, press the dough flat; stretch the sides of the dough down and under to form a tight, round shape. Pinch the seam underneath the loaf closed. Place the loaf in a floured round stoneware baker and dust the top with flour. Cover with the lid and let rise 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. Preheat an oven to 400°F.
  7. Using a serrated knife, cut a large, shallow X on top of the loaf. Cover and bake until the loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 1 hour.
  8. Makes 1 loaf.