Rosemary Garlic Bread
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.
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.
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!
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)
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
- In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water; let the mixture stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flours, rosemary, garlic salt and yeast mixture.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat an oven to 400°F.
- 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.
- Makes 1 loaf.