Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rosemary Bread

I got this recipe from one of my favorite baking cookbooks, "Baking at Home."

4c bread flour plus extra as needed
1 1/2 t active dry yeast
1 1/2 c room temp water (68-76 degrees F)
2T coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
2t salt
Extra virgin olive oil for greasing
Cornmeal for dusting
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

Combine the flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixre fitted with the dough hook. Add the water, rosemary, and salt and mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and knead for 4 minute. The dough should be slightly stiff, smooth and elastic.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let rise ina  warm place until naerly doubled in size, about 40 minutes. Fold the dough over on itself, pressing gently to release the gas. Let the dough rise a second time, about 40 minutes more.
Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and round into smooth balls, pulling hte outer layers taut and pinching the excess dough together at the base of the balls. Place seam sides down on a lightly floured work surface, cover, and let rest until relaxed, 15-20 minutes.
Prepare 2 baking sheets by scattering them with cornmeal. Put your hands under each dough round and stretch and pull it gently into a rough 6 x 8 inch rectangle. It is important to maintain an even thickness Transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
Brush or mist the surface of the dough lightly with water. Let the dough rise for a third time in a warm place, covered, until the dough springs back slowly to the touch but does not collapse.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Score the dough 5 times, starting at the same corner each time and trascing a line to each of hte other 3 corners. The remaining 2 scores will be in between the first 3 radiating out from the same corner. Brush or mist hte dough with the watre once more. Bake until the loaves have a golden brown crust and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom, 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks. Brush or drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt if desired.

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