Does anything in this world smell better than homemade bread baking in the oven? I would argue a definite no. (The smell of chocolate would be a close second for me; but I digress…) Yet you’re probably thinking, “Yeah, homemade bread sounds great for you, but I don’t have the time or skill for that so I’ll be grabbing my loaves at the grocery store.” Guys! You can do it. This recipe for Rustic Rosemary Olive Bread is a perfect one to try if you’re a bit shy of baking bread.
Baking bread used to be this big scary idea for me; like I had to take a college course on baking or something before I could do it. But thanks to stand mixers and rapid rise yeast, it’s really not so hard. This recipe for Rustic Rosemary Olive Bread is one of the most simple yet delicious breads I’ve made yet, a great beginner recipe!
Rapid rise yeast cuts your rise time in half, and it’s generally easier to work with. There’s no proofing needed. You actually mix the yeast into the dry ingredients (flour, salt, sometimes sugar) and slowly add your hot liquids in while the machine does the kneading. Instant yeast is made specifically for use with hot liquids that would scorch normal plain ‘ol yeast. It’s the hot liquids (125-130 degrees F) that instant yeast loves and enables it to work so quickly. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use this same method with a food processor. Yes it’s true! The dough comes together in about 30 seconds ~ super fast. Just pour the wet ingredients into the dry via the feed pipe while running the machine.
Once the dough comes together you’ll add in some fresh minced rosemary leaves, shape it into a nice ball and place it in a warm oven to rise (covered) for about 45 minutes. After it’s about doubled in size, dump it out on a floured surface and round it again (this shape is called a Boulë) like shown above. Place the rounded dough onto a flat baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Gently dust the surface of the dough with flour, then cover with plastic wrap to rise again. Set your oven to heat according to the recipe, and let the dough rise on top of the warm oven for about 30 more minutes.
When it’s risen again and your oven is ready, slice the top with a razor blade (or sharp knife) as shown above. This will help the dough to rise further while baking. Slide the dough into the oven onto a hot baking stone and fill an oven safe skillet below with some water. This method of creating steam in the oven will help to develop a great crust.
Then sit back and wait for the amazing smell of homemade bread to fill your house. Give yourself a pat on the back for making artisan bread by hand that your family and friends can enjoy for dinner tonight! These loaves of bread never last more than a couple hours in my house before they are completely gobbled up. Remember to use a good quality olive oil when making this recipe ;0)
You guys know how much I love working with fresh herbs :0) Dry herbs just don’t even compare! If you do not have access to an herb garden, you can almost always can find fresh herbs stocked in the produce isle at the grocery store. I buy them often, since I’m currently without an herb garden of my own. Rosemary is one of my very favorites. To quickly and easily remove the leaves, grip the top with one hand and run your fingers tightly down the tough stalk to remove the leaves. Throw the stalks away, you don’t want to use those.
This bread has a fantastic taste and look to it that I’m sure you’ll love! Homemade bread really is the best~ your mouth will certainly thank you.