There are so many things I forget about until I smell them, or an associated smell, but in a neutral moment I can’t pull them into my memory. Baking bread, however, is a smell I know I love. One of my strangest happy moments in the last few years was waking up in Boulder around 2 am to our roommate, Ted, baking delicious rosemary bread. The smell literally woke me up, and in my groggy why-am-I-not-asleep state I was overwhelmingly delighted by the smell of Ted’s bread! There is something so comforting about the smell of bread – it smells warm and inviting. This rosemary olive oil bread does the same thing, and then tastes amazing!
Most of our bread consumption comes as a delivery method for olive oil, which Derek insists is absolutely essential in mass quantities. The problem comes in finding the perfect dipping bread: it cannot be too fluffy or crusty. The crust to squish ratio needs to be low, and the inside texture has to be moist, dense, yet still have big enough air pockets to soak up the oil. This bread has it all! The spices could easily be omitted for a plain dipping bread, but the addition of rosemary and Italian spices give it the perfect fragrant flavor. The outside is a smooth, almost leathery, crust – not a tough, roof-of-your-mouth-cutting crust. Not only is this the perfect bread, it is ridiculously easy to make!Print
Piney and herbaceous, this bread is richly savory and makes a delicious treat with some fruity olive oil.
- 1 cup warm water (100-110 F)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
- 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning (or pinch of each ground garlic, dried oregano, and dried basil)
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup bread flour
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 egg, whisked + 1 Tbsp. water, for egg wash
- dried rosemary, for sprinkling
- Combine warm water, sugar, and yeast in a bowl to proof for 10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, combine salt, rosemary, Italian seasoning, pepper, and flours. Add to proofed yeast, along with olive oil. Mix until dough is formed. Turn out onto a flour surface and knead until smooth and elastic – 5 to 10 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size – 1 hour.
- Punch down dough and shape into a round loaf. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, cover, and let rise again until doubled in size – 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 F. When dough is ready, brush gently with the egg wash, and sprinkle with dried rosemary. Bake for 20-24 minutes, until top is golden and loaf sounds hollow when you knock on it.
- The original recipe calls for the loaf to be baked on a pizza stone, which you heat in the oven before putting the dough on it. I have no such stone, so I omitted this.
- I don’t have any bread flour, but I used Smitten Kitchen‘s recommendation of replacing some of the normal flour with gluten flour. I used about 1 Tbsp of gluten flour in place of 1 Tbsp normal flour.
- Serving this with a dish of olive oil and salt is delicious!