It's been rather chilly and damp in the DFW area and soups seem to call out to me during this kind of weather. Last week was another potluck week at IHCC (I'm late posting this) and I selected a bread to go along with a beef barley soup I made.
Tessa Kiros' Bread with Rosemary and Olive Oil is from her Twelve cookbook. Tessa says that this recipe is a variation on the unsalted white Tuscan bread that's generally made where she lives. She also mentions you can make small individual rolls with this recipe.
It was easy, quick and the texture is as soft as white Wonder Bread.
It is also great toasted with a big chunk of butter slathered on it. Mmmmm...excuse me. I think I'll go cut me another slice.
Pane al rosmarino e olio - Bread with rosemary and olive oil
1 ounce rosemary sprigs
1 ounce fresh yeast (I used 1/2 oz. active dry yeast since I didn't have fresh)
a pinch of sugar
1-1/4 cups tepid water
1 pound 2 ounces bread flour
1/2 Tbsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Mise en Place:
- strip the rosemary leaves off the stems and discard the stems
- measure out remaining ingredients
Put the yeast into a bowl with the pinch of sugar. Stir in the water and leave it to activate.
Put the flour into a large, wide bowl or onto your work surface . Add the yeast, most of the rosemary, the salt and most of the olive oil, and mix well to incorporate. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until you have a smooth, compact, elastic ball. (I used my Kitchen Aid bowl and used the flat paddle to incorporate then the dough hook for kneading). Add a few more drops of water or a little more flour if necessary to achieve this consistency.
Put the dough into a bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1-1/2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
Dust your work surface lightly with flour. Divide the dough into halves or leave whole, and shape into ovals or rounds (I made 1 large loaf). You can also make small, individual rolls by breaking off chunks of the dough and rolling them into balls. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining rosemary and drizzle with the remaining oil.
Dust a baking tray with flour and put the bread loaf(ves) onto the baking tray, allowing for some space between each loaf for spreading. Use two trays if necessary, and cover the bread loosely with a cloth. Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes to an hour until the loaves have risen.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas 6). Put the baking tray into the hot oven and bake for about 35 minutes, until the top is golden. The bottoms of the loaves should be golden and sound hollow when tapped.
Remove to a rack to cool slightly before serving. When cool, the bread can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for future use.