Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rosemary Bread: A Letter to a Craving

Dear "Italian" Herb Bread for I know no other fancy name,
I don't like it when you bribe me into eating you at Italian restaurants. I've promised myself countless times that I won't touch you again because you're free and things that come for free aren't as great as people make them out to be. I promised myself again that I wouldn't touch you because my life is not lacking in carbs. The best things in life are NOT free and you being free makes me just a little teeny tiny bit suspicious of you (not to mention, fat). I won't fall for it when you're aiming at my hips again. But you know what, I've missed you. I haven't seen you around lately and the longing got... long... so I decided to bring you home in the shape of flour and rosemary and dress you up until you become yourself again: hot, soft and loving my hips. I'm so sorry I can't eat you right now. You see, I'm fasting and I won't be able to take a bite of you for another 3 hours and a half. But the kids did so don't be sad. Alas, I have a feeling you'll be gone before I get to try you since we have little people who have just discovered balsamic vinegar. I know it means the world to you to have me eat you since I'm the one who nurtured you into adulthood but I want you to know that I'm so proud of your beautiful crust. They way you sound when I knock on you is just the way it should be and I won't even talk about your color because people might think I'm racist. 
Love you lots,
Fasting Foodie
You'll need: 
(Thank you, Emily at OneLovelyLife for 
a relatively quick and super easy recipe)
3/4 cup of warm water
1/2 cup of warm milk
2 teaspoons of yeast
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary 
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of salt, plus extra for sprinkling
3 cups of flour
A spray bottle full of water

You'll need the things above to make this thing below. But, the things above are not all you need. No, no. 'Tis not that easy. Read on. Read on. Reaaad on. [Insert Depeche Mode's Dream On tune.]
Combine water, milk, sugar and yeast and let it bubble for around 5 minutes. Add your olive oil, rosemary, garlic powder and salt and stir to combine. Add the flour half a cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Your dough should be relatively sticky. Turn your sticky-ish dough onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Put your dough in a greased bowl and cover it with cling wrap. Let the dough rise for an hour or until it's doubled in size. Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Form each half into a ball and place them on a pizza stone or cookie sheet. Slash the top of the dough ball. You can slash an X into it or diagonal slits. You decide. It's your bread. Cover and allow to rise for another half an hour. Bake at 220 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Spritz inside the oven every 3-4 minutes with the water spray bottle. Allow to cool then slice and serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Pretend it has a fancy name. It's more fun that way. 


  1. hahaha that was pretty hilarious. i know exactly what you mean--the rosemary/herb bread at italian restaurants just sings to me but my hips and ass protest as my hand reaches for the basket. I sincerely hope you were able to save some from your kids' hands--to bake bread and not eat it is a tragedy.

  2. Baking Barrister: We "grown-ups" managed to get some at night before it all disappeared. Yay! Thanks for dropping by. :)

  3. Lovely, lovely bread! I too can never resist the bread temptation... if only bread was the new protein I would be doing great. Excellent recipe, thanks.

  4. Even just looking at the pictures is comforting. They remind me of that nursery rhyme "hot cross buns", only with an exotic twist.
    I'll be trying these in another hours. From one fasting foodie to another, I feel your pain.

  5. Anonymous: Lol @ hot cross buns. If you have no daughters, give them to your sons.

  6. oh it's like the bread they serve before your meal at Tutto Pasta in Madison, WI -- aptly, theirs also comes with a dish of olive oil and balsamic! outstanding!



  7. Squirrelbread: Love your username. Haha. Thanks for stopping by. :)

  8. awee that is a cutie letter lovely clicks and wonderful recipe, thanks for stopping by my have a great blog..happy to follow you! :)

  9. Hi Ananda, thanks for returning the visit. Glad you liked what you found. :D

  10. Hehee, cute post! The bread definitely looks like it was worth having to wait :D

  11. Hey Agnes, thanks for dropping by. :D

  12. I love rosemary bread! I will be trying this, maybe even tonight :)

  13. this is such a great post, thank you! i just tried it (waiting for it to cool now)--this was my first time making bread :) i have a question: when cutting the top of the dough ball, do you have any tricks to go about it? i definitely was not getting such clean lines.

    thanks again!!

  14. Hey Catherine! I'm glad someone tried it out. :) When slashing the dough, I usually heat my knife by pouring boiling water on it and then oiling it so that it doesn't stick when cutting through the dough. Happy baking!

  15. This was my first attempt at making bread . . . it was so simple, and the results were delicious! I sprinkled kosher salt and a little more rosemary on the top before baking. Also, I didn't have a spray bottle, so I just put a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven before I started baking. It created a lot of steam and seemed to work great! Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Hey Shaina! I'm glad it went well. I like your idea. I might just use it myself since it worked for you. It's such a hassle to keep spraying the dough. Thanks for dropping by. :)

  17. I have this recipe for a rosemary braided bread that I crave, too! I love it, but usually only make it when people come over because it makes so much. Who wants to have a dinner party, friends?

  18. Hi! I just discovered the blog recently through the article in The Daily News Egypt so first of all, MABROOK!! As a foreign living in Egypt sometimes I miss having more variety of bread to choose from, although I love the classical pita bread, so I decided why not baking my own bread??

    The problem is the lack of experience, I have no idea about yeast, the only thing I found around is dried active yeast, is that the one you used? And about the flour, is it plain flour?

    Congratulations again for your blog and for your new column in The Daily News Egypt, keep it up!!


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