Great Bread Recipe for the Holidays…

I came across this bread recipe earlier this year in Country Living Magazine. As I have done so many times before…I tore out the page with the recipe and stacked it on top of all the others I have in my kitchen. I do however go through them on occasion for inspiration. I like to add or take out ingredients to make it my own.

This bread recipe is vary basic and there is not much that can be changed, although the inspiration came when I figured out that this bread can be made with numerous combinations of seasonings. The recipe calls for rosemary, sea salt and a drizzled of extra virgin olive oil. I added extra flavor with Butter Infused Olive Oil and the next time I’m going to split the dough into two loaves and add salt, parmesean cheese and Basil Infused Oil and the other loaf with salt, Sage and extra virgin olive oil.  This recipe could be sweetened with Maple Syrup over the top too.

Give it a try and let me know what combination you come up with!

Rustic Herb Bread
By The Gourmet Farm Girl

2/3 cup half and half (or whole milk)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
1 ounce fresh active yeast
5 cups bread flour (sifted)
Fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
plus extra for the top
Extra Virgin olive oil or Butter Infused olive oil

Sift and measure flour into a large mixing bowl with the salt; set aside

In a small pan over medium heat, heat the milk, water and sugar to just warm (90-95 degrees)
Remove from heat and stir in yeast till dissolved; pour mixute into flour mix and with your hands mix dough till it forms a ball. (If the dough is to dry add more water, if the dough is to sticky add more flour)
On a lightly floured surface knead dough for 4-5 minutes. Place dough in a lightly floured bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel, let dough rise in a warm draft free area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

After an hour; flour a clean dry surface and punch down the dough; form into a 10 by 8 inch rectangle about 2 inches thick. (or divide into 2 seperate rectangles) Place loaf on a parchment lined baking sheet; cover with a towel again and let rise in a warm draft free area until it doubles in size. About 1 more hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Press some indentations on the top of the loaf with your fingertips. Place a few sprigs of rosemary
in some of the indentations. Drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped, about 30-35 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack before slicing.  Serve with extra oil for dipping!


Make 8-10 servings