Created : June 25, 2011
Updated Feb 15, 2012
I am always trying a new bread recipe and have hit some winners and some I have modified to meet my taste and needs.
Rosemary and Olive Bread
I made slight modifications to add additional flavor to the original recipe. Instead of water I use up to the full amount of 3/4 cup depending how much I have. The one in the oven at the moment has a full 3/4 cup and it will have a great olive flavor.
3 cups of Bread Flour
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbs chopped fresh Rosemary(I seldom have fresh herbs) In this case I have a bottle of Rosemary/salt/garlic, I use 2 tbs of this and leave out the salt and fresh Rosemary. If you have fresh go for it.
3/4 cup warm water(I use as much of the olive liquid that packs the olive in the jar)
1 Tbs active yeast
1/4 cup Olive Oil(I use EVOO because that is all we buy)
1/2 to 1 cup of Kalamata olive(I use more than a cup)
Combine yeast and warm water(olive juice) until yeast becomes creamy about 10 minutes. Add olive oil, salt, rosemary(or rosemary combine) and olives in a large bowl. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time blending as you go. Knead about 5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in lightly coated olive oil bowl(I just use the same bowl and add the olive oil to the dough, just a thin coat on the outside. Let rise in warm area cover with plastic wrap(I cheat I use a plastic bag from the market(or you can heat your oven for a very short time to get about 110 degrees) for 1 hour, the dough should rise to almost double, if it doesn't don't worry about it. Take out of bowl and make it any shape you like depending on its use, a little higher for sandwich bread, I usually just make it like any artisan bread. I found that making it a lower loaf rather than high yielded a better overall cooking. If it is too high the outside will cook but the middle will be gummy. Not all is loss if this happens, you can put the loaf in the microwave for 3, 4 or 5 minutes, where the oven cooks from the outside in the microwave from the inside out. Cover with damp dish towel for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. You can just use a cookie sheet, I use my pizza stone or in this case my bread stone(makes a very nice crusty bottom). Slash top and a little flour. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes depending on your oven, of course it should sound hollow when you hit the bottom.
Breads(Sourdough, French and Ciabatta so far)
I first got interested in making bread from my experience with pizza dough and I found I liked working with dough and started playing with different types of bread. Early on I would make very expensive breads, they were great but the expense was killing me. Now I make basic breads but do get the urge to make olive or vegetable or some other exotic bread. I am going to keep this pretty basic for the site.
Sourdough bread can seem intimidating but it is actually one of the simplest to make but does require an additional step, that is making the starter. The starter adds yeast to help the bread rise(but not enough I add a little yeast to mine to get it a little airier) but more importantly that is where the wonderful sourdough taste comes from. All these recipes can be made on the charcoal, using the cool side of the grill, you that use charcoal will know what that means. I do this often in the summer, I don 't have a gas grill and don't want one, been there done that and charcoal is not as convenient but it sure is a lot better.
There is nothing hard about the starter but it does take some patience, you want to make the bread and this initial step in your early stages of making sourdough bread seems daunting, but once done that is it you have starter for life.
I use a medium size on the smaller side plastic container, they have these wonderful crocks they sell for keeping it with a snap lid but I don't want the expense even though it does make you feel more like a real bread maker.
Start by adding 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour and 1 tablespoon of water, still to mix until smooth. About eight hours later add 2 tablespoons of flour and water and so on until you get about two cups of starter. It is said that once it bubbles it can be uses but I didn't find that to be so, I left mine about a week and now it is really aged starter and is great. You will use 1 cup of the starter and then replace with 1 cup of flour and water. You will notice the starter separates, this is perfectly normal just stir it all together and your good to go.
1 cup of starter
1 cup of water
2 tsp salt
3 cups of flour(any flour is good, all purpose or bread flour what every you have)
This is not part of any recipe I have seen but I use a TSP of yeast, it gives it a better rise, the starter just doesn't have enough oomph.
Mix and turn out on a floured surface. Work with it until it comes together, you don't have to do the 10 minute kneading thing. I just put it back into the bowl I just used to mix it, use plastic wrap or better yet I use a plastic Market bag works great and it doesn't cost a penny. Let rise for 8 to 12 hours. Place in warm place, if you don't have a warm place, turn on the oven for a couple of minutes and use it.
Pre heat oven to about 450, for my oven the 500 called for was too hot, so play with it, somewhere between 400 and 500 is the sweet spot and you need to find it for your oven. You will need something like a Dutch oven with cover, put it and the over in the oven and let it heat with the oven. Turn out and fold it in on all four sides.
Make sure you use an oven mitt or pot holder the pot will be mighty hot. Carefully toss the into the pot, if come to getting burnt or ruining the bread go with safety to hell with the bread. Cover and bake for 20 minutes, take off cover and bake another 20 minutes.
Cool on a rack and enjoy, play with the recipe and see what works for you.
This is so simple to make and it is Barbara's favorite, my favorite is Ciabatta which I will also post when time permits.
Ingredients for 1 loaf, do the math to make more:
2 cups of Bread flour
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
Proof yeast in a warm water(not hot you will kill the yeast), set aside. Mix 2 cups of flour and 1 tsp of salt and blend thoroughly. When the yeast is bubbly add to mixture and then add slowly warm water as you mix it until it comes together and comes off the side of the bowl, maybe 1/2 cup but use as much as it takes, you will get the feel for it. Turn out onto a floured workspace and knead just enough to make the dough smooth, it only takes a few turns. Wash bowl with hot water and put dough into bowl and cover with plastic wrap or whatever you have, you can even use a plastic bag from the Market. Let rise in a warm place, if you don't have a warm place, put the oven on for a couple of minute to bring it to about 90 degrees, this is what I normally do, not too hot. Let rise for 2 hours.
Turn out dough onto a floured work space and work dough into a 10 to 12 inch log. Spray cooky sheet with cooking spray and place on cookie sheet and cut 3 or 4 diagonal slices about 1/2 inch deep, cover with a dry dish cloth, put in warm area and let rise another 1 1/2 hours. It rises nicely and makes a nice loaf of artisan bread you can be proud of.
Preheat oven to 350. You want a little moisture so you can do this in a number of ways. You can use a second cookie sheet and toss about 1/2 cup of water onto it and then place your loaf in the oven, you can use a spray bottle but this I think lets the oven get too cool. The problem with method number one is that if is and electric oven it might not be wise to throw water around, the other is you will occasionally put the appliance light out and will need to replace it, not a big deal. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, I usually go for 40 but you do what is right for you.
Toss onto a cooling rack and that is it, a great bread that is so economical to make and tastes great.
As always, ENJOY!!
Ciabatta is my favorite of all the simple breads. I like some of the more expensive breads that have veggies, olives or other expensive ingredients. But right now throwing together an inexpensive bread is a real coup, everything is so expensive.
Ciabatta is actually simple to make but for the rise time, which is 20 hours total, 1st rise 18 hours and the second 2 hours.
1/2 cup of wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon of yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons of sale
2 cups of warm(not hot) water
Mix all dry ingredients thoroughly. Use a rubber utensil to mix in the water. It should make a sticky dough. No kneading necessary, once it all comes together, just leave in bowl, cover and let rise for 18 hours. Lightly oil a cookie sheet and sprinkle with corn meal, turn out onto pan and shape it like a rectangle, about 10 inches long by about 5 inches wide, this bread won't rise like a bread from the store, it will mostly get wider after 2 hours with a dry towel over it. Preheat oven to 425 and cook 35 - 45 minutes, should be golden brown, crispy outside with a very airy crumb.
Great for sandwiches, cutting across the middle, it won't be high enough to cut like a white bread but none the less delicious.