Monday, June 1, 2009

Rosemary Thyme Bread

With parsley and sage, this bread would complete the Simon and Garfunkle song. I have a huge rosemary bush in my front garden and am always trying to find ways to use it. This weekend I made both a focaccia with an infusion of rosemary, onion, garlic and oil on the top of it and a loaf bread with rosemary and thyme. Since I've talked about focaccia recently, here's the rosemary and thyme bread.


  • 1 T active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur's white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 T fresh thyme leaves or 1 T dried
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • about 4 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. I always add a dollop of honey to my yeast and warm water. I do it by dipping a small whisk into a jar of my honey and using that whisk to stir the yeast into the water.

Stir the olive oil into the yeast mixture. Stir together the whole wheat flour, herbs, salt and 2 cups of the while flour in a medium bowl.
Note that the recipe calls for 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary. Below you can see a 1/4 cup measuring cup filled with fresh rosemary leaves.

After finely chopping the rosemary, I only have about half of what I need. So I chopped almost the same amount to bring the 1/4 cup to full. It's always important in a recipe to distinguish if they say 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped vs. what we have in this recipe: 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary.

Add the flour/herb mix to the yeast mixture and mix together well with the paddle. Adding flour gradually as needed, change to the dough hook on the mixture and mix on low for about 2 minutes. Move to medium speed and knead with the dough hook for about 8 minutes. If the dough is very sticky, gradually add flour as needed.

Scrape the dough onto a floured surface and knead a little by hand. Let dough rise in a lightly greased bowl for about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and put it into pans (I used round baking pans) or you can shape it into rounds and let it rise on a cookie sheet for a more primitive looking loaf, or if you have them, you can let it rise in a banneton.

About 30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450. When you are ready to put the loaves into the oven, slash across the tops with a sharp knife. Bake for 10 minutes, spraying with water a couple of times during this period.

Reduce the heat to 400 and bake for another 30 - 35 minutes until the loaves are brown.

Remove from pan, cool on a rack, and enjoy.

Note: Sorry about the delay between postings. My youngest daughter got married in the middle of April and I got out of the routine, but I'm back now! I never stopped baking, just stopped posting, so I may go back and fill in some gaps as I have time.
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