Wednesday, June 19, 2013

love people; cook them tasty rosemary bread (a la macaroni grill)

Be still my beating heart.  My absolute favorite thing about Macaroni Grill can be made in my very own kitchen?!?

I really didn't think it was possible.  I read over several recipes claiming to have the "perfect version," but how could I know the one I chose would work so well?  

Pulling the loaves from the oven, smelling the Rosemary, I had my fingers crossed.  Painting a thin finish coat of olive oil and sprinkling a pinch of salt atop, I was hopeful.  But I would have never imagined in this first attempt I would have been so pleased with the outcome.  A soft, chewy crumb on the inside, a crisp golden crust on the outside.  

My friends... I am smitten.

And I’m sure for every one of me, there are a hundred others who would feel the same about receiving their own homemade version of this bread.  That's why you must try your hand at this fast, and share one loaf with a dear friend, a new neighbor, anyone.  Simply wrapped in a towel and placed in a basket with small bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (my favorite bread-dipping combo), you have a perfect hostess treat or teacher thank you.

I'm serious.  Find a couple of hours to roll up your sleeves and follow the directions below.  In your generosity, you will fill a belly all while satisfying your own heart.  Go, now, and bless someone.

"Give, and it will be given to you.  
Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you."  
Luke 6:38    

Rosemary Bread - makes 2 round loaves
  • 1 tbsp. yeast
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups flour*
  • 1 tsp. salt (plus more for garnish)**
  • 2 tbsp. Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 egg white (with splash of water)
~ Place yeast, sugar and water in large bowl of stand mixer and allow to become bubbly;
    about 5 minutes.
~ Mix in butter, 1 tsp. salt, and flour.
~ Add 1 tbsp. Rosemary.
~ With dough hook (or by hand), knead in the bowl for about 5 minutes (or 10, if by hand)
    until smooth and elastic.
~ Lightly oil a large bowl and put dough inside.  Lightly spray a piece of plastic wrap and 
    cover bowl.
~ Let dough rise in warm place until doubled, about one hour.
~ Punch down dough and divide in half.
~ Let dough rest about 5 minutes.
~ Spray baking pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray.
~ Shape dough into 2 small rounded loaves.
~ Let rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.  
~ Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~ Bake 10 minutes.
~ Meanwhile, make egg white wash by beating egg white with a splash of water.
~ Remove loaves after 10 minutes and brush surface with wash.
~ Sprinkle remaining Rosemary and course salt over wash; return to oven.
~ Continue baking another 10 minutes until golden.
~ If desired, brush lightly with olive oil and finish with one more pinch of salt.   

Tips and Tricks

* I used King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour for this recipe.  The 2 1/2 cups worked perfectly and only required I lightly flour my hands and the surface before hand-kneading.  Depending on humidity and your measure of the water, more flour may be needed to prevent extensive "sticking," although I didn't find it necessary.

** I used regular salt for the 1 tsp. called for and Kosher salt for the finishing touches.  

Recipe adapted from