Rosemary Tuscan bread…

It is the first day of autumn today, but you would not know it just by looking out my window.  The lazy palms are dancing in a gentle breeze with a perfectly blue sky as a backdrop.  However, there is a subtle change in the morning and afternoon, the marine layer hangs around a little longer, keeping everything damp and cool.  Although the word “crisp” is a stretch in describing the weather, there are the feelings of the beginning of a seasonal change.  I have been playing around with a number of soups lately as the evening fog draws me into a cooler space in my mind.  Tortilla soup, Tuscan cabbage soup, creamy tomato soup, spicy pepper soup, all asking for some good bread for dunking.  I went with a traditional Tuscan round, no salt, but I warmed it up a little with some rosemary and cracked pepper.  This bread also makes for a perfect breakfast with a little olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt.  You can also slice and toast this bread, rub with a little garlic, and serve with your soup of choice.  This recipe makes two little loaves, perfect for freezing…or sharing with your neighbor.

Rosemary Tuscan rounds…

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 1/4 cup warm water

1 tbs active dry yeast

2 heaping tbs fresh rosemary, minced

cracked pepper

pinch of sugar

Dissolve yeast and a pinch of sugar in warm water for  about 10 minutes.  Stir together rosemary, cracked pepper, and flour.  Now, I just used a bowl and a wooden spoon for this bread, no need to dirty a mixer.  Mix together yeast mixture and 1 cup of flour mixture, then slowly mix in the rest of the flour, little by little. Dough will be stiff. Kneed the dough for about 5 minutes.  Cover on a lightly floured surface or bowl and let double in size, about 2 hours.  Then punch down the bread, cut dough in half, and shape into loaves.  Let double in size again on a floured sheet pan, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake until crust is golden, about 30 minutes.

Eat together, toast to each other, and share!


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