Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Almost Famous Rosemary Bread

I was flipping through my food network magazine I just received and came across this copycat recipe for the rosemary bread they serve at Macaroni Grill. I knew right away it was something I wanted to make. I saw that the recipe takes about 5 hrs. total and I had about 5 1/2 until I needed to leave to pick up Matt from the airport. I got to work right away and was able to take the bread out of the oven just as I was leaving the house. It's been a while since i've been to Macaroni Grill so I can't say if this is exactely like theirs, but it is really really good. The bread is so light and fluffy. I also liked that it came together so easily. Sometimes it's a battle with dough being too sticky and having to add a bunch of extra flour but this was perfect. I was so glad I was able to make it when I did because I wanted to serve it with a steak salad and minstrone soup I was making for lunch the next day and this went perfectly with the meal. It's also a great snack by itself served with a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper for dipping.

Almost Famous Rosemary Bread
food network magazine April 2011

Yield: 4 small loaves
1 1/2 oz. pckg. active dry yeast
2 t. sugar
2 TBLS. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and serving
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 TBLS. dried rosemary
1 t. fine salt
1/2 t. kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Stir the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl. Let sit until foamy, about 5 min.
Add 1 TBLS. olive oil, the flour, 1 1/2 TBLS. rosemary, the fine salt and 3/4 cup warm water, stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting lightly with flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Brush a large bowl with olive oil. Add the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until more than doubled, about 2 hours.

Brush 2 baking sheets with olive oil. Generously flour a work surface; turn the dough out onto the flour and divide into 4 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, sprinkle some flour on the dough, then fold the top and bottom portions into the middle. Fold in the sides to make a free form square. Use a spatula to turn the dough over, then tuck the corners until to form a ball. Place seam side down on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, putting 2 balls on each baking sheet. Let stand, uncovered, until more than doubled, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Bake the loaves 10 minutes; brush with the remaining 1 TBLS. olive oil and sprinkle with the kosher salt and the remaining 1/2 TBLS. rosemary. Continue baking until golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve with olive oil and salt and pepper (I also like to add balsamic vinegar).
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