Happy November! I hope all your goblins, witches, and hobbits enjoyed their loot - I had not a one trick or treater, but then again, the roads are still icy and slippery after the snowstorm, so it didn't surprise me.
It's been a long time since I made our favorite rosemary bread. The last time I made it there was something tough about the bread, so I decided to reduce the amount of milk in this traditional Italian bread - success. It came out beautifully! This is a soft white bread, which I think you could tinker with if you prefer a mix of grains, just don't forget the fresh rosemary! The extra virgin olive oil adds a nice flavor to the bread, so try not to substitute.
To make one 8 or 9 inch round:
1 1/2 t. rapid rise yeast (I use Fleischmann's)
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup warm water, mixed together
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 really heaping tablespoon of roughly chopped fresh rosemary
1 t. kosher salt
3 1/4 cups King Arthur all purpose flour
oats for sprinkling on the baking sheet
coarse sea salt for sprinkling on top of the bread - or you can use flaked salt if you have it.
Stir the yeast into the 1/2 cup lukewarm water in mixer bowl and let sit 15 minutes.
Stir in the half water/half milk, the salt, the rosemary, and the olive oil and mix.
Add the flour and mix until combined. It shouldn't be dry, but it shouldn't be too wet either.
Remove ball of dough and briefly knead, adding a little flour if it's too sticky.
Drizzle mixer bowl with olive oil, then roll the ball in the oil, covering all sides.
Turn your oven on briefly, then turn off, just so the oven is barely warm.
Make sure the oven is off!
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and place in oven until the dough has doubles - usually around 40 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the oven and knead bread, then form into a round.
Sprinkle a handful of oats on the baking sheet, then set the bread onto the baking sheet.
Place in a warm place ( or the still barely warm oven that is OFF) and let rise until almost doubled in size.
Remove dough, preheat oven to 400F.
Gently slash an X on top of the loaf, then spritz with water and scatter a few tablespoons of coarse salt on top.
Bake for about 30-34 minutes, or until top is golden and the bread feels light and hollow.
Let cool on a rack before cutting - if you can wait!
Enjoy the first day of November - can you believe it's already here?