Wednesday, January 20, 2010

rosemary french bread

First loaf this year! A classic French bread with a kick, and with the beautiful banneton pattern.

Note to self (and other artisan bread bakers): I wish I had scored the bread (cutting a 1-in-deep slice through the middle) before baking it because it kind of rose through a crack on the side while in the oven. These are minor mistakes, but I like to notice them to get it better the next time.

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
4 cups bread flour
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
2 Tbsp rosemary, dried


Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and rosemary. Add the water.
Mix the ingredients until you get a dough that comes off the sides of the bowl.
Take out and knead for 10 minutes.
Let rest for 20 minutes.
Knead again for 5 minutes.
Let rise for 1 hour in a warm place (in a bowl covered by plastic). The dough should have doubled in volume.
Take out and form. You can either make a loaf or a boule.
To make a loaf, take one of the halves and flatten it into a rectangle. Do a business-letter fold and turn 90 degrees. Start rolling from the side farther away from you, and as you roll in, press down with your fingers to seal the dough and to stretch it a little on the roll. When it's ready, put it on a heavily-floured towel and put some plastic wrap on top of it so it doesn't dry out.
To make a boule, take one of the halves and shape it into a ball. Seal the bottom and put it in a bowl covered with a heavily-floured towel seam-side down. Put some plastic wrap on top of the bowl so it doesn't dry out.
Let proof for one hour (I proofed the bread in a banneton this time). At this time start preheating the oven. Preheat the oven with the baking stone inside at 450 F at least an hour before baking. If using a baking sheet, don't preheat the sheet.
Uncover the dough, rub some flour on it, and slice/score it however you want (I made two almost vertical lines side-by-side on the loaf, and I made a square on the boule).
Put proofed dough in the oven and toss some water in before closing the door to create steam. Let bake until the crust is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when you tap it.

        1 comment:

        1. you forgot to mention the olive oil in the directions.