Something magical happens when you open the oven and smell the powerful aroma of baked bread with rosemary – something almost spiritual. Ohm…
And now for a little kitchen wisdom from my Mom…
“Bread is extremely personal. Three people can follow the same recipe and end up with three entirely different masterpieces. The way each person measures (or doesn’t measure), the method of mixing ingredients, the length of time bread is kneaded, the method of kneading, the types of pans, the weather, the oven, etc., affects the final product. Each bread is uniquely yours and no one else can make it the way you do!”
Update: Here are some stunning pictures from a new baker friend I met through The Cook’s Cook Facebook community. Cathy Van de Moortele, who runs the Koken en Hoge Hakken blog, shared the beautiful results of her Rosemary Raisin Bread baked in a bread cloche:
Rosemary Raisin Bread
Something magical happens when you open the oven and smell the powerful aroma of baked bread with rosemary - something almost spiritual. Ohm...
- 1 scant tablespoon (or one ¼-ounce package) active dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water about 110 degrees
- 1 cup warm milk about 110 degrees
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons orange rind
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¾ cups golden sultana raisins
- 3-3½ cups unbleached flour
- Butter or olive oil optional
In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften. Add milk, shortening, honey, salt, orange rind, rosemary, raisins, and 2 cups flour. Beat vigorously for two minutes.
Gradually add flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead, adding flour a little at a time, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place into three small or one large well-greased loaf pan(s). Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
About 10 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake for 15-25 minutes (depending on the size of the pans), or until the internal temperature of the loaf reaches 190 degrees.
Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on a rack. For a soft shiny crust, rub the tops of the warm loaves with butter.