Rustic Italian Bread with Rosemary Butter

With my snow day today, I decided to make a recipe I found on the bag of my bread flour for Rustic Italian Bread to go with homemade stew leftovers my husband and planned on eating for lunch. This recipe was perfect to do in the morning after we eat breakfast to be ready just in time for a lunch and so much better than getting bundled up, braving the snow, driving to the grocery store, getting store-bought bread, and eating that alongside homemade stew.  Not to mention it tasted so much better than anything you’d get at the grocery store. I recently tried a recipe for french bread that took literally all day, at least 8 hours! Although the bread was delicious – and disappeared as quickly as I cut it – it was too lengthy of a process for a day that you want to relax and actually get other things done. So today, I tried this recipe to see how this process compared and if it tasted just as good with the stew. This process took less than three hours with not much hands-on time required when using the standing mixer. Now that I have the process and recipe down, I plan on trying out adding herbs into it somehow, until then I paired the bread with rosemary butter for a little something extra!

Equipment:

  • Standing mixer
  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Small saucepan or teapot
  • Thermometer
  • Spatula
  • Large bowl
  • Plastic wrap
  • Cloth towel
  • Wax paper
  • Baking sheet
  • Knife

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (1/4 oz.) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup water, heated to 100º/110º F
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Butter and flour
  • Cornmeal
  • 1 egg white, beaten

Italian Bread with Rosemary Butter

Instructions:

  • In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast, making sure to level off each of your measurements. Mix well on lowest setting.
  • In a small saucepan or teapot, heat one cup of water. Either warm until it reaches 100º/110º F or let it warm up while you complete step one, then pour about half of the heated water into a measuring cup and then add cooler water from sink faucet. Take the temperature and work between tap water and heated water until you reach the desired temperature.
  • Add warm water and olive oil into the flour mixture. Mix on medium speed (number 2 setting on mixer) using spatula to work flour off the sides of the bowl. Mix until all ingredients are well combined and forming a dough ball, approximately 3-5 minutes. Continue mixing on medium speed for an additional 5 minutes to knead the dough until it is smooth.
  • While mixing the dough, lightly grease a large bowl with butter and then lightly flour the buttered bowl.
  • Once dough is done, place in buttered/floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a cloth towel. Let rise at room temperature for 30-40 minutes.
  • Once risen, place dough on floured wax paper on the counter and punch down the dough. Cover dough with inverted bowl and allow to rest on the counter for 15 minutes.
  • Shape dough into a baguette-shaped loaf measuring approximately 12 inches long working with both hands from the center outward keeping the loaf even in circumference.
  • Sprinkle a baking sheet lightly with cornmeal and then place baguette-shaped loaf onto it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for another 35-40 minutes or until loaf has doubled in size.
  • Pre-heat oven to 375º shortly before your rising time is up.
  • Once loaf has finished rising, use a sharp knife to cut one deep lengthwise slash into the top it. Brush with beaten egg white.
  • Bake loaf for 25-35 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when lightly tapped on the bottom.
  • Allow bread to cool for about 45 – 60 minutes.
  • While cooling, make up rosemary butter by chopping fresh rosemary (or dried rosemary) and adding it to softened butter. I use about 1/2 teaspoon per 3 tablespoons of butter, however, these measurements can be adjusted as you like.

Recipe Source: Pillsbury Bread Flour bag

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