It’s been a while since I baked any homemade bread. I don’t usually make it in the summer as it’s just too hot to be cranking up the oven. However, temps have cooled and I dug out the cookbook, The Mixer Bible, in search of something with yeasty goodness. I also had quite a bit of rosemary left in my garden that I wanted to use up. I had already made this delicious Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake, so I knew this bread would be another winner.
The only change I made to this recipe was to use less walnuts. Not by choice, I just didn’t have as much on hand as the recipe called for. I had everything else, so I forged on, reducing the walnut measurement from 1.5 cups down to a scant cup.
This recipes makes two round loaves which I ended up having to bake separately. I was a little worried about that as I thought the second loaf might rise more than the other, but they both came out perfect. This bread was delicious and the rosemary flavor really shines through, and the added walnuts were fabulous. I highly recommend trying this as it was a rather easy recipe to make! It actually had a nice sfot crust and was easy to slice. Yum!
Olive Oil Bread with Rosemary and Walnuts
slightly adapted from The Mixer Bible Second Edition
3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 package of active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (between 105 and 115 F)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon salt
1 – 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, toasted
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
Line 2 rimless baking sheets with parchment paper. Place clay tiles or pizza baking stones on oven rack and position oven rack in the lower third of the oven. You will need a spray bottle with water as well.
In medium bowl, whisk together both flours.
In the mixer bowl, stir together the yeast, water and sugar. Let stand and proof, about 5 minutes, until yeast begins to foam. Add oil, rosemary and salt. Using the paddle attachment, mix on speed 2 (medium low) until mixed well. Gradually add 3 cups of the flour mixture and mix just until a dough forms.
Remove paddle attachment and replace with dough hook. Set speed to 2 and knead the dough with the dough hook, adding 1/4 cup of flour at a time until the dough clings to the dough hook and just cleans the side of the bowl. Add the walnuts and knead tow minutes more, adding more flour if needed to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl.
Note: You may not need all the flour, so only add what’s needed to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl and save the rest to dust the counter with.
Form the dough into a ball. Return the dough ball to the mixer bowl and rub it with the softened butter. Cover bowl with greased plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled, 1 – 2 hours.
Uncover the dough and punch it down several times. Form into a ball, turn over in the bowl, cover and let rise another hour.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half and form each into a smooth 5 inch round. Place onto prepared baking sheets and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until nearly doubled, 45 – 60 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 F.
Spray the loaves and the inside of the oven with water, place the baking sheets directly on the hot clay tiles. Remove the baking sheet, leaving the parchment and bread on the tile. Spray the loaves again in 2 minutes and then in 2 minutes again after that. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the loaves are golden (internal temp should be 200 F). Let cool completely on wire racks before slicing.
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