This is my favorite bread recipe (adapted from 'Tis the Season). I love the way this fine-crumbed bread smells as it is baking and I like to serve it with hearty pasta dishes. I used to braid it but it isn't an easy dough to work with because it is so wet. The bread itself is very lightly salted and the top of the bread is salted before baking. Experiment with various salts for this bread; I use a kosher sea salt I buy in bulk at the health food store but coarser salts such as gray salt will also work well. Fresh rosemary is essential to give this bread its wonderful aroma.
Salted Rosemary Garlic Bread
Makes 1 large loaf
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water -- about 110 degrees F
1 Tbsp. agave nectar
1/8 tsp. plus 2 tsp. salt -- divided
5 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
1Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 3/4 c. lukewarm water
4 - 4 1/2 c. unbleached flour
In the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water for 10 minutes. Add the agave nectar, salt, garlic, rosemary, oil and water. Mix with the beater blade of the mixer. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time. When the dough becomes thick, switch to the dough hook. Continue adding flour until the dough leaves sides of bowl. Knead for 10 minutes, or until the dough is
smooth and satiny.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl. Rotate the dough so that the entire surface
is coated with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled.
Punch down the dough and shape into a 12-inch loaf. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 45 minutes or until almost doubled. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Sprinkle 2 tsp. of salt evenly over the braid. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on a rack.
The Fiery-Foods web site is featuring my Southwestern Fiesta menu HERE . The plant-based recipes include Zucchini and Hominy Soup, Carrot Salsa, Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas, Green Chile Enchiladas, Green Beans and Pinon Nuts, Ole' Corn, Apricot-Almond Empanaditas, Orange Sherbet and Mexican Coffee.