“Where do you want to go for dinner?” Sometimes I base my response to that question entirely off how good or bad a restaurant’s bread and dessert items are. Is that bad?
Don’t answer, because I don’t care. I love my carbs and desserts. They make life wonderful. Glorious. Magnificent. The excitement that fills me when I sit down at a restaurant and a basket of warm bread is placed in front of me is the same excitement that filled me on Christmas Eve as a child. So, when I saw this recipe for restaurant rosemary bread in the latest issue of Food Network magazine, you can imagine the squirming, uncontrollable excitement that filled me. I literally ripped the recipe out, stood up, and began taking the necessary ingredients out of my pantry. I made this bread right there and then. Of course, it took a few hours waiting for rising and baking. But I had no regrets after tearing off a warm hunk of the bread, dipping it in herbed olive oil, and taking my first bite. Rustic, fruity, earthy, and just wonderful. The best kind of comfort food.
P.S. – You might also enjoy this post for Dark & Soft Restaurant Dinner Rolls.
Taste: Just like the bread at your favorite Italian restaurant, maybe better.
Texture: Crisp and salty on the outside, soft on the inside.
Ease: The dough is extremely easy to work with, it just takes a while to rise.
Appearance: Any bread sprinkled with salt and herbs makes me excited.
Pros: So freakin’ delicious. Plus the aroma of the bread baking is intoxicating.
Would I make this again? Absolutely.
Restaurant Rosemary Bread
Adapted from Food Network Magazine April 2011
Makes 4 small loaves
- 1 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and serving
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- assortment of fresh or dried herbs, pepper for oil dip
Stir the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer). Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, the flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons rosemary, the fine salt and 3/4 cup warm water; stir with a wooden spoon (or with the dough hook if using a mixer) until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting lightly with flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Or knead with the dough hook on medium-high speed, adding a little flour if the dough sticks to the bowl, about 8 minutes.)
Brush a large bowl with olive oil. Add the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until more than doubled, about 2 hours.
Brush 2 baking sheets with olive oil. Generously flour a work surface; turn the dough out onto the flour and divide into 4 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, sprinkle some flour on the dough, then fold the top and bottom portions into the middle. Fold in the sides to make a free-form square. Use a spatula to turn the dough over, then tuck the corners under to form a ball. Place seam-side down on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, putting 2 balls on each baking sheet. Let stand, uncovered, until more than doubled, about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the loaves 10 minutes; brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with the kosher salt and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon rosemary. Continue baking until golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve with olive oil seasoned with fresh or dried herbs, salt, and pepper.