I bought myself a good book, River Cottage's The Bread Handbook, and took myself back to basics. And lo and behold I could suddenly bake bread. So much so, that six months later I began selling it at our local Country Market.
Rosemary & Garlic bread is my tiny rebellious step away from the more conservative tastes of the Market's predominately pensionable customers. It makes fantastic garlic bread when toasted and buttered.
Makes two 400g loaves or one 800g
500g white bread flour
5g dried yeast or 10g fresh yeast
20g olive oil
10cm sprig of rosemary
1 large garlic clove or 2 small
Rather than attempt to explain how to knead bread, at this point I will presume readers will know how to knead bread. I usually knead it in an old bread maker for 15 minutes on the dough cycle, and then leave it to prove for 1 hour in this warmed environment.
After an hour, or more, I divide the the dough in two and make two small 400g/1lb round loaves. I place these on a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray and leave again for about an hour with a piece of cling film lightly laid across the two would be loaves.
When the loaves have roughly doubled in size, place a high sided baking dish at the bottom of the oven and a shelf in the middle and heat the oven to 230C. When the oven reaches 230C, boil the kettle and quickly pour a mug of boiled water into the baking dish. Slash the top of the loaf with a bread or carving knife and quickly place on the middle tray in the oven.
Set a timer for 10 minutes and DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN until the timer goes off. After 10 minutes turn the tray round so the front side of the loaves are facing the back and put the timer on for another 10 minutes. If the bread is looking golden brown already turn the oven down to 180C, pale brown - 200C, or 230C if the bread is barely coloured.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a baking rack.
Entered into Lavender & Lovage's Herbs on Saturday challenge.