Saturday, January 26, 2013
Last week I made a lovely bread that I'd like to share with you now -- no, I'm not mailing you slices -- I'm offering the recipe so you can try your hand at it and find out for yourself whether you feel the same as I do about scentedibles -- or perfumed food, or whatever you'd like to call it. I didn't begin with a recipe, just a nose for delectable fragrances, and 30 years of bread making experience under my belt (and it shows -- also under my belt).
You Name It Bread (yeah, name it)
6-8 cups of whole wheat or white flour
2 cups warm water
2.5 tblsp. active dry yeast
3 tblsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tblsp. dried lavender buds
2 tblsp. fresh rosemary, or 1 tblsp. dry rosemary herb
2 tblsp. honey
2 tsp salt
The warm water needs to be at 120 to 130 degrees F (49-55 degrees C) in order to activate the yeast. In a large bowl pour the warmed water and take its temperature, once it reaches the required markers, add in the honey and yeast and stir well, then add in the lavender, rosemary and salt and allow the mixture to set in a warm place until the yeast becomes bubbly and foamy, then add in the oil and stir. Slowly sprinkle in the flour one cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough becomes too difficult to stir, then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and add in more flour until it can be kneaded without sticking to the hands and fingers. Knead for five minutes or so, then roll the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl and cover the bowl with a warm wet dish towel and place the bowl in a warm place. When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, roll the dough into a baguette or long loaf shape, place the dough on an oiled cookie sheet and allow the dough to rest and rise, about half an hour. Place the cookie sheet into a 400 degree F (204 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes until the crust is light brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and let the bread cool before cutting (if you cut it while it is still hot, it will deflate). While the bread is still slightly warm, cut slices and smear the slices with honey and serve.