It is with great humility that I find myself writing this celebrity guest column. To be frank, when the editor-in-chief first broached the idea several days ago, I was hesitant to commit—hesitant to stake my reputation to this blog. But upon further consideration, I have accepted the invitation to toss in my own two scents, which in this case happen to be rosemary and pepper. I can only hope that this is the first in a series of changes for COWTC as it attempts to reach an edgier demographic of the culinary subculture that feels the need to knead.
A great heritage of bread baking surrounds me. My mom’s dad, who we called Boppa, was a professional baker for a good portion of his life. My father-in-law has dabbled in the art for some time himself, exploring the genre far and wide, from biscuit to loaf. In fact, the first time I visited my future in-laws’ home, having only dated their daughter for a mere three months, I was given the honor of rolling the pita dough. (It was, obviously, a crucial moment in the relationship, my steady grip on that pin belied only by the sweat on my brow [none of which found its way to the dough].)
Needless to say, that experience turned out alright, and so I find myself married to a blogger and baking my way through California. Thus far, in our ten weeks here, I have baked bread on five occasions. I started with a pair of half-white/half-wheat loaves, recipe courtesy of Gene, that turned out pretty good. This was followed by a pair of white/wheat/oat flour loaves which rose majestically and tasted delicious. We were not bouled over by the cinnamon and sugar round, nor were we impressed by a flattened version of the previously delicious white/wheat/oat flour loaves. But let us dwell not on yeasterday’s bread, for today I present a tasty rosemary boule adapted from a walnut boule recipe on http://ahintofhoney.blogspot.
com/search?q=walnut+boule. Hope you have a pen and parchment paper handy:
1 c warm water (90-100 degrees F)
3 Tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 packet)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour (we use King Arthur)
1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour (we use Trader Joe’s)
2 Tbsp gluten
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp rosemary
1/8 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp parsley
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 egg white
1 Tbsp milk
Canola oil spray, for coating the bowl
Cornmeal, for dusting on parchment paper
Coarse salt, for top
1) In large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Add yeast and let sit 10 min.
2) Add olive oil, salt, all-purpose flour, and gluten, and mix. Add white whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Knead by hand (or in Cuisinart mixer), adding more flour as necessary so that it is no longer sticky. Place in coated bowl and cover with thick towel. (It often helps to put it in a warm location, such as in a warm oven with the door open.) Let rise until doubled in size (~1 hr).
3) Punch down dough and knead in rosemary and spices. Shape into round and place on parchment paper dusted with cornmeal. Cover and let rise again (~1 hr).
4) Preheat oven and pizza stone at 350 degrees. Whisk together egg white and milk and gently brush onto dough (be careful because if you push too hard it may deflate).
5) Bake until it browns on top and sounds hollow when tapped (~25 min).
“Bowels of the Blog”