Homemade Artisan Bread with Rosemary and Sea Salt

Elevate Your Baking Skills with Homemade Artisan Bread: A Rustic Delight
Prepare to embark on a culinary adventure filled with aroma, texture, and flavor as we delve into the world of Homemade Artisan Bread with Rosemary and Sea Salt. This rustic loaf, infused with fragrant rosemary and sprinkled with sea salt, is a testament to the beauty of simplicity in baking. Whether enjoyed fresh out of the oven or paired with your favorite cheeses and spreads, this bread is sure to impress even the most discerning palates. Join us as we explore the art of bread-making, from kneading dough to achieving the perfect crust. From the ingredients to the instructions, FAQs, cook notes, variations, and even keto and low-carb versions, we’ve got everything you need to create a loaf that will rival any bakery.

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110°F)
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
Olive oil, for greasing
Making the Dough:
Activate Yeast: In a large mixing bowl, combine warm water and active dry yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until frothy.

Mix Dry Ingredients: In another bowl, whisk together flour and salt.

Combine Ingredients: Gradually add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Knead Dough: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Add Rosemary: Incorporate chopped rosemary into the dough during the last few minutes of kneading, ensuring it’s evenly distributed.

First Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Shaping and Baking:
Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). Place a baking stone or inverted baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven.

Shape Dough: Punch down the risen dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape it into a round loaf by tucking the edges underneath.

Second Rise: Transfer the shaped loaf onto a parchment-lined baking sheet or a floured proofing basket. Cover it loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for another 30-45 minutes.

Score the Dough: Using a sharp knife or razor blade, make shallow cuts or slashes on the surface of the loaf in a decorative pattern.

Bake: Sprinkle the top of the loaf with coarse sea salt. Carefully transfer the dough onto the preheated baking stone or baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Cool: Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Cook Notes and Variations:
Flour Variations: Experiment with different types of flour, such as whole wheat or bread flour, to achieve varying textures and flavors in your bread.
Herb Variations: If you’re not a fan of rosemary, you can substitute it with other herbs like thyme, sage, or oregano, or omit it altogether for a plain loaf.
Custom Shapes: Get creative with shaping your bread. Instead of a round loaf, you can shape it into a baguette, batard, or even individual rolls.
Bread Enhancers: Additions like honey, molasses, or malt powder can enhance the flavor and color of your bread.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):
1. Can I use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast?
Yes, you can substitute instant yeast for active dry yeast using a 1:1 ratio. However, you can add instant yeast directly to the dry ingredients without proofing it in warm water.

2. How do I know when the dough has doubled in size during the first rise?
The dough should visibly increase in volume and feel light and airy to the touch. You can also perform the “poke test” by gently pressing your finger into the dough. If the indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.

3. Can I freeze the bread dough for later use?
Yes, you can freeze the dough after the first rise. Punch down the risen dough, shape it into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and place it in a freezer bag. When ready to use, thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight, then proceed with shaping and baking.

4. How do I store homemade artisan bread?
Store the cooled bread in a paper bag or bread box at room temperature for up to 3 days. To extend its freshness, you can also wrap it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat slices in a toaster or oven before serving.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:
Keto Version:
To make a keto-friendly version of Homemade Artisan Bread, you can replace the all-purpose flour with almond flour or coconut flour. Use psyllium husk powder or xanthan gum as a binding agent to help the dough hold together. Keep in mind that keto bread may have a denser texture compared to traditional bread.

Low-Carb Version:
For a low-carb version, follow the keto adaptations mentioned above. Additionally, you can reduce the amount of flour used in the recipe and increase the proportion of protein-rich ingredients like eggs or cheese. Experiment with different low-carb flours and ingredients to find the perfect balance for your dietary needs.

Homemade Artisan Bread with Rosemary and Sea Salt is a testament to the beauty of traditional bread-making techniques and simple, high-quality ingredients. With its rustic crust, fragrant rosemary, and subtle hint of sea salt, this bread is a delightful addition to any meal or gathering. Whether enjoyed warm from the oven with a pat of butter or sliced thin for sandwiches and toast, this bread is sure to become a staple in your baking repertoire. So roll up your sleeves, dust off your apron, and embrace the joy of baking with this timeless recipe.

Savor the rustic charm of Homemade Artisan Bread and delight in the simple pleasures of baking

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