Saturday, May 17, 2008

Whole Wheat Rosemary Boule

I have been a very bad blogger. Finals + New job = No blog updating. I have been taking pictures though, so if I can remember what the heck I put in things, I'll be back-blogging a bit. Or, if not, I'm sure we'll eat again next week.

Last night we celebrated mother's day, late, with the boy's parents. They were out of town last weekend, and I was busy with finals, so this worked out best for all of us. Among the things I made was a homemade whole wheat rosemary boule. I love fresh bread more than just about anything, so this was a good excuse to whip up a loaf. I do all the mixing and kneading in my Kitchenaid stand mixer. No reason why you couldn't do it by hand.

This recipe is adapted from a Betty Crocker recipe. I do an extra rise on it, but if you're pressed for time, you can leave it out.

Whole Wheat Rosemary Boule
2 1/2 - 3 cups white bread flour
2 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 tsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 cups very warm water -- 120-130 degrees
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp salt

1. In the bowl of your mixer, combine 1 cup of each of the flours, the sugar, and the yeast. Stir in the warm water and mix for about 1 minute until thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it get all bubbly for about an hour.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the oil over low heat and add the rosemary, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let it sit until the bread is bubbly.

3. Stir the oil and rosemary mixture and salt into your bubbly flour mixture. Stir in the remaining 3 cups of flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until a smooth, soft dough forms. If it seems sticky, keep adding flour about a tbsp at a time until it becomes less tacky.

4. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

5. Grease a large bowl with olive oil and turn the dough over in it. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise for an hour, or until doubled in size.

6. Punch down the dough and turn it over forming it into a ball. Put it back into the greased bowl, and re-cover it for another hour. It may not rise as much this second time.

7. Punch the dough down again, and form into a smooth ball by tucking the sides under to make a smooth top. Place on a cookie sheet or pizza stone (my favorite) sprinkled with cornmeal, cover with a clean, dry cloth, and leave it alone in a warm place for another hour or until almost double.
8. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put an 8X8 square baking dish on the bottom rack of the oven with about an inch of water in it. When dough is ready, mist it with water, dust it with flour, and using a serrated knife, carefully cut three slits into the top of the loaf.

9. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the loaf is nicely browned and sounds hollow when you knock on it. During baking, mist the loaf with cool water a few times in the first 10 minutes, then about every 10 minutes until it's done. This will encourage a thick, crunchy crust!

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