November 19, 2009

Easy Rosemary Bread - Epi Wreath

Next week is Thanksgiving. While we are not hosting this year, we did volunteer to bring some assorted breads and pumpkin pie, and I'll probably be bringing some potatoes as well. Earlier this week I was talking to Stacey about just which bread I should make. While I still haven't answered that question, I did decide during the conversation that I wanted to try a wreath shape. Stacey recommended a test run, so I worked one into my very tight bread-making schedule with this recipe from At the Very Yeast. The author billed it as cheap, easy, and quick - just what I needed for testing out new shapes! Quick it is, for I took this out of the oven less than three hours after I started the dough. That's quick enough to make after work!

The dough seemed dry at first, but it turned out smooth and not at all sticky, which is a nice change from the sticky things I've been working with during the BBA challenge lately. It wasn't quite as smooth as I would have liked, though. I got it close to the windowpane test, formed it into a boule, and set it to rise.

After the first rise, it was shaping time. To make the wreath, I gently worked my fingers through the center of the boule and began to slowly stretch the dough into a ring. I let it rest for about 10 minutes then stretched it again, smoothing it out. After a second rise made the epi cuts. It worked out fairly well, but I think for Turkey Day I'll use a sharper angle.

Really, this bread was so simple I might make it in addition to my other breads for Thanksgiving. All I can say is that there is not going to be a lack of bread at this Thanksgiving Feast!


3 c bread flour
3/4 t salt
1 1/2 T sugar
dried rosemary to taste
1 c warm water
1 package yeast
2 T extra virgin olive oil

Mix the yeast into the warm water and rest until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, blend the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the yeast mixture and the olive oil and stir until dough forms into a ball.

Turn out and knead until the bread passes the windowpane test, roughly 10 minutes. Form into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Form the dough into the shape of your choice. If the dough is resistant, let it rest for 10 minutes, then continue.

Rise again, about another hour.

Preheat the oven to 400. Bake for 8 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 and finish baking. Times will vary according to the shape of your loaf. The wreath, a thin shape, cooked in 18 minutes while a thicker shape will take closer to 30.

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