I’ve been craving food comforts lately. As the weather cools, my desire for bread increases. No longer content to breakfast on yoghurt, toast with homemade jams becomes the morning fix I need to start the day.
Blessed with an abundance of fresh rosemary and lemons from a recent commercial shoot, I was determined to make use of both so that there was no wastage. So, couple that with my ever growing desire for bread, I decided that freshly baked lemon and rosemary bread was on the cards.
I’m all for simple, so this yeasted bread is quick to throw together, and requires only patience for a double rise. The resulting bread is indescribably fragrant and delicious.
It is an interesting flavour profile to get your tongue around. Both lemon and rosemary are used in savoury and sweet combinations in recipes, so the resulting bread provides a heady mix of both sweet and savoury scents. It is a savoury bread though, so when eaten warm and dipped in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a sprinkling of salt, it is a winning combination.
Also delicious is toasting up a few slices a couple of days later, and using it for a lamb steak sandwich. The lamb pairs beautifully with the lemon and rosemary.
Homemade Lemon and Rosemary Bread
- 500g bread flour
- 7g active dried yeast
- 300ml tepid water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- Zest of three lemons
Combine flour, yeast, rosemary and lemon zest in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Add the olive oil and water and mix until a ball of dough forms. Transfer the dough to a floured benchtop and knead for 8 minutes with floured hands until smooth and elastic.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and place somewhere warm to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Once doubles, remove from bowl back and knead for an additional 2-3 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a well-floured proving basket (or back in a clean floured bowl) for 30 minutes until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, preheat oven with a pizza stone (only if you have one) to 200° Celsius (390°F).
Gently turn out bread onto baking paper and lightly slash the top of the loaf with a knife. Transfer the paper to the pizza stone (or a baking tray) in the oven. Spray the loaf with water and bake for 30 minutes until the loaf is golden and sounds hollow when you tap the base.
Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!
- Chop the rosemary just before you add it to the dough.
- I've used a proving basket for the second prove, but you can easily do this in a bowl instead (see post end for proving basket credit) - I also didn't flour my proving basket enough so next time will do this so that the imprint is more defined.
- I baked my bread on a pizza stone we keep in the oven which helps with the crust - you can just as easily bake this on a tray.
- I also used a water spray to mist the loaf and oven just as it went in to help with the rise and crust of the bread.