Y’all, this is probably the best bread I have ever made. One of the best breads I’ve ever eaten.
I know, I know—that’s a bold statement. But I’m being completely serious. As I’ve said previously on this blog, I’m not a huge bread person. I can take it or leave most bread, and would rather have dessert or wine or even a good veggie side dish. But this bread changed my mind. I first tested out this rosemary olive oil bread many years ago on Thanksgiving weekend, trying to come up with new ways to feed a bajillion people. It’s become a family favorite and staple at Thanksgiving and even normal weekend family events.
One thing I like about it is that it’s really flexible. The first time I made it, I was under the gun time-wise and so had to cheat and force the timings a bit for both the first and second rise. But it’s a very forgiving recipe and has always turned out well. What I’ve laid out here are ideal timings, but don’t be put off by them.
I’ve made a few tweaks to the original recipe, like adding sea salt on top (rather than the dried rosemary it called for). I do believe that fresh rosemary in the dough makes a huge difference, so strongly recommend you use it if at all possible. The bread flour called for is nice and adds a great chewy texture, but if you don’t have bread flour then just substitute more regular flour. I quite like this using mostly white whole wheat flour, but that’s your call…all-purpose works fine as well.