Saturday, November 14, 2015

Rosemary Chocolate Bread

Makes 1 loaf of bread
Recipe from Indieculinary via Food52
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

This may seem like a strange combination, but “Oh, Mama!” is it good!  Consider enjoying it with a cup of hot tea or coffee for the perfect cold weather breakfast.  Use this perfectly chewy bread to ramp up your lunch box with an over-the-top peanut butter and honey sandwich.

1 packet active dry yeast
12 ounces lukewarm water
10 ounces white whole-wheat flour (plus a bit of flour to flour a board for kneading)
10 ounces bread flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 ounces ground almonds (almond meal)
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more to oil the bowl
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
4 ounces finely diced dark chocolate

Add the yeast to the lukewarm water and set aside.
Combine the flours, salt, and ground almonds in the bowl of a standing mixer. Whisk until mixed in.
Heat the water to 100F.  Add the yeast, honey, and olive oil to the water.  Whisk until mixed in.  Pour the water/yeast mixture over.  Use the standing mixer to knead the bread until it reaches "windowpane" stage. (When you take a small piece and spread it between your fingers, you get a thin, stretchy, nearly transparent result from the dough. This took about 15 minutes using the dough hook on my mixer.) You will likely need to stop the mixer a few times to scrape the bottom of the bowl.  Lightly flour a board. Place the dough on the board and knead in the minced rosemary and chocolate by hand.  Place your dough in a bowl rubbed lightly with olive oil, cover with a towel, and leave it to rise at room temperature until it's about doubled. (This took about 1 hour.) Punch it down and leave it alone for another 15 minutes to rise again.  Preheat your oven to 450° F and leave a covered, lightly-oiled Dutch oven within to preheat as well.  Shape your dough into a round loaf. Bake the dough inside the preheated Dutch oven, covered, for about 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes (Check to make sure the bread doesn’t burn) or until a firm brown crust is achieved, and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom.  Allow to cool before cutting and serving.

For a toasted peanut butter and honey sandwich on Rosemary Chocolate Bread:
2 thin, even slices of Rosemary and Chocolate Bread (see recipe above)
1 Tablespoon good, peppery olive oil
2 to 3 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter, or to taste
1 to 2 Tablespoon honey, or to taste

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Brush the slices of bread with olive oil. Toast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until they become golden and crispy. Remove from oven, spread peanut butter evenly on each slice of bread, then drizzle slices with honey. Return to oven for 2 to 3 minutes to finish warming through. Remove from oven and press together into a sandwich.

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