Someone brought over an entire box of tomatoes yesterday. I mean a bog produce box worth. It seems the store was going to throw them away. I will not get into a rant about the amount of food wasted hourly in the United States by grocery stores..at least not today. Feel free to continue reading.
They were ripe and I skinned about half of them before I went to bed. I think I am going to make stewed tomatoes this weekend. That way I can have sauce or scalloped tomatoes when I want. Anyway, I got tired and left the rest for later.
When I got up this morning the first thought in my head after my usual pre-getting up prayer moment was “Hey! Tomato sandwiches would be awesome for dinner. My next thought was, “Hey tomato sandwiches on Rosemary bread would be even MORE awesome! Yep, the sign of a true foodie, right? Flavors dance in your head.
So, while I was making breakfast I had the boys go out and cut some rosemary. I chopped it and added it to warm, organic olive oil. I let that sit while I finished breakfast.
Are ya feelin’ it yet?
Cracked black pepper was an inspired thought. I added that to the oil.
Once I had the sponge going the whole house was starting to smell of rosemary and yeast. That is no easy feat considering the size of the house. Erin, my daughter, came in and said, “That smells incredible.” It did.
We made tomato and red onion sandwiches with it. I dont’ know what to say. Incredible seems so bland. I guess I will just say try it for yourself. The longer you leave the sponge to rise the more flavorful the bread will be. Don’t hurry this one. Next time I am going to start it with a poolish and see how that comes out.
Feel free to vary the amounts of rosemary and pepper to your personal taste.
Rosemary Cracked Black Pepper Bread
2 tablespoons dry yeast, or two packages
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup warm, flavorful olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
3 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups warm water
Warm the oil and add the pepper and rosemary. Set aside for about thirty minutes.
Proof the yeast in the water with the sugar.
Add the rest of the water, one cup of flour and the oil and rosemary mixture. Allow to rise for as much as 8 hours. Stir down and add the salt and the remaining flour. You may need more or less you just want a dough that leaves the sides of the bowl.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and very elastic, probably ten minutes. You may need to add more flour. Rub with olive oil and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled. Don’t deflate the dough too much but shape your bread in a baguette, a round or any other desired shape. Rub with olive oil.
Allow to rise until double, about one hour. Brush with egg yolk wash if desired.
Put into a 375 oven and toss a half cup of water on the oven floor. Shut the door quickly.
Fifteen minutes later toss another half cup of water on the oven floor.
Bake fifteen to twenty more minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Rub the warm bread crust with olive oil.
Allow to cool before slicing.