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Rosemary Garlic Artisan Bread

Here's a recipe my mother-in-law found on Frugal Living. The recipe actually comes from the book: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. Now, I'll be the first to tell you that I enjoy making bread. I love getting my hands in it, kneading it, and shaping it into beautiful loaves. But this recipe is really, really simple. It's fast and quite tasty. It's very comparable to the hard sour dough bread you buy for $4 or more at the grocery store. I made my first batch yesterday and turned out two loaves, saving enough dough for another loaf later. I'm eager to let the dough sit in the refrigerator for a week to try some sour dough bread and see how it turns out. I'll be sure to report back here on that. So, without further ado, here is the recipe (with my additional toppings):


3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast (I used instant yeast)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


In large plastic container with lid (I used a gallon ice-cream pail) combine water, yeast, salt and flour. Mix together well with a wooden spoon until ingredients are combined. Dough may be sticky. Cover with lid and allow to rise in warm place for 2 hours. At this point, you may place the dough in the refrigerator to use at a later time. There will be enough dough to make 3 loaves. 


To make a loaf of bread:


With floured hands, scoop out a third of the dough (about the size of a small cantaloupe) and form it into a smooth ball, working the edges with your fingers and tucking it under until top is smooth. Place the dough on a pizza peel or parchment paper dusted with cornmeal. Cover and allow the loaf to rise for 30-40- minutes until double. 


Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. I like to preheat my baking stone at this time as well. Add a small pan of water to the lower rack to create steam. May need to add water to this if you're baking more than one loaf of bread. I used an aluminum cake pan. 



Once loaf has doubled, score 3-4 times with a sharp knife. Wash the top with egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water). Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Transfer loaf to baking stone or baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes until dark golden brown. The loaf should sound hollow when tapped with your knuckle. Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack. When ready to serve, slice with a sharp bread knife. Enjoy! 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.