Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bread ... From Little Italy With Ambiguity and Rosemary

Charming but ambiguous bread recipe

On my most recent visit to New York City, I was near Little Italy at lunchtime, and I stopped in one of the many Italian restaurants on Mulberry Street.  Even though I was dining alone, the waiter brought me an entire basket of bread.  I was so taken with the bread that I dared to ask for the recipe.  The recipe shown in the photo above is what he slipped to me about thirty minutes later.  I've experimented with proportions, added the usual bread ingredients, flour, yeast, sugar, and water.  I'm not sure I have the recipe just right, but here's a start.

1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
4 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons rosemary
1 tablespoon basil
2 tablespoons parsley
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cups warm (not hot) water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

I made the dough in my bread maker. If making dough by the manual method, sift dry ingredients in a large bowl. Slowly add remaining ingredients and combine.  Place dough on a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

Place prepared dough in a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double (about 1.5 hours).  Punch down dough, and divide into two equal portions. Shape each into a round, smooth ball. Cover and let rest ten minutes.

Shape balls into loaves.  Place into greased bread pans.  Bake 45 minutes or until done. If the bread browns too quickly, you may need to cover the pans loosely with foil.  Remove baked bread to baking rack and cool.

Definitely good enough to share.  It's not quite like being in Little Italy, but close. {mmmmmmmmmmmm}

Freshly baked rosemary bread

 Photography: Recipe (FeliciaEvita); Bread (Angela Fairbanks)

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