Hi, guys! I've been busy making and eating food, but apparently I've been lazy in the blogging about it department. But that is changing right now! Say hello to this tasty rosemary french bread! I am declaring it baking week because all the goodness coming your way involves getting cozy with your oven. I know, my timing is a little off considering it is still summer and you are more than likely still scorching (I'm looking at you and the humidity you are pushing our way, El Niño!), but let's treat this as a "getting ready for fall" prep course, mkay?
Right now I imagine you are replaying in your mind the scene from Home Alone where Linnie McCallister says, "You know, Kevin, you're what the French call les incompetents." But you are Kevin and are fantastically astounded that you can actually make french bread AT HOME! And it sounds horribly intimidating.
Have no fear, my kitchen comrades. If I can do it, you can do it. In fact, I have been making bread like nobody's business for the last seven days, and I think I am slightly addicted to activating yeast. I find it weirdly satisfying and consider it a small victory. (I have a long history of killing my yeast, but have since learned to master the art of activating yeast. Look for my book of that same title, coming early 2025.)
Rosemary French Bread is so easy, anyone can make it
This rosemary french bread has that perfect, crunchy crust and is chewy and moist on the inside. And obviously the rosemary adds that special touch of flavor to it. I think rosemary is a cute herb—heck, I'd rosemary it if I could! 😉 (You knew that was coming, didn't you?) I always find myself coming back to the part in Practical Magic where it says, "There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.” All sound advice, and I do in fact plant roses and lavender for luck. I am working on keeping rosemary by my garden gate, as we are in the process of getting our fall vegetable garden ready.
Can I get sidetracked for a minute and express how much I LOOOOVVVEE gardening? Like, what the crap have I been doing with my life until this point? Easily one of the greatest hobbies in the world. If you follow on Instagram or Snapchat, you will have noticed my recent posts about starting our seeds. And guess what? They are all germinating and popping through already! I feel like a green-thumbed goddess. We are planting radishes, carrots, beets, broccoli, lettuce, kale and tomatoes. Oh, and wheatgrass so I can make superfood smoothies, but that's in its own pot in the window sill. Can you tell I'm excited? Because I. AM. STOKED.
Back to the bread! Forget about running to the store to grab a baguette to go with dinner—you have the ability and ingredients to make your own beautiful, piping hot loaf. In the words of my beloved and crazy Shia, just do it! What are you waiting for?!? Grab the recipe below and embrace it! 🙂
Rosemary French Bread
For the bread:
- 3 ½ cups bread flour
- 1 ¼ cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped
For the glaze:
- 1 large egg white lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- Pour your warm water in a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow it to foam for about 5 minutes. Add in the sugar and salt, then whisk it all together. Allow it to activate for about another 5 minutes until it is nice and foamy.
- Attach your bread dough hook and add the bread flour to your mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed until the dough is fully formed and pulls from the sides of the bowl. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is soft and has an elastic feel to it. The kneading is extremely important if you want your bread to be chewy and fluffy! Don't be lazy by only kneading for 3 minutes... (Been there, done that, crap bread!) Roll the dough into a ball, set it back in the mixing bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let it rise until it doubles in size—roughly 30 minutes.
- Flour your surface where you will roll out the dough. After the dough has doubled in size, place it on your floured surfaced and punch it down. Knead in the chopped rosemary, then roll the dough into an 8x14 inch rectangle. It doesn't need to perfect or exact, but around those measurements. Next, roll it into a baguette shape by starting on the long end. Pinch and taper the seams on the end, and place the loaf seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut 5 slits across the top that are about ¼ inch deep. Lightly brush on the glaze, add a few sprigs of rosemary, cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise for another 25 minutes.
- Bake on 375°F for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Dust the loaf with flour if you want, then slice it and serve with a slab of butter. Enjoy!