Recipe for roasted garlic and rosemary bread – and you don’t need a bread maker for it! Serve this with some homemade soup and you’ll be lauded as a kitchen goddess!

3 Cups Lukewarm Water (more water needed for cooking)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Active Dry Yeast (roughly 2 packets)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
6 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
14 Cloves of Garlic (roasted and roughly chopped)
3 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary (finely chopped)
Cornmeal (for dusting) – use Mielie meal in SA

How to
In a large mixing bowl mix water, yeast and salt. Let sit for 30 minutes. You’ll see a foamy substance on top of the water. If you don’t see any foam, your yeast is old and you’ll need to start over with some fresh yeast.

Add all of the flour, garlic and rosemary to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. I used a long handled wooden spoon to thoroughly combine the flour. You only need to mix the flour until you don’t see any more flour streaks running through the dough. If you are having trouble combining all of the flour, you can add more water (a tablespoon at a time) and keep stirring.

Leave the dough in the bowl and cover loosely with a non-terry cloth towel (terry cloth will stick to the risen dough and leave icky bits in it). Set the bowl in a place that is warm and not drafty. Let dough rise roughly 2 hours.

Cover your hands, lightly, in flour. Take 1/4 of the bread and pull edges under, to the bottom of the dough so that you have a smooth dome. Repeat with remaining dough. Sprinkle cornmeal on cutting board and put the four dough domes on board.

Let dough rest for 40-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Farenheit/ 230 degrees celsius.

Place a pizza stone, cast iron skillet or sheet pan (large baking tray) on the middle rack of your oven. On a lower rack place a broiler pan or half sheet pan (smaller baking tray – 18in/45cm by 13in/33cm, you’ll be adding water to this pan so make sure the pan has sides on it).
Lightly dust the top of each loaf and slash the top 1/4″ (2/3cm) deep.

Place a loaf (or loaves) on the pizza stone or skillet. Pour 1 cup of hot water into broiler pan/half sheet pan and quickly close the oven door, so that the steam stays in the oven.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until top is nicely golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Roasted garlic:
For the roasted garlic, I simply tossed the peeled cloves into a small pot and covered them with olive oil. I turned the heat to medium low and cooked them until they started to turn a light golden brown (they will fry a bit in the oil). Once lightly browned I removed them from the oil to cool. The benefit of doing it this way gives you a great garlic olive oil that can be used in salad dressings or for other cooking. However, you can also do the traditional oven roasting of the garlic as well.

Recipe courtesy of My Man’s Belly.

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