Rosemary and Sage Peasant Bread

There’s this bread that I sometimes make, it’s ridiculously easy and versatile, and very quick. None of that waiting 12 hours crap. Plus you can mess with it all you like with a good chance of it resulting in genius. I first came across it through Sarah, who found it here. You don’t need to use all the equipment in that post though, I just use a bowl and wooden spoon.

Here it is with ham and cheese! A most delicious combination

We played with it and made many different versions, besides just the rosemary one. For example, we made it with sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Fantastic! And we also made it in muffin tins and used it as sandwich bread. Trust me, it was awesome.

The thing about this bread, other than the different ways in which you can play with it, is the fact that you don’t have to knead it at all. Not even a little. All you have to do is stir the dough. I hate kneading, and I try to avoid it. This recipe was a godsend. I’m not even joking, all there is to do is stir. Don’t be deceived, these are not biscuits! It does take some patience since it is a yeast dough, but when it’s done it has a much sturdier and more satisfying bite to it than most biscuits.

Another thing that scares people off the bread making train is the use of yeast. Yes, there is yeast in this one. Here’s the thing, it’s recommended that the water you use is between 100-110 degrees (it even says it on the packets or jar). One way to go about this is to do what I do and use a little thermometer. You could also just try using water that feels warm but not painfully hot to touch. Or you can cheat and use fast rise yeast. I’m pretty sure that type has you just add it straight to the flour and not worry about dissolving it. There are many things to try, but don’t be scared. Adding the sugar the way this recipe tells you to is a huge help in making the yeast dance. And you’ll know it’s working if the yeast gets kind of foamy. Just give it a few minutes and don’t freak out.

The reason I chose both rosemary and sage for this version of the bread is simply because I have come to the conclusion that these two herbs are glorious together. Also, I have an abundance of them in my garden. Adding them into this dough makes the bread savory with a flavor all on its own, but not so overpowering that you can’t eat it with other food, such as in a sandwich or with soup. Enjoy it as is, or eat it with other food. Either way I promise deliciousness.

Ham and Cheese, Eggplant, Chili

I chose to make this bread last week (I was lazy in posting this) because I was thinking of all the great herb breads I can make when I get my bread machine in a week (which I now have and have used at least 4 times and love it!), and then I remembered that I know this classic recipe that I can use to tide me over until then. And so bread was made.

This time I made it into little sandwiches, but sometimes I make this recipe into loaves. For your culinary enjoyment I made sure to include instructions for both ways.

Ingredients:

1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp sugar
4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped

Corn meal, melted butter, salt.

In a small bowl dissolve yeast into warm water and sugar. Yeast should be a little foamy and smell like bread if it is good (after a couple minutes).

In a large bowl mix flour, salt, garlic powder, and herbs. Add yeast mixture  and stir until blended. Do not knead. Cover with moist towel and let rise 1 hour.**

Grease a muffin tin and sprinkle lightly with corn meal. Put a little oil on your hands, and fill each cup about halfway with dough. Cover and let rise an hour.

Preheat oven to 425°

Brush each muffin with melted butter and lightly sprinkle with salt and more garlic powder if desired.

Bake at 425° for 8 minutes, reduce temp and bake at 375° for 12 more minutes, or until golden brown.

Suggestions:
Allow to cool, then cut in half to form delicious sandwiches, as shown (ham and cheese, eggplant, chili)
Eat whole
Devour with soup

**Optional directions for bread loaves, follow from here

Take a cookie sheet and cover it in a silicone mat of parchment paper. Lightly coat it in olive oil and cornmeal. Put a little oil on your hands and remove the dough. Place it in two rounds on the cookie sheet. Cover and let rise another hour.

Preheat oven to 425°

Brush each round with melted butter and lightly sprinkle with salt and more garlic powder if desired.

Bake at 425° for 10 minutes, reduce temp and back at 375° for 15 more minutes.

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