Rosemary bread: an attempt at improvement may have done the other thing.

I haven’t made rosemary bread since March, when I was concerned about the woody winter leaves. I was afraid it would be like eating shards of treebark, and that the taste of the herb wouldn’t come through. Now I’m a little concerned I took it too far in the other direction.

Former Weekender Neighbor L (I really need a better blog name than that) is having a neighborhood get-together Saturday, and since it dawned rainy and cool and not at all suitable for doing anything but baking I decided to do a double baking day. Actually I started yesterday evening by going out and cutting a bunch of new-growth rosemary and getting the leaves ready for baking.

And here’s where I fear I may have gone too far because if I’d re-read March’s blog post I’d have seen that this time around there’s four or five times as much rosemary. And then I took it to eleven…

One thing I did remember from March is that somebody suggested I sauté the herb before mixing it in the dough. So I did that this time.

And then I put it all in the dough. And now I’m a bit concerned, since last time it actually came out pretty good and this time I fear it may be overwhelming.

One reason I decided to do it a day early is I was concerned about the yeast. I just opened a new 2-pound package of yeast, one I think a blog reader sent me – only to see that the use-by date was in 2005. Yeast doesn’t have a great shelf life, and I wasn’t confident that this batch would rise. But in fact it worked fine, so no worries.

Then since it really was baking day I went ahead and did it again, this time with plain bread for my own consumption.

Think I’m going to suggest that L try some of the rosemary bread before putting it out for the party, just to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to Rosemary bread: an attempt at improvement may have done the other thing.

  1. gojuplyr says:

    Always proof the yeast before using. Even fresh off the shelf yeast can be dead if it was mishandled in transit or by store employees. Just put the yeast in about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of luke warm water. Not hot, just slightly warm water. Mix in the yeast and stir. Let it blossom for about 30 to 45 minutes. It should have a slightly sour smell to it. Remember to allow for the amount of warm water in your dough mix.

  2. Joel says:

    Of course I proofed the yeast, I wasn’t born yesterday. But if it hadn’t been active I’d have been forced to go around and see if I could bum any, and that would have been time-consuming. So I allowed extra time.

  3. Judy says:

    Grin – I don’t know how many time I’ve thought that if ‘blah’ was good enough, then ‘blah blah’ would taste even better. That is, until I learned to do what professional or serious amateur cooks do and make note how much I used in first place. The family seems a little more willing to eat my experiments since then.

  4. Joel says:

    🙂 Yeah, that would have been smarter.

  5. Mark Matis says:

    Just take some crack sauce with you and they’ll never know the difference…

  6. Any reviews on how it turned out?

  7. Joel says:

    It went over pretty well, actually. The taste wasn’t as strong as I feared.

To the stake with the heretic!