You know that smell when you sautee crushed garlic in a pool of butter?

That.

Right there.

That is what makes me happy.

This blog is my way of continuing that inspiration.

You can contact me at: thesundaylarder@gmail.com

Garlic, Rosemary and Feta Bread

Garlic, Rosemary and Feta Bread

Even if I was gluten intolerant, I don't think I could give up bread.

I've been baking my own bread since I was 15 (and believe me, those first few loaves were NOT successful, and a particularly dangerous feat for my digestive system). With the cost of food rising, early last year I started making all my own bread, and almost never buy bread now. I just couldn't accept buying a loaf of plain white bread for $4 when it's so cheap and so easy to make yourself. 

Baking all my own bread, I enlist the help of a breadmaker. Generally I only use it for kneading and the first rise, then pull it out, shape it, and leave it for the second rise before baking. I don't like the shape of a breadmaker loaf all that much. But it's pretty convenient when you realise you've got no bread for breakfast, to set off the breadmaker at 10pm and have it hot and ready when you get up in the morning.

This loaf was an invention of mine when I was 16 or so. I haven't really adjusted the recipe much since then. It makes a light, fluffy, delicately scented loaf which is freaking fantastic straight out of the oven with butter, and perfect with chicken sandwiches. I add the feta straight at the start, which fully incorporates it. It creates a silky smooth, almost creamy loaf. Mmmm....

Garlic, Rosemary and Feta Bread

  • 1c lukewarm water
  • 1T honey
  • 1T active yeast powder
  • 1T chopped rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3x3cm chunk of feta
  • 3c high grade white flour
  • 1t salt
  • 1 egg white mixed with 1 T water

To make by breadmaker:

1.

Stir the honey into the warm water until dissolved. Sprinkle over the yeast and give it a quick stir through, then leave for 15 mins until it goes all frothy. 

2.

Meanwhile, chop your rosemary and garlic. 

3. 

Pour the yeast mixture into the breadmaker and add the the rosemary and garlic. Layer the flour and salt on top, then crumble over the feta.

4. Set you dough to the dough setting, and let it do the work!

5.

Continue at step 6 of the "by hand" recipe below.

To make by hand:

1.

Stir the honey into the warm water until dissolved. Sprinkle over the yeast and give it a quick stir through, then leave for 15 mins until it goes all frothy. 

2.

Meanwhile, chop your rosemary and garlic. 

3.

Once 15 mins has passed, add your rosemary and garlic to the yeast mixture. Add the salt and 1 1/2 c of the flour, and beat until it starts to stick to the wooden spoon and pull away from the sides. Crumble over the feta, and add another 1c of flour. Bring together with your hands in the bowl until you get the beginnings of a dough. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2c flour over your bench, tip the dough onto the floured bench, and knead for at LEAST 10 minutes. I can't stress how important the kneading is to bread. You can't get away with cutting corners here, or you'll end up with that digestively disturbing stuff I talked about earlier.

4. After 10 minutes you should have a silky smooth elasticy dough which springs back when lightly touched. It shouldn't stick to your hands (by this I mean, it will stick a little, but won't pull away and break onto your hands). If it's too sticky, keep kneading, incorporating a little more flour. Don't be tempted to add much more though. The less flour you add, the lighter, fluffier, and softer your bread will be. Sick of kneading yet? That's why I bought a bread machine. I couldn't do that everyday!

5.

Once your dough is ready, put it back into a clean bowl and set aside to rise for 1 1/2hrs. Some glad wrap over the top will help keep the warmth in. Pop it in the sun or in a warm place to rise. If it's really cold in your kitchen, in the oven with a pan of just boiled water underneath works nicely. Just top it up about half way through the rising period.

6.

When the dough has risen, punch it down, turn out onto a workbench, and gently shape into a loaf. Put onto a baking tray and leave to rise for another hour. Heat your oven to 175 C.

7. Just before putting the loaf in the oven, slash the top of the loaf with a very sharp knife, angling down the loaf at a 45 degree angle. Brush with the egg white and water mix, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little more rosemary.

8. Bake for 30 minutes or so, until it is nice and brown, and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

9.

Let it cool for at least 10 mins before cutting it open. I know it's hard to wait, but the bread inside will go all gluey if you cut it too early. Smother with butter or margarine. 

Try not to eat too much at once!

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