Rosemary Braided Bread Recipe
I love bread. I used to work at Great Harvest and got to make all sorts of delicious bread. My boss would always tell me I needed to taste the bread so that I could tell customers what I thought about it. And taste I did……….but only because I had to. My official title was kneader/slicer. I was the person who would knead all the bread and put it in the pans. Then after it had cooled I would run it through our giant slicer. I learned to be a kneading machine at that job. It really is an art. We would have races to see who could make the most rolls in the shortest amount of time. Pretty sure I won most of the time…….
Anyway – I think that people get intimidated by making their own bread because it is kind of a process. But the good thing is that most of this process is hands off. You just need to start a lot earlier than you want to eat the bread because it has to rise. And this really isn’t something you can rush. What I am trying to say is that making bread is SUPER easy, but requires patience.
Let us begin. This is a bread that is SO easy, but very impressive.
First in your mixer or a bowl, add your rosemary, yeast, salt, olive oil and warm water. (Make sure your water is warm to help the yeast activate Stir it until the yeast is dissolved. The rosemary will stay floating on the top.
Then mix in 2 cups of flour and continue to mix. Add up to 1 cup more of flour to make the dough soft and not sticky. Note: I doubled this batch when I made it – if your dough doesn’t look like this much, you now know why. Let the dough knead in your mixer with a dough hook for 8 minutes. If you don’t have a mixer, then flour a surface and knead the dough by hand for 8 minutes. Place dough in greased medium bowl and flip dough over so that the top is also lightly greased.
Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour in a warm, draft-free place. Punch down dough. Turn dough out and knead for 5 minutes.
Divide dough into 3 equal parts and let sit for 10 minutes to relax the dough. Grease a baking sheet. Roll each dough part into an 18-inch rope. Braid ropes on greased sheet, pinch ends together. Let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in a warm, draft-free place.
In small bowl, use a fork to lightly beat an egg white and 1 tablespoon of water. With a pastry brush, brush the top of the bread. Bake at 450 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top. Then comes the best part – Eating it up!! Or if you are really nice, bringing it to someone else to eat up. They will love you for it – I speak from experience.