This bread should have made it onto the blog over a month ago but I had somewhat of an error of judgement when it came to the shaping of it… I was aiming for a spiral, but what came out of the oven looked, and there is no other way of putting this, like a giant turd…It was at once hilariously funny, and incredibly frustrating as the bread tasted amazing, but there was no way I could post it, it just looked too unseemly. I resolved to bake it again, with a little more thought to the shaping of the loaf….
I finally got round to attempt number two and decided this time to keep the shaping simple with a basic plait, no unsightly bread this time round! The bread is truly delicious, made with fine ground semolina and flavoured with fresh rosemary and a little honey and olive oil it is fantastic with both sweet and savoury toppings. It is amazing with cheese, but is also delicious toasted and spread with honey or jam; the rosemary is noticeable, but not overpowering so it complements the honey or fruit really well.
- 250g (2 cups) strong white bread flour
- 250g (2 cups) fine semolina
- 7g (2 tsp) fast action yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp honey
- 50ml (scant ¼ cup) olive oil
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 300ml (1 + ¼ cups) lukewarm water
- olive oil and flaky sea salt to finish
- Place the flour, semolina, yeast, salt, honey, olive oil and rosemary in a large bowl, add the water and mix everything together to form a rough, slightly sticky dough. Turn it out onto an un-floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or so until it is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave to rise until at least doubled in size, 1-1½ hours.
- Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Knock the risen dough back by giving it a brief so second knead. Divide it into 3 equal pices and roll each one out into a long sausage, about 35cm long; pinch the ends together tightly then plait them, pinch the other ends together tightly to seal and transfer the plait onto the prepared baking sheet. Cover with lightly oiled clingfilm and set aside to rise until doubled in size and the dough springs back slowly if you gently poke it with a finger, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Once the dough is risen, brush it gently with a little olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake for 30-45 minutes until golden and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, the internal temperature should reach 94C/200F. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before slicing.
For some more bread baking inspiration check out this Rosemary Spelt Bloomer by Vikalinka, Easy Chocolate Orange Loaf by Patisserie Makes Perfect, Herby Tear and Share Potato Bread by Supergolden Bakes, Apricot & Lavender Marmalade Pull-Apart Bread by Butter and Brioche or Marbled Rye Bread by me!