Rosemary Bread

What’s your favorite part of going out to eat? The ambience? Being served? Not having to cook or to do dishes? The variety? The free bread? I’ll admit, I like all of those things, but all the yummy different breads you can get at restaurants is pretty high up there. Sometimes I’m as extreme as this Jim Gaffigan clip. Most of us can remember what the bread was like at many restaurants – Olive Garden’s breadsticks, Outback Steakhouse’s brown bread. You can even find dozens of copy cat recipes for these online.

Macaroni Grill’s bread? Honestly, it didn’t stick out in my mind. But I found this copy cat recipe on a cooking blog I follow, and I was intrigued. It has become one of our family’s favorites over the last year or so. And the great thing is, even if it looks funky, it tastes delicious. Enjoy!

Rosemary Bread (Makes 2 loaves that serve at least 4 each)

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1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
2 ¾ – 4 cups white whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons dried rosemary, divided, optional
1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
Coarse salt for sprinkling, optional

1. Combine yeast, sugar, water, 2 cups of flour, salt, and 1 tablespoon of rosemary in a large bowl. Use a dough hook if using a stand mixer. Mix well. Continue adding flour, gradually while mixing, until a soft dough is formed (dough should hold it’s shape but be slightly sticky to the touch). Knead dough for about 7 minutes, adding additional flour if dough is not clearing the sides of the bowl anymore.

2. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, usually about 1 hour.

3. Gently deflate dough and divide in half. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or lightly coat with cooking spray. Shape the dough into 2 oval shaped loaves. Place on baking sheet with room between them to rise without touching each other. Use a pastry brush to coat the top of each loaf with the olive oil (½ tablespoon per loaf). Sprinkle the remaining rosemary and a light sprinkling of salt over the top of each loaf. Cover lightly and let rise in a warm place until puffy and nearly doubled, usually 30 minutes to 1 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 425. Bake loaves for 18-20 minutes, until nicely browned and sound hollow when tapped. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 232
Protein: 9 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 45 g
Fiber: 7 g
Sodium: 293 mg

Recipe Notes: If you make this and the loaves rise out more than up on the second rise, DO NOT PANIC. Please cook it anyway, and eat it. This picture is a rare exception of this bread turning out nice and rounded. Even when it is flatter, this bread is very delicious. If it is flattish, I recommend kneading it for a bit longer. As I have increased the kneading time (original recipe said 4-5 minutes), I have had better results. If mixing in all-purpose flour, you won’t need to knead for as long. I have left out the rosemary, olive oil, and salt (or any combination of leaving one or all of those out), and the bread is still super tasty.

Source: slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Low-iodine adjustment – use a non-iodized salt.

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