Rosemary and Honey Bread ... with dried cherries, apricots, and golden sultanas ... so pretty!
This month, I've played with a few of Nigel Slater's bread recipes. He does love his bread puddings and in order to make bread pudding, one must lay one's hands on some good bread. This was such an easy bread to make. That's one thing about Nigel Slater's recipes. They are stepped in such a fashion as to move the assembly and cooking process right along. His directions are clear and concise and I like that.
This latest bread was found on The Observer website and was published in the paper's food section. God knows when. I was searching and browsing around and thought it looked wonderful, especially when the text suggested having the bread sliced and served with different cheeses.
Yes, please! There is such a nice combo of dried fruits in this light airy bread ... a mild goat cheese spread on instead of butter is sounding perfect to me! To boot, I can take both loaves to our little church's Lenten supper this evening and share it with other like-minded folk! Now, that's a win-win!
If you've been puttering around with Nigel Slater's bread recipes and would like to share, leave a comment and I'll check out your spot and link your recipe at the end of the month ... otherwise, enjoy this recipe! It makes two smallish round loaves... and it's positively perfect with a slather of soft goat cheese!
Nigel Slater’s Rosemary and Honey Bread
... with one tiny change ...
Makes: 2 small round loaves (about 8-inches each)
250 g bread flour
250 g all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
350 ml warm water (109 ° F)
2 packets active dry yeast ( about 4 ½ tsp)
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary needles
50 g each – dried cherries, apricots, and golden sultanas – roughly chopped
Soft butter for rubbing in the dough bowl
Flour for sprinkling atop the risen loaves before baking
Making the Bread:
- Whisk together the flours and salt in a deep bowl.
- Stir the yeast into the warm water until dissolved. Add the honey and stir. Set aside for five minutes or so.
- Chop the dried fruits and toss them in the flour.
- Make a well and add the foamy yeast mixture, stirring to make a sticky dough.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured kneading surface and knead for five minutes, dusting your hands and the kneading surface lightly as needed.
- Form the dough up into a nice ball and let it rest while you cleanout the dough bowl and butter it good.
- Toss the dough ball in, turning to coat with butter. Cover with a damp towel and set the bowl in a warm spot to rise for one hour.
- Gently press the risen dough down and divide in half.
- Turn each out onto a lightly floured surface and form a nice bread boule … place each boule on a buttered pie pan. Cover and let rest for 30 – 40 minutes.
- While the bread rises, preheat the oven to 430° F and place the rack in the lower middle of the oven.
- When the bread has risen to a nice round mound, use an extremely sharp knife to slash an ‘X’ in the top of each loaf, dust with some flour and pop in the oven.
- Use a spritzer bottle and give the floor of the oven a good steam stritz. Close the door and bake the bread for 25-30 minutes – until brown and hollow-sounding when rapped with your knuckle.
- Remove the bread from the pans and cool on a rack before cutting.
- Serve with your fave cheese slab.