Fresh Rosemary and Olive Bread

by Michelle

I didn’t realise how often I bake bread until I started writing this blog. It’s interesting when you actually start recording what you are baking or cooking and how often. By all account, Ralph and I should weigh a ton each with all of the carbs we are eating. My theory stands – input verses output. I definitely make more bread when we are at the farm. It only takes minutes, to mix, when you have a stand mixer. I just have to remember to come inside and punch it down every couple of hours! Three raises makes a beautiful loaf and gives me the most time outside. My rosemary is a new plant this year and appears to be thriving. I clipped a bit from the top which will force the plant to bush out and become more sturdy.

The lupins are in bloom now. Remarkably, I do not have a single bloom on my entire property. Happily, they are blooming all along the River.

I have finally given in and started mowing the pastures. Every week a new crop of wild flowers appeared and I could not bring myself to mow them down. The hay is up to my waist so I guess it’s time! Ralph is so patient…

Our neighbor takes the hay from our southern pastures, so they will not be cut until the first of August. Ralph and I care for the rest.

It’s an amazing thing to be responsible for this land. It touches something very basic inside of me. Perhaps I need this now that I am no longer responsible for the day to day care of our daughters. I know this sounds goofy but when I am sitting on my tractor looking over this beautiful farmland, I am filled with joy.

Fresh Rosemary and Olive Bread

makes 2 large loaves

3 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1 cup milk

Stir milk and water together and add yeast…allow to stand 5 minutes

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup semolina

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup onion, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped

2 teaspoons salt

5-6 cups bread flour

Add sugar, semolina, butter, onion, rosemary, olives, salt, 3 cups flour to water mixture…mix well.

Add the remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Knead until smooth and elastic.

Place dough in greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and allow to raise until doubled.

Punch dough down and turn over…allow to raise again until doubled.

Punch dough down again, divide in half and shape into round loaves.

Place loaves on a baking sheet and allow to raise until almost doubled.

preheat oven to 400*F

Place baking sheet in oven and bake loaves for 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

This bread is delicious served with gorgonzola cheese…

Thanks for reading.