Since I started this blog I’ve always gravitated towards sharing baking recipes. I love how a few simple ingredients mixed together can be transformed by an oven. I also believe that vegan cookies have magical principles and must be made and eaten frequently. Cookies and brownies were a great place to start, but I’ve been needing to expand my baking horizons. I was inspired during a recent visit with a group of best friends. We’ve all known each other since middle school and a reunion was long overdue. I can’t believe the last time we were all together was my wedding – three years ago!
My lovely friend Lauren hosted a Birthday Party Sleepover at her and her boyfriend Aaron’s house in Austin. First of all, the house was amazing. Secondly, (as if preparing their new home for visitors wasn’t enough) she baked warm, soft breads for us! If you know me, you know that I love bread. I spent most of the evening filling up on fresh rosemary bread and most of the next day plotting how to steal more bread before our tubing adventure on the Comal River. As Lauren’s birthday gift I had baked her Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Chocolate Walnut Cookies and put them in a cute cookie jar complete with a fancy chalk label. She loved my cookies and I obviously loved her homemade bread, so we swapped recipes at the end of our fun-filled weekend.
Vegan Rosemary Bread
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp raw sugar
1 cup warm water (110°F-115°F)
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur Flour)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
This first step involving the yeast is very important. I failed to understand what it meant to “proof” yeast, and the consequences were disastrous! This is essentially bringing your yeast to life so that your dough will rise. Make sure your water isn’t too hot or it will kill your yeast. Combine the yeast and sugar in a small bowl, pour in the warm water, and stir. Allow the mixture to proof for 10 minutes. You’re looking for a bubbly foam to start forming on the surface. Check out this helpful video.
A peek inside my baking cabinet – never underestimate active dry yeast!
My flour of choice and measuring spoon collection
Combine the remaining ingredients in a stand mixer fixed with a dough hook and mix until the dough is no longer tacky. This should take several minutes, but since my KitchenAid only works on high-speed it takes me only a couple of minutes. You may need to add a little more water or flour to get the right consistency. Lightly flour a clean surface and knead the dough by hand for a couple of minutes. Brush a large bowl with olive oil. Place the dough inside the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Rise my pretty, rise!
After the dough has risen punch it down and shape it into a large oval loaf. Place the loaf on an oiled cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the loaf to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until doubles in size. Once the loaf has risen brush it with olive oil and bake it in a preheated oven at 375°F for 30-35 minutes or until browned. Serve your fresh-baked Rosemary Bread with some olive oil mixed with Italian seasoning.
I’m one proud bread baker!
Time to slice and serve!
The hubby and I were very happy with my bread baking! The first couple times I tried making the recipe I failed miserably. The first time was because my active dry yeast was expired and the second time was because my water was too hot and I killed my yeast. Neither would have been an issue if I knew what “proofing” the yeast meant! At least my failures made me adamant about succeeding, which I believe made the bread taste even better. I wish you luck with the recipe and hope you’ll share your results!