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Get rustic with your bread—G@H’s Honey Rosemary Bread and the Emile Henry Baking Stone

Posted on November 3, 2014

Fresh loaf of G@H's Honey Rosemary Bread

A G@H editor served in the U.S. Peace Corps. He lived two years in a rural Eastern European village. Each dawn, he awoke to the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through his windows. That’s pleasant. Very pleasant. As pleasant as pleasant can be.

Our dear friend gets nostalgic. He’s tries to replicate the experience. And, to his credit, he’s developed a bit of a knack. Often, he uses a bread machine—the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso. It makes delectable bread without much fuss. He can set it at night and be greeted in the morning with a warm, spongy loaf.

As copycatting goes, this works. It delivers on smell and taste. But, appearance, well, the loaf just doesn’t look the same as those of the village bakers. So, every once in a while, he gets rustic. He still lets the machine do the kneading. But, he removes the dough, forms the loaf, lets it rise, scores the top and bakes it in the oven on an Emile Henry Baking Stone (see below).

G@H's Honey Rosemary Bread on an Emile Henry Baking Stone

The baking stone helps an ordinary oven act like a classic brick oven. It absorbs moisture for crispier crust. But, it also blunts heat, so the bottom of your bread does not burn and your whole loaf evenly cooks.

Convinced? Hungry? Here’s G@H’s recipe for Honey Rosemary Bread.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 3 cups of bread flour
  • Leaves of two sprigs of fresh rosemary OR 1/4 cups of dry rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of vital gluten
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoons of active dry yeast

Directions

Using a bread machine, add the liquid ingredients to the bread pan followed by the dry ingredients. Use the machine’s dough cycle. When the cycle finishes, promptly remove the dough. Place it on a heavily floured kitchen towel. Shape the loaf. Cover with another kitchen towel.

While dough is rising, preheat oven to 475° and insert baking stone. After 20 minutes, lower to 375°. Remove the baking stone. Gently roll the dough from the towel onto the stone. Score the top of the dough. Spray with water. Return stone with dough to oven. Cook for 25 to 35 minutes spraying crust with water every 5-7 minutes.

Remove from oven. Let cool. Construct the greatest breakfast sandwich ever. Look at that bacon! (see below).

A delicious breakfast sandwich on G@H's Honey Rosemary Bread

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