This Ridiculously Easy Rosemary Bread definitely earns its ridiculously easy name but, even better… it’s ridiculously delicious!
When my husband (who has an award-winning sweet tooth) says that he could eat more bread instead of dessert, you know it’s a huge hit. And when that bread happens to be this Ridiculously Easy Rosemary Bread that takes 5 minutes to prep, 10 minutes to shape and looks like it comes from an artisan bakery, it kind of makes you feel you’ve won the lottery!
I was going to call this recipe Easy Rosemary Sea Salt Bread instead of Ridiculously Easy Rosemary Bread, as it has a delightful topping of flaky sea salt along with the rosemary. But it’s so easy to make that I knew it had to be placed into my Ridiculously Easy Series.
How does a recipe get labeled “ridiculously easy”? Well, here at The Café, it has to have certain characteristics to earn that prestigious label:
- A recipe that takes minimal effort and time to put together. (Resting or chilling time is not taken into consideration.)
- It’s also one that produces fabulous results, ie, results that “appear” to have taken lots of time, talent, prowess and/or hard work.
- Ridiculously easy recipes have to work well on those busy days when time is short and expectations are high.
- And lastly, ridiculously easy recipes are perfect for entertaining, mostly because of the first two characteristics. They take the stress out of dinner parties and gatherings of families and/or friends and allow you more time to enjoy your guests (but really, are super simple, something anyone can do. Shhhh! We’ll keep that our secret.)
This Ridiculously Easy Rosemary Bread ticks all the boxes. It takes less than 5 minutes to stir up the dough; just combine flour, salt, yeast and water – no special temperature for the water, no yeast worries. Stir the mixture well, cover and go to bed. In the morning it will have risen nicely and will be all set to shape.
To shape the dough, turn it out on a floured surface and knead it for a minute or two, just until it’s no longer sticky. Then shape into 2 or 3 round balls and place them on a sheet pan. Brush the loaves with butter and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh rosemary. Pop the pan in a hot oven and wait for the heavenly aroma. Wipe the drool off your mouth as you pull the loaves from the oven. That’s it! See what I mean? Easy. Ridiculously easy.
This recipe was adapted from my Unbelievably Easy Artisan Rolls recipe. I’ve had so many comments and emails from readers who love those rolls that I decided another recipe needed to evolve. I’ve always loved the little rosemary loaves they serve at Macaroni Grill, so I opted to adapt the recipe in that direction.
This Ridiculously Easy Rosemary Bread differs from the Macaroni Grill bread however, in that it’s more rustic and artisan. But it does have the same delicious flavor profile with a fabulous rosemary and sea salt topping. It’s crisper on the outside with a wonderful, chewy interior.
You probably have everything you need to make this Ridiculously Easy Rosemary Bread other than fresh rosemary. If you don’t have the rosemary in your fridge or garden, run out and get some before you go to bed. Once you’re home, it will only take 5 minutes before you go night-night to stir together this dough.
When the amazing fragrance fills your kitchen in the morning, you’ll be so happy you made the trip. And who knows? You might just have partakers who would gladly forfeit dessert (really?) for just one more slice of this fabulous Ridiculously Easy Rosemary Bread!
Café Tips for making this Ridiculously Easy Rosemary Bread
- This recipe calls for bread flour. Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose, usually 11-13%. It gives bread a slightly higher rise and a bit more chewiness. Honestly, I’ve used both and there’s not a ton of difference in the results. So if you have bread flour, go ahead and use it, but you’ll also have delicious bread using all-purpose flour.
- The dough can be divided into 2 or 3 portions, depending on how large you want the loaves to be. If I’m using them for a dinner bread, I like to make 3 loaves. For sandwiches, a little larger loaf is nice so I make two loaves.
- This dough is fairly wet and sticky right out of the bowl. Be sure to use plenty of flour on the work surface. A baker’s scraper or dough scraper comes in very handy to turn the dough and coat it with flour so it’s not so sticky.
- It’s important to have a good bread knife when cutting artisan breads like this Ridiculously Easy Rosemary Bread. In contrast to a good chef’s knife, a bread knife has to be replaced every 3-4 years, depending on how much you use it. They just don’t stay sharp and can’t be sharpened like other knives. So it’s not worth spending a lot of money on a bread knife. The good thing is that good quality bread knives can be purchased for between fifteen and twenty dollars, way less than a good quality chef’s knife! I have this Dexter-Russel breadknife as well as this Tojiro Bread Slicer and I’m really happy with both of them.
- If serving for dinner, I like to pop this Ridiculously Easy Rosemary Bread back in the oven and get the crust nice and crispy. About 10 minutes at 350˚F will do the trick!
- Before baking, be sure to thoroughly cover the surface of the loaves with butter. If you miss spots the color of the finished loaves will be spotty.
- I like to use fresh rosemary in this recipe, but if you’re in a pinch, you could use dry rosemary.
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This Ridiculously Easy Rosemary Bread definitely earns its ridiculously easy name but, even better... it's ridiculously delicious!
- 4 cups bread flour 512g plus extra for shaping
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt 7g
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast traditional (2g)
- 1 tablespoon fresh finely chopped rosemary
- 2 cups room temperature tap water 439g
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt for topping
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary for topping
In a medium-large bowl, whisk together the bread flour, salt, yeast and rosemary. Make a well in the center and add the water. Mix with a sturdy rubber spatula until all flour is incorporated. Don’t worry, the dough will be wet and sticky, that’s how it should be.
- Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and leave to rise at room temperature overnight or for up to 12 hours.
- The following morning (or after 8-12 hours), the dough will have risen, but it may still look shaggy and its surface will be covered with bubbles. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Spread a generous ¼ cup of flour on a work surface. Dump the dough out onto the floured surface and turn it several times to coat with flour. I like to use a bench or baker's scraper for this. Knead the dough for one minute, adding more flour to the work surface as needed.
- Divide the dough into 2 or 3 fairly equal portions, turning each piece in the flour to coat. (The bench scraper is also great for cutting the dough).
- Shape each piece into a ball, pulling edges under and pinching together to make a smooth top. Place loaves on prepared pan, smooth side up. If the dough is sticky as you’re shaping, just roll the piece in more of the flour.
Brush each loaf all over with melted butter. Sprinkle generously with rosemary and sea salt.
- Preheat oven to 425˚F. Allow bread to rise for about 20 minutes while oven is preheating.
- Transfer pan to the oven. Bake 23-28 minutes or until nicely golden. Transfer bread to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- If making in advance, remove from oven when pale golden brown (about 3-4 minutes less). Cool completely, then freeze on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer each loaf to a large ziplock bag and store in the freezer.
- To serve, allow bread to thaw, then heat for 8-10 minutes at 350˚F or until nicely golden brown..
See Café Tips above in most for more detailed instructions.