This Ridiculously Easy Rosemary Bread takes 5 minutes to prep, 10 minutes to shape and it looks like it comes from an artisan bakery! Oh, and it’s ridiculously delicious too!
When my husband (who has an award-winning sweet tooth) says that he would prefer an extra slice of bread instead of dessert, you know it’s a huge hit. And when that bread happens to be this 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 like 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 added to our Ridiculously Easy Series.
Here at The Café, a recipe has to have certain characteristics to earn that prestigious Ridiculously Easy moniker. Here are the game rules:
- The recipe has to take minimal effort and time to put together. (Resting or chilling time is not necessarily taken into consideration.)
- It also has to produce 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 the ones that 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) and make you look like a kitchen rock star. 🙌🙌🙌
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.
Are you a doubting Thomas? I probably would be skeptical too, if this wasn’t my recipe that I’ve made a zillion easy times. So we created a video to show you the easy technique:
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 also have partakers who would forfeit dessert (really?) for just one more slice of this fabulous Ridiculously Easy Rosemary Bread! Serve it warm with some delicious butter and the meal may go on and on…
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 all-purpose and bread flour for this recipe – 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 easily 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.
- A depth of flavor and nice artisan texture is achieved by the long, slow rise in this Easy Rosemary Bread recipe. That being said, if you don’t have overnight or 8-12 hours to make this bread, a few adaptations can be made to speed up the process:
- Replace the regular active dry yeast with instant yeast.
- Use hot tap water instead of room temperature water.
- Find a warm, cozy place for the dough to rise. I often preheat my oven for one minute then turn it off and leave the light on to create a warm place for my dough to rise. Another option is to bring a cup of water to a boil in the microwave then add the bowl of dough. It will take about an hour for the dough to rise, making these adaptations. Then proceed with step 3 in the recipe directions.
Thought for the day:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
What we’re listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
This Ridiculously Easy Rosemary Bread definitely earns its ridiculously easy name but, even better... it's ridiculously delicious!
- 4 cups bread flour plus extra for shaping
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast traditional
- 1 tablespoon fresh finely chopped rosemary
- 2 cups room temperature tap water
- 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 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 rounded 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 finely chopped rosemary and sea salt.
Allow bread to rise for about 20 minutes while the oven is preheating. Don't worry if the dough flattens a little while it's resting. It will puff up nicely in the oven.
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 325˚F or until nicely golden brown.
See Café Tips above in most for more detailed instructions.
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