{the saturday post} rustic rosemary bread

I don't make a habit out of dining in chain restaurants, but I do indulge in my occasional guilty pleasures, including the Passion Fruit Mojito at Cheesecake Factory and rosemary bread at Macaroni Grill. The latter is something I've had a hard time resisting in the past. On the occasions I've had dinner there, I usually ordered only an appetizer since my main obsession was the bread that came to our table.

If you've had it, you know how addicting it can be, and the wonderful thing about this recipe is, once you know the method, you can modify the flavors to suit your needs. Try thyme instead of rosemary, or slather slices in herb butter and bake it as garlic bread.


If you have a coffee grinder that you use for spices, this is a great time to use it. It finely chops the rosemary to almost a powder.

Recipe inspired by Macaroni Grill and adapted from
Confessions of a Tart

4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water (115 degrees)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 generous tablespoon finely minced rosemary
1 garlic clove, finely minced
Extra-virgin olive oil


Add flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. To the warm water, add the yeast and honey, and stir to combine. With the motor running, drizzle the water into the flour and knead for 5-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. It shouldn't be sticky.

Turn out the dough into a large bowl coated lightly with oil. Turn the dough to coat, then cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about an hour.

In a small bowl, combine rosemary, garlic, and enough olive oil to make a loose paste. Or, if using a spice grinder, grind the rosemary, then add it to the bowl with garlic and olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 450. Turn the dough out into a cast iron pan and shape into a round loaf. It may not expand to cover the entire base. Score the bread with an X shape, then brush with about half of the oil. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is deep golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped from the side.

Transfer to a cutting board and brush with the remaining oil. Let cool to room temperature before serving.