I’m a bit in denial that this is the last week of February. Two months of 2013 down already? I can feel a tug of spring fever pulling at me, especially after the beautiful day we had yesterday. It was the perfect day to be outside with the kids, especially after a couple of rainy, cool days prior. Looks like we’re back to cloudy, cool and rainy tomorrow. I’m okay with it, though, because it means we can still have soup and warm, toasty bread. Especially if it’s this Rosemary Bread–just like the kind served at Macaroni Grill. My husband and I went there for a belated Valentine’s dinner a week or so ago, and were reminded of that delicious bread. He searched out a recipe online and has made it a couple of times since then. Our bread machine’s been on the fritz, so it’s all by hand (which is why he is the one doing it right now :-)). But it’s totally worth it. This recipe makes two round loaves, perfect for a get together with friends or family, or just to have an extra one to freeze and use later. I believe the recipe came from this site, but I can’t be sure since it was my husband who found it and we copied it into our own recipe book.
1 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 c. water
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp butter
Place yeast, sugar and water in bowl and allow it to get bubbly. Mix in 1 Tbsp butter, salt and 2 c. flour. Add 1 Tbsp rosemary. Knead in mixer for 10 minutes. Add more flour if needed.
Oil bowl, add dough, cover with towel and let rise for one hour. Punch down and divide in half. Let dough rest five minutes and spray baking sheet with spray. Shape dough into two rounded loaves. Sprinkle with remaining rosemary and press lightly into dough. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 F and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Brush with butter and salt if desired. Dip warm bread into olive oil when served.
Baking this bread at home is not as easy as going out to eat at Macaroni Grill, but it’s definitely a lot cheaper and tastes just as yummy (if not more so!). Plus you have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what’s in your bread. I think we’ll have some with our potato soup this week, but I think it would also be yummy with our version of Panera Bread’s Broccoli Cheddar soup.