I’ve always been a fan of fresh-baked artisan bread…it’s so good. So much better than bread that you find at your average local supermarket. I’ve always wanted to make it at home, but making bread at home can be intimidating. And the results, underwhelming. I bought a bread maker at one point, but I was never quite happy with the results and so it gathered dust and finally was donated or passed on to another victim. But hope springs anew with this homemade rosemary no knead bread that we’ve been making a lot recently. I’m pretty please with the results. Plus the kids like it and it’s easy to make (just have to work on remembering 12-24 hours ahead of time to get it started!).
The term “artisan bread” is a bit of a rabbit hole as it doesn’t strictly define anything, but over on Jamie Oliver’s site they talk about artisan bread as a term that is really a nod to the “care, expertise and quality of ingredients” that goes into making the bread. This homemade rosemary no knead bread may seem in contrast to that idea because it’s actually quite easy, but the key step that in the bread making process for this recipe is letting the dough sit for up to 24 hours. The extra time allows the dough to properly develop usually resulting in a more pleasing texture and taste.
You can read more in depth about the importance of having patience with your dough in the Serious Eats post on breadmaking 101, but the big take away is that more time allows more time for the yeast to interact with the flour and work its magic. Lots of store made and mass-marketed breads use chemicals or other methods to speed up the fermentation process and often the results suffer. Sometimes the needed ingredient is patience!
So this rosemary no knead bread does require a little planning ahead, but if you’re able to do that you’ll find that the actually work involved is minimal and the result is delicious. I’ll often try to make the dough the morning before we’re going to eat it so that the dough gets close to a full 24 hours to come together. But, often, I don’t have things that together and I find myself making this dough the night before. Now that it’s warm out, 12 hours overnight is definitely enough for it to poof up and get all bubbly. It’s a popular breakfast item with our kids as is this Flax Cornbread (although the cornbread is a no yeast ready in under an hour bread).
Some bread recipes will have you knead the dough for 10 minutes or so before leaving it to rise. 10 minutes isn’t a lot, but every minute counts when you are busy so I love that this is a no knead bread recipe.
At one point in time, kneading the dough for a bread recipe was common place, but it is now commonly believed that the key step for making great bread is the above mention patience (letting the dough sit for a long period of time) and not the kneading. Slate actually has an interesting article on no knead vs. traditional bread that talks about how kneading was commonplace until a no-knead bread recipe was posted in the New York Times in 2006. Initially there was a lot of backlash, but I guess a lot of folks eventually embraced the idea of less work when they realized you still got a great result. Sign me up for the less work camp!
This bread recipe is adapted from a recipe a came across back when the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day . And yup, you guessed it, I was attracted to the only 5 minute idea. Plus, who doesn’t love good bread?
Rosemary is one of the regular herbs we grow in our garden and I’ve always loved rosemary bread so it was a natural choice for our homemade bread. Beyond the rosemary, it’s really flour, yeast, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and water. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
By no means do I now consider myself a bread making expert. Like a lot of things, it’s an art form and a craft that you improve over time. But this rosemary no knead bread recipe is a great leaping off point for anyone looking to get started with homemade bread making. Anyone willing to put forth minimal effort can enjoy delicious homemade bread!
It definitely has resulted in a lot of joy in our house. Our kids have been helping out with the bread making and we’ve all been enjoying the results. It’s pretty hard to beat a warm slice of bread with melted butter. Know what I mean?
We love having this bread as a side when we have soup like this spicy vegetable soup, this swiss chard lentil soup, or even this Instant Pot chili, but I’ve also been know to have a slice with my morning veggie omelette or even just with my coffee. Like I said, it’s hard to beat good bread!