Fennel & Rosemary Bread with Sauteed Onions & Garlic
Fresh baked bread is one of those simple joys in life. Once you bite the bullet and actually try making your own bread, you’ll never go back to the store bought variety. There’s something so satisfying in taking salt, flour and yeast and turning it into something incredibly delicious.
This recipe is based on Edward’s Fennel Loaf that I shared back in January. We were having our families over for Father’s Day dinner (an Italian feast) and thought that a savory, garlicky bread would pair really nicely. It worked out perfectly. The flavors are subtle, but they still shine through. This is the perfect bread for sopping up a hearty marinara sauce!
4 c. white bread flour
1 t. salt
1 1/2 t. dried yeast
1 1/2 c. lukewarm water
1 1/2 yellow onions, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. butter
1 T. dried rosemary
1 T. dried fennel
Olive oil, for kneading
Wholemeal flour, for sprinkling
Cornmeal, for sprinkling
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1) Melt the butter in a pan over high heat. Add the garlic and onions and season with fresh cracked black pepper. Cook until the onions turn translucent and start to brown on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the rosemary and fennel to the pan and cook for one minute more. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
2) Mix the bread flour, salt and dried yeast together in a large bowl.
3) Add the water to the flour mixture and and mix it with your hand to create a soft, rough-looking dough. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and let it sit for 10 minutes.
4) Add a bit of olive oil to a mixer bowl. Place the dough into the bowl and turn it on at a medium speed (make sure you’re using the dough hook). Allow the dough to rotate ten times. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.
5) Repeat this kneading and resting process twice more. After the dough has been kneaded three times total, cover it and let it sit for 30 minutes. Knead the dough for a fourth time after the 30 minutes are up.
6) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Shape the dough into a ball and place it on the baking sheet. Cover the dough with a damp dish cloth and leave it to rise until it has doubled in size, about one hour.
7) While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place a second baking sheet into the oven.
8) Once the dough is done rising, slide it with the parchment paper from the first tray to the warmed tray. Spray the dough with a bit of water, then sprinkle it with wholemeal flour. Bake it for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the loaf for about 27 minutes more or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Transfer it to a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.