To say that I love carbs would be a gross understatement. Shoot, I do triathlons just for the opportunity to gorge on bread, pasta, and rice without shame (we call it “carbo-loading” to make it sound all athletic and official). In order to further my love of all things carbohydrate, I put a breakmaker on my wedding registry, but no one chose to gift it. Sad Betty.
Instead of rushing to Macy’s and buying that breadmaker, I decided to see if I could make bread without any fancy gadgets or gizmos. I am not a naturally gifted baker, so I put off the experiment for quite some time. I don’t know exactly what I was afraid of, but this recipe somehow seemed to put my mind at ease. After all, the author assured me that if I followed the instructions to the letter, I would have warm, delicious loaves of carby goodness. She promised, darnit!
For the most part, she delivered. I did wind up with bread at the end of the day, and it was darn tasty at that. It didn’t rise exactly as I thought it would, resulting in two flat-ish discs, which may have had something to do with having no way to verify the temperatures of the milk and water at the beginning of the process. It could also have something to do with my flour measurements being slightly off. Before I attempt this recipe again, I will procure a good kitchen thermometer AND a baking scale.
All that being said, Jason and I enjoyed the first loaf of this bread immensely, eating some of it within a half hour of it coming out of the oven. It was delicious with some unsalted butter, and would probably also be nice with the jam of your choice. I am really glad that I tried my hand at baking bread, and I look forward to perfecting the technique once I get the right equipment! Do y’all have other “quick bread” recipes that you swear by? Share them in the comments!
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add yeast, stirring with a whisk; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour to yeast mixture, stirring with a whisk. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 15 minutes.
Add 2 1/2 cups flour, walnuts, rosemary, and 1 egg, stirring with a whisk. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes), adding enough of remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands.
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Lightly press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)
Preheat oven to 400°.
Punch dough down; turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half, shaping each portion into a round. Place loaves on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Combine 1 tablespoon milk and 1 egg, stirring with a whisk; brush over loaves. Make 3 diagonal cuts 1/4-inch deep across top of each loaf using a sharp knife.
Place loaves in oven; reduce oven temperature to 375°, and bake 40 minutes or until bottom of each loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Let stand 20 minutes before slicing.