A sweet blogging friend, Debbi, mentioned rosemary bread the other day and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I decided to try to recreate the rosemary bread at Romano’s Macaroni Grill. Lucky for me, many have already tried to do that. I found a recipe here at food.com and tweaked it just a bit. I have made this a few times now and I am happiest with this variation. Dipped in extra virgin olive oil and cracked pepper, this bread is addictive.
This bread is a bit heartier than the bread that Macaroni Grill serves. If you are aiming for a closer copy of the well-known bread, use all AP flour instead of whole wheat. For what it’s worth, the 100% whole wheat version that I made was tasty, but the wheat taste overpowered the rosemary much more than I expected. It also created a heavier bread. I was aiming for a lighter bread and using AP flour in combination with the whole wheat accomplished that goal. I love this recipe now and it is frequently requested by friends.
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup whole wheat flour I used freshly ground hard white wheat
- 1 1/2 cups AP flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- olive oil
- crushed sea salt
- extra virgin olive oil and fresh cracked black pepper - for dipping
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl for the kitchenaid mixer, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes, until it is foamy or bubbly.
- Mix in 1 tablespoon of melted butter, 1 teaspoon salt, the flours and 1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary. Knead with the dough hook on the mixer for 5 minutes or by hand for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Coat a large bowl with olive oil and place the dough in it. Cover with a towel and allow the dough to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and divide in half. Allow it to rise a few more minutes while you thoroughly coat a large baking sheet with olive oil.
- Shape the dough into two round loaves and sprinkle the tops of the loaves with remaining chopped rosemary. Press the herbs lightly into the surface of the bread.
- Let the loaves rise again, until doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Using a large spatula, transfer the loaves to a wire cooling rack. Brush with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with crushed sea salt. The sea salt is a crucial step. You could probably substitute kosher salt, but whatever you do, do not skip the salt on top of the loaves. It imparts a great flavor to the finished bread.
- When you are ready to serve the bread, crack some black pepper onto a small plate and drizzle with olive oil. Dip the bread into the oil mixture and enjoy!