I woke up to pouring rain and 46*. It was dark and dreary. There was a chill in the air. I was walking barefoot across my yard. (grounding, it works) I slipped on my boots to go tend to my chickens. As I fed them and gave them treats and fresh water, I told them how it seemed like a soup and bread kind of day. They all chatted back in agreement. It sure doesn’t feel like the middle of May.
I knew I was going to bake bread. I try and do one tricky thing and one or two super simple dinner ideas. Each packed full of nutrients and flavor, always lots and lots of flavors.
The soup was an easy peasy choice and you can start to finish have this soup on the table in about 30 minutes. Not much effort for brilliant results. I used Brandi of The Vegan 8 fame recipe. https://thevegan8.com/2018/01/25/tomato-vegetable-soup/
While flipping through a couple of my bread books, I happily stumbled upon Onion Rosemary bread. This is a good one. The recipe calls for one LARGE loaf. I prefer to make two smaller loaves. A couple of reasons. 1. I can keep one and give one to a neighbor. 2. there are only two of us. We get tired of the same bread over and over and over. Now and then, I prefer to divide the recipe in half. We are able to devour a small loaf of bread in 2 or 3 days.
Here is what you knead (get it, a joke…knead…need, Come on, that was a good one!): 1/4 cup butter (you know I use Earth Balance, vegan butter) 2 cups of onions, chopped finely, 1 envelope of yeast, 2 teaspoons of sugar (I use coconut or date sugar), 1 cup warm water, 4 cups unbleached flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I use Himalayan salt and please for the love of good flavor, measure the salt), 1 HEAPING Tablespoon of finely chopped Fresh Rosemary (fresh makes a ginormous difference).
*side note suggestion: At our previous home, I could not for the life of me get my Rosemary to grow well. I have a friend who was hacking her Rosemary bush back constantly. So one day, I said, I will trade you fresh Rosemary for a loaf of bread. She gave me a GROCERY BAG full! haha. I did bake a couple of loaves for her and gave her two other recipes to use. It was a beautiful barter. I am SURE you have something you can barter with a neighbor in exchange for a handful of their fresh Rosemary?
Melt the butter on medium/low and toss in those beautiful fragrant onions. Cook for about 20 minutes until they are golden. You know they are done when you want to sneak one for a taste.
While those are cooking, in your mixing bowl, combine half the flour, sugar, water and yeast. Let sit until bubbly, takes about 20 minutes.
Next add your remaining flour, salt (measured) and Rosemary. Mix well with a wooden spoon (if you have or want big arm muscles) or just turn on the Kitchen-Aid. Gradually add the onion/butter mixture. This will form a slightly sticky dough.
Use your dough hook and let it do it’s magic for 10 minutes. Or if you are upset about something or fretting, toss that dough on the counter with a little flour and work it out. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. It is a rather satisfying feeling.
Cover a cookie sheet with parchment or Silpat. Arrange the dough in a slightly flattened circle. Cover with a damp tea towel. (here is where I set the whole cookie sheet on a medium warm heating pad) Let rise for 45-50 minutes.
Bake 400* for 30 minutes. Place on a cooling rack and brush with melted butter. I save a pinch of rosemary and add that to the butter. The aroma of freshly baked onion bread and rosemary is divine.
The table is set with big soup bowls, oversized linen napkins, the bread is on a board, sliced & ready to choose your perfect slice…..you sit down………………say Grace and pick up your soup spoon, gingerly take that first small sip. Oh, my. Another larger spoonful….and the conversation begins………….
that my friend is comfort, pure and simple.
In this together,
PS. Printed on the soffit above my kitchen, I have a quote,
“they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” Acts 2:46