Rosemary Olive Oil Bread and a Winner

January 8th, 2013

I have been appalled lately by the price of a loaf of bread.  Bread is one the big three of the things people run out for when a blizzard is forecast;  bread, milk and toilet paper.  It is so basic to our needs (unless we are on a carb free diet) that it seems criminal to charge so much.  Granted you can still find loaves of spongy white bread at a good price, but if you prefer a more wholesome bread you can pay up to $5.00 a loaf.  One of my favorite breads, and one that I don’t mind paying a premium for, is La Brea’s Rosemary Olive Oil Bread.

The La Brea Bakery opened in Los Angeles in 1989.  Chef Nancy Silverton developed her bread starter in 1988 and when she opened La Brea the following year the starter was well established.  Chef Silverton was one of the pioneers of the artisan bread movement in the United States.  Now La Brea Bread is sold all over the United States and internationally.  I buy it at Harris Teeter stores when I am in North Carolina.  But we are in Florida for the winter.  After lamenting the price of breads available in the supermarkets here, I decided to try my hand at making my own rosemary olive oil bread.

I found a very easy recipe on the internet and adapted it to suit my taste.  I have plenty of rosemary on my 6 foot bush next to the house and had picked up a fruity olive oil when I was at Trader Joe’s.  Making bread is a simple and rewarding process.  It takes very little hands on time and even that time is relaxing with the gentle kneading of the dough.  What is even better is that the bread tastes so good; almost as good as La Brea.  I have already made my second loaf.  I have a feeling bread making will be on my agenda all winter.  I’m also saving money, which is a good thing after the holiday frenzy.

Now to the winner of the What Katie Ate Cookbook.  Thanks to everyone for the nice comments.  I used the random number generator website to pick a winner.  I couldn’t figure out how to display the winning number here, so you will just to have to take my word for it.  The winning number was 33.  My comments appear from the bottom (number 1), up.  Number 33 is Lea Ann.  Congratulations Lea Ann.  You are going to love this book.  Please email me with your address.


1 cup very warm water
1 packet of rapid rise yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon Italian herbs
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
1 egg, beaten
Additional rosemary, either fresh or dry for sprinkling to top of dough

1. In a large bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit 10 minutes to proof.

2. Meanwhile steep the chopped rosemary in the olive oil.  Add the salt, rosemary olive oil mixture, and other seasonings to the bowl.  Add one cup of the flour and stir to incorporate all of the ingredients. Add the second cup of flour and mix to combine.  It will be sticky.  Dump the dough onto a heavily flour board and knead for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking, until smooth.  I added about 1/2 cup more flour in increments.

3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl; cover; and let rise until doubled in size, about1 hour.

4. Punch down the dough and form it into a round loaf. Place it on a cornmeal dusted pan, cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 F. Once the dough has risen, gently brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with dried rosemary.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

Makes 1 round loaf.

Printable recipe




15 responses to “Rosemary Olive Oil Bread and a Winner”

  1. Pondside says:

    Mmm that bread sounds good! Congratulation to the winner – I can’t think of a better way of passing a chilly winter evening than with a new cookbook.

  2. kimwithak says:

    Looks like a yummy loaf!

  3. Larry says:

    The bread sounds very good Penny and I really like the flavor of rosemary in breads. Congrats to Lea Ann on the cookbook

  4. KathyWalker says:

    Like you, I love the bread from the La Brea Bakery, and their olive oil rosemary is the best. You have a winner here!

  5. Penny says:

    I love baking bread and this one sounds wonderful Penny! Congrats to the winner….Now I have to go buy that book, lol!

  6. Susan says:

    This bread must be tremendously fragrant. Warm with butter…that is my choice.

  7. Sam Hoffer says:

    If you’ve perfected Nancy Silverman’s bread, then I would say you are definitely on to something Penny. Looks like a great loaf and we love anything flavored with rosemary. I agree with you on the price of bread – sky high and in my opinion not always worth it. When we’re near a Fresh Market, we buy their sun-dried tomato and asiago bread. Very, very flavorful.

    Congratulations to Lea Ann. I’ve started following Kate’s blog. Guess I better put the book on my list…

  8. Jane says:

    You are inspiring me to start making bread again! Thanks so much for a delicious recipe!


  9. Lea Ann says:

    yay, yay, yay and thank you, thank you, thank you. I look so forward to receiving the book Penny.

  10. Cathy at Wives with Knives says:

    Congrats to Lea Ann. I’m sure she will enjoy this prize very much. There is nothing more satisfying than baking a loaf of bread and I love the way my house smell when I do it.

  11. Karen says:

    Beautiful loaf of bread! I’ve made something similar and it’s very good.

  12. Martha says:

    Mmmmm, nothing beats a fresh warm loaf of homemade bread! Congrats to the winner 🙂

  13. Linderhof says:

    It’s not the price of bread as much as it is good bread which we don’t have in our little town! I often make the 5 minute a day loaf . . . it’s good bread!

  14. Susan says:

    Congratulations to Lea Ann! What a gorgeous bread and I am so happy I’ve been able to keep my rosemary plant alive this winter so I have no excuses not to try this.

  15. Pat Serio says:

    Since you used Rapid Rise yeast, I’m surprised that you used 2 risings. Usually, after the dough is allowed to rest for 10 minutes in the bowl, only then do you allow it to do a full rise. Just a thought – but it sounds as though everyone has had excellent results, as did you. I can smell it baking ;}

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.