The olive oil in this bread makes it quite tender, while rosemary's piquant fragrance makes slices of this loaf ideal for hearty sandwich fillings. Mark Bittman shared this recipe with us in the Holiday 2018 issue of Sift Magazine.
Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.
Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor. Turn on the machine and add the olive oil through the feed tube, followed by 3/4 cup water. Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch.
Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead in the rosemary by hand until the dough feels smooth. Place in a bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
When the dough has risen, deflate it and shape it into a round ball (boule). Flour a brotform or line a bowl with a well-floured kitchen towel and place the loaf into it, seam side up. Cover and let rise for 1 to 2 hours, until puffy.
When the dough is almost fully risen, preheat the oven to 425°F. Place a cast-iron skillet on the floor of the oven (or on the lowest rack). Place a baking stone on a rack above the skillet.
When you're ready to bake, turn the dough out onto a peel or a parchment-lined baking sheet. Dust the top with flour and slash the top.
Slide the loaf onto the baking stone. Carefully pour 1 cup (227g) hot water into the skillet to create steam and immediately close the oven door.
Bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. The internal temperature should read 200°F when measured with a digital thermometer. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
Remove the bread from the oven and cool it on a rack.
Store the bread, well wrapped, on the counter for up to three days. Slice and freeze for longer storage.
Tips from our Bakers
Don't have a food processor? You can prepare this dough in the normal manner, using your hands, a stand mixer, or a bread machine set on the Dough cycle.