One of my favorite things to bake is Rosemary Olive Oil Bread. I've been making it for a while and it never fails, and I mean never! It's perfect because it has just enough sweetness to it, but it's not over-the-top.
Sometimes people (like me) get intimidated when they see a bread recipe, but this one will be great for your confidence level - it's so easy to make and turns out just right, every time. My dad was a baker and made lots of dessert rolls like sticky buns and doughnuts and other pastries, along with loaves and rolls of Italian bread every week. I would classify Rosemary Olive Oil Bread somewhere in between the pastries and the bread loaves. It's a little sweet, a little crusty on the outside but still soft within, and the nuts give it some added texture. Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs and I use it in just about everything I cook (or so it seems). I don't really get to use it a lot for baking, but whenever I find an opportunity, I take it! The olive oil helps keep the bread soft and moist and the lemon gives it just the right flavor.
I've never baked a bad batch of this bread, and have since moved on to baking bread that's a little more complicated (closer to what dad made, but still far from being perfected).
Delicious No Matter How You Slice It
Is it dessert? Is it a hearty bread? It's definitely closer to a dessert bread, but I like to eat it in the morning with a little cream cheese spread on top. Adding the cream cheese makes it a bit more decadent, if you're into that sort of thing, which I am!
Recipe for Rosemary Olive Oil Bread - Makes 1 loaf
2-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cups sweet white wine or apple juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Nonstick cooking spray
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly coat a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl, stir the flour, sugar, walnuts, baking powder, rosemary, salt and lemon zest.
In another bowl, blend the eggs, wine and olive oil. Stir in the dry ingredients. Transfer the batter into a the loaf pan and smooth out the surface.
Bake for 55 minutes or until a skewer or knife inserted into the center comes out clean.