Rosemary & black pepper bread

Making bread is a slow and meaningful process with simple ingredients. Flour, water and yeast is all you really need. But with the addition of some herbs and spices a standard loaf can go from simply humble to something really special. This recipe for a dense and chewy bread with a crispy crust combines rosemary and freshly cracked black pepper, like a couple of old friends reuniting under a little melted butter on my breakfast plate.

Making bread takes time. There's the mixing, the kneading, the rising, the second rising, then the baking. This isn't something I do when I'm in a rush. It's something I do when I know I'll be spending several hours at home doing other stuff. Life stuff. Each time I return to the kitchen to check on my bread dough I smile and feel good knowing the house will soon smell incredible with the comforting aroma of freshly baked bread.

I am by no means an expert bread baker. But through experimentation with ingredients and methods I have settled on a mixture and technique that works nicely for me.

Here's how I make it:

1 + 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp granulated white sugar
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup warm water (not hot)

I start by mixing 1 cup of flour with the yeast, salt, sugar, rosemary and pepper in a large mixing bowl. I add the water to the dry mixture, stirring with the handle end of a wooden spoon until the dry mixture is absorbed. Then the other 1 1/2 cups of flour gets added gradually, mixing with my hands and making sure the flour is absorbed into the dough between additions. At this point I transfer the dough to the bowl of my stand mixer to knead for 5 minutes with the dough hook (or sometimes I just do it by hand on a lightly floured surface, using the heel of my hand to push the dough away from me then folding it over and repeating). I transfer my kneaded dough to a large greased bowl and leave it to rise, covered with a tea towel, until doubled in size (about one hour). Then I knock it down (punch the air out of it) and form the dough into a log shape and press lightly into a greased loaf pan.

The second rising takes another hour or so until it reaches the height I want my finished loaf to be. It bakes at 400 degrees (F) for 40 minutes, then I turn it out onto a wire rack to cool.

It doesn't usually cool all the way before someone has a first taste.

Is freshly baked bread part of your baking routine? Leave a comment and share your bread baking techniques! We're also chatting on the Family Feedbag Facebook page.


  1. I have become lazy and use the bread maker too often. There really is pleasure in taking the time to make it by hand. Perhaps I will give your recipe a try this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  2. i'm sooo glad you've discovered bread baking! rosemary makes a wonderful addition to bread! i can almost smell it now. in fact, i think i'll give that recipe a try today! how perfect on a rainy day, that's already filled with laundry, cleaning bathrooms, and dinner preparations. :) xo

  3. I will be honest and don't want to bake a bread because when I tried making pizza dough it was not good and I don't have time.

    Louise of waste removal london

  4. LOVE the pic of the baby copping a taste!

  5. I made this bread today yum yum opnly thing I did differnet was I made the dough in my bread machine abnd then did the second rise in pan and bake in the oven soo yummy Thank you

    1. I'm glad you liked it. Makes great toast too!

  6. Going to check if I have enough flour to make this right now!