Thursday, December 27

Recipe: Italian Rosemary Raisin Bread (Pane di Ramerino)

Italian Rosemary Raisin Bread
Pane di Ramerino — Italian Rosemary Raisin Bread

For more years than I like to think about, we've been slowly but surely working on a large metal building here on the farm that will one day house our wholesale artisan bread bakery and us. (2011 Update: The bakery is on possibly permanent hold, but we've finally moved in!)

Since progress lately has been more along the lines of slowly rather than surely, we finally broke down and admitted to ourselves that this project was never going to be completed unless we hired some outside help. Besides, The Shack is literally falling down around us.

For the past five weeks our new contractor and his helper have been hard at work by 7:30 nearly every weekday morning. Great headway is being made, and we're both extremely excited. It looks like 2008 really will be The Year We Move Out Of The Shack. It's like a checkbook-draining dream come true.

Home Sweet Soon-to-Be Home

The builders weren't planning to start until the end of this month, but a spot opened up in their schedule and anybody who's ever had construction done or watched the movie "The Money Pit" knows that you never, ever turn away a contractor who is willing to show up and work.

Because of our schedule, however, this has necessitated my becoming more involved with the project at this point than was originally planned.

Suddenly I've been busy making command decisions about phone jacks and bathroom lighting while frantically trying to figure out whether we might someday want to put in a bigger refrigerator or a second seven-foot-wide deck oven.

I also get to go pick stuff up.

I now know what it feels like to spend five and a half hours shopping alone at Lowe's Home Improvement Center. The other day, arriving mostly clueless and clutching a very long list, I systematically worked my way through what felt like 3,000 miles of aisles, pouncing on every one of those PRESS THIS BUTTON IF YOU NEED HELP thingies I could find.

But since the store was practically empty of customers - everybody else was apparently out shopping for holiday presents rather than junction box covers and 33 feet of 10-3 wire for the dryer - there was only a skeleton crew on the floor. The third time this one guy rounded a corner and saw me standing by the help button he actually blurted out, "Not you again!" At least he was smiling when he said it.

After I'd sweet talked another guy into helping me pick through an enormous pile of 2x4s in search of 32 really pretty ones (did you know you can use a garden hoe to pull the far stacks of boards within reach?), and yet another one into helping me secure said 2x4s (along with the several dozen other boards I'd picked out myself) in the bed of the truck, I headed out into the dark and foggy rain for the 90 mile drive back to the farm, smiling at the half-price rosemary topiary I'd treated myself to as a reward for making it out of the store alive.

It's important to learn new things, and I'm proud that I can now carry on a semi-intelligent conversation about RACO boxes, ring shanks, and SEU cable. I understand the difference between full round head and clipped head nails, and I've fallen head over heels for 1x4s, which from now on I will refer to as 'girl boards.' I also know more than I ever thought possible about breaker boxes and pulling amps.

This is all very thrilling of course, but I'd much rather be baking than taking Wiring 101, especially as I watch our bread bakery finally becoming a reality. It's a proven fact that all workers are 50% more productive when they've been well fed (no, really), and our two builders informed me early on that they love baked goods of any sort.

When I'm not stuffing them with molasses ginger spice snaps, Mexican monkey cake, or my whole wheat chocolate chip and raisin cookies—which they both declared were the best cookies they'd ever eaten—I've been experimenting with new bread recipes, including this one.

It's almost too pretty to eat.

Italian Rosemary Raisin Bread
(Pane di Ramerino)

Makes 2 small loaves - Adapted slightly from

This is the second recipe I've made from a wonderful European book called
Bread: Artisan Breads from Baguettes and Bagels to Focaccia and Brioche by authors and cooking instructors Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno (he's French, she's Italian). If you learn best by looking at pictures, then this is definitely the book for you because it's packed with gorgeous, full-color photos.

And while it's perfect for beginners, I think many experienced bakers would also enjoy it. I've already discovered all sorts of handy tips and useful nuggets of information. The carrot herb rolls I created last month using the carrot bread recipe were a big hit, and there are several other breads I'm planning to make. At
around $15, this book is also a bargain.

Pane di ramerino has been baked daily throughout Tuscany since the early 16th century. As you can see, this is a beautiful bread, and it would not only be perfect to serve to guests but would also make a lovely gift. Thankfully the recipe makes two small loaves so you can spread the yeasty joy and still have some left for yourself.

I never would have thought to combine raisins and rosemary in bread, but the result is delicious. The flavor of the rosemary is subtle, so double the amount if you want to taste it more.

This is a rich, easy-to-work-with dough made with milk, olive oil (which adds another layer of flavor) and eggs. The texture of the crumb is reminiscent of a cinnamon roll. This bread freezes beautifully and can even be sliced while still frozen. (I use a large serrated knife.)

It also makes amazing toast, which I've been eating slathered with apricot jam and thinly sliced sharp cheddar cheese. This may sound like an odd combination, but it reminds me of the cheese and chutney sandwiches I was introduced to by an English pal when I was a kid.

The authors claim pane di ramerino is a superlative breakfast bread and "quite simply the best accompaniment to fresh goat cheese." My friend Amanda, who writes about glorious Mediterranean food at Figs Olives Wine, suggested using this bread to make her cool weather bruschetta with ricotta salata and thyme. Mmmmmm. I'm thinking it would also make marvelous French toast - perhaps for brunch on New Year's Day.

I've never had good luck using those little packets of yeast, and they're pricey. Instead I buy instant yeast in inexpensive 1-pound packages and store it in a jar in the freezer, where it will keep for at least a year.

3¾ cups organic bread flour (1 lb, 2¾ oz - 533 g) plus a little more while kneading
2 teaspoons instant yeast**
1/2 cup warm milk
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1½ packed cups (4½ oz - 127 g) raisins
4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 large eggs, beaten
1½ teaspoons salt

1. Mix the flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the milk, rosemary, raisins, olive oil, and eggs. Mix to form a soft, sticky dough, adding extra flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too moist.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead 6 minutes. Cover the dough and let it rest for 20 minutes.

3. Knead in the 1½ teaspoons salt, and continue kneading until the dough is silky, springy, and elastic, about 5 to 8 minutes.

4. Put the dough in a plastic lidded container (or in a large bowl covered with a damp tea towel) and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1½ to 2 hours.

Shaped loaves ready for proofing

5. Divide the dough into two pieces. Shape each into a round loaf and place on a well floured couche or work counter. If you don't have a baking stone (they make the best pizza and bread!), bake your focaccia on a heavy duty baking sheet. I've been using the heck out of some of my commercial rimmed baking sheets for 20 years for everything from baking scones to roasting Brussels sprouts.

Lightly dust tops of loaves with flour and cover with a damp tea towel.

6. Put the baking stone in the cold oven and heat to 400 degrees (never put a cold stone in a hot oven). Proof loaves until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (Note: the book says that the loaves will spread and look slightly flat after rising, but will rise up dramatically during the initial stages of baking. Mine didn't flatten out, but my dough was on the dense side.)

7. Cut a slash, 1/2 inch deep, across the top of the loaf, then another in the opposite direction to make an "X."

8. Bake in the preheated oven (directly on the baking stone if you're using one) until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped underneath, about 30 minutes with a baking stone and 45 minutes without. Cool on a wire rack.

Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

**A NOTE ON YEAST: I prefer to use instant yeast when baking bread because you can add it straight in with the dry ingredients. If you're using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, you'll need to proof it first.

For this recipe, place the 1/2 cup of warm milk in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve. Add this yeast mixture to the flour along with the rosemary, raisins, olive oil, and eggs.

Instant yeast is stronger than active dry yeast, so some bakers recommend using up to 25% more active dry yeast than the amount of instant yeast called for in a recipe (that would be 2½ teaspoons for this recipe). Others substitute active yeast for instant yeast 1 to 1. This may take your dough a little longer to rise, but that will only result in even better tasting bread.

Alternately, if a recipe calls for active dry yeast and you want to substitute instant yeast, you may want to use a little less. The original version of this recipe actually called for 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast and I simply used 2 teaspoons of instant yeast instead.

©, the yeasty foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares stories & photos of her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres.


  1. Susan - kudos on finally getting your "Shack" up and running (at least very close to that status :)

    I was wondering - your farm seems VERY far from a large population. How do you expect to support yourself/farm on such a limited number of customers? Or is there more to this picture...

  2. Having been in the civil engineering business for years I enjoyed your story about dealing with contractors. (We had two employees whose only job was tracking down contractors and chasing them from job to job!)

    You are wise to ply the workers with baked goods. (We got many favors for the price of a sack of donuts.) The only problem I forsee is that as the job winds down, the completion date could keep getting pushed further and further into the future as the contractor anticipates the end of their supply of fresh goodies?

    Perhaps you could promise eternal access to baked goods, (at wholesale price), if the project is completed on time.

  3. Wow! Awesome bread recipe, and even more awesome news that your new place will soon be done. HOORAY!

    My mom lives in a renovated sharecropper's shack from the late 1800s; over the last 20 years she's taken it from a falling-down house (like your Shack) to a nice litlte home with running water and bathrooms. But she says that sometimes she longs for the ease and convenience of a new house. :-)

  4. exciting developments! Lowe's is on a first name basis with DH and me - great people and interesting things to buy (light fixtures are an adventure). The bread recipe may coax me out of my current anti baking funk (overdid the sweet stuff during holidays). BTW - DO NOT begin to say "as long as we are doing this we might as well ______" whatever goes in the blank will cause financial distress eventually (voice of experience - we built our house 8 years ago- literally built it). It is FUN to see it happen though isn't it?

  5. Trust me, knowing your way around a Lowes and all the construction stuff you're learning comes in handy in the bakery and food business! Have a great New Year!

  6. Hello. I am a newcomer at blogging and I am so impressed by yours.I love it :) You know what, you are living my dream life- the farm, the sheep, the cooking, the fresh air. :) Keep it up. I am one of your fans :)

  7. This makes me think of Anadama bread, I believe it is, only caraway instead of rosemary. In which case, I may have to try this out. Rosemary is something we've got a ton of here.

    Thanks for leaving a comment on the poor hijacked blog. Long story. When you've got a minute, email me at bginab at gmail dot com.

  8. Oh that made me laugh, Money Pit is an all time fave although I dream of having a vast 'doer-upper' type project - I speak as one who has never lived through it of course!

    I was wondering to myself the other day where you were with the bakery project and today's recipe (with time on my hands) is the first to inspire me to try my hand. And then I realised, I have all but the rosemary as those pesky hounds ate my entire rosemary bush and I'm yet to replant.

    Any suggestions for an alternative? For the herb (not the dogs!) XX

  9. Congrats on the project going full steam ahead! Very happy for you and looking forward to updates on the progress!

  10. You go girl! I can relate as I've been the general contractor on our after-the-flood remodel. It's actually fun. Thanks so much for the fantastic bread recipe. The farmer oversees a major fresh herb operation so rosemary bread will be a hit in this house. Thanks again.

  11. After renovating one house and three kitchens (one of which is a teaching kitchen), and being forced to act as my own "general contractor" (i.e., person who goes to Home Depot for nails and screws) a couple of times, I absolutely sympathize with you. Yet you are moving forward, which is so exciting -- can't wait to see photos when the bakery is finished!

  12. Hi Farmgirl,
    Love your site. I think I live my dream life vicariously through you as sadly my hubby will never move any further out.

    My question is - do you store your recipes electronically? You seem so organized I wondered if you use paper or electronic format.

    Good luck on the building project!

  13. Congrats on your soon to be new home! What will become of the Shack when you move out?

  14. That is a gorgeous loaf of bread. And so perfect for this time of year. Of course, my idea of comfort this time of year is a cup of hot tea and a slice of warm bread, so sign me up.


  15. It is so wonderful of you to feed your contractor and workers! My mother always laid out a big table of homemade sandwiches and beer/iced tea, or at the very least offered a glass of something refreshing to drink, for whomever was working around our home and naturally, we always had the best service.

    Now, as a house-painter, I find I've been set up for a world of dissapointment at the distinct lack of even simple gratitude, (let alone an entire lunch or snacks), expressed by my clients and while I still always do my very best, it has given my mother and her savvy generosity 'Goddess-like' status in my memory, haha!

    Kudo's to you for practicing simple human kindness. It is so valuable on so many levels, not least of which is the benefits you'll reap from a well-fed crew. Hospitality is a wonderful virtue to share with as many as we can. Thank you!

  16. Another beautiful bread for my del.ici.ous file. Thank you so much for being the prolific bread baker you are.
    Congrats on your almost-finished new home.

  17. Hi Lewis,
    Our farm is definitely very far from a large population. In fact, our nearest neighbor is several miles away. However, there are numerous little towns around here and absolutely nowhere to buy freshly baked bread of any kind. That's where we come in!

    Our bread bakery is going to be strictly wholesale. Since there will be no retail outlet, locating it right here on the farm made the most sense. We plan to bake bread twice a week and deliver it to nearby ('nearby' being a relative term) restaurants and retail locations. We have a circular route mapped out of about 150 miles that will take us through 7 or 8 towns of various sizes.

    The few people and business owners we've told about our bakery are very excited, and we have high hopes for filling a much needed niche in the area. Of course our plans may change entirely once we're up and running, but no matter what happens, we're both really looking forward to making this dream come true! : )

    Hi SRHCB,
    Ha ha, you may be onto something regarding the completion date of our building project getting pushed further and further back. The guys were supposed to build a horse barn before starting work here, but there was some kind of delay so they said they could work a couple of weeks here and then come back when the horse barn was finished.

    Then they got here and found themselves working indoors with XM radio and plenty of baked goods. The one time we brought up the horse barn project, they gave some vague answer about them not even having all the materials yet. This was weeks ago. Today we mapped out the general timeline for the rest of the work here, and there was no mention at all of the horse barn. I can only hope those horses have some other place to spend the winter! ; )

    Hi Miss Kitty,
    LOL it sounds like your mom did exactly what we didn't. When Joe first moved to the farm, the plan was to tear down The Shack and build a 'real' house as soon as possible. It was in pretty bad shape.

    But then all the available funds went towards animal type stuff--you know, fencing, shelters, feed, and basically trying to stay afloat keeping livestock. So seventeen years of living in it later. . . And of course you can never rationalize spending much money fixing the place up since you know you're going to tear it down. Plus it's one of those things where if you make one improvement, the rest of the place looks even worse! ; )

    I know what your mom means about the ease and convenience of a new house. We're going to be so spoiled with this place. Right now our lives are held together with duct tape, clothespins, extension cords, and all the buckets and tubs we keep out to catch the rain that falls in the house. Already we're having trouble truly comprehending the idea of ceiling lights wherever we want them, let alone central heating!

    Hi Linda Sue,
    This is all very exciting. Things are moving so fast now we're in sort of a state of shock. We might actually be moving in a matter of months. This morning Joe called to order 54 (!!) rolls of insulation to hopefully be delivered next week. Before he was even done on the phone they'd started loading it onto the truck and they were here a couple of hours later.

    As far as the "as long as. . . we might as well" thing, I hear you on that. Fortunately we're pretty much doing everything from scratch so there isn't much else we could add, LOL.

    Hi Steven,
    Great to hear from you. I owe you an email or two. Learning all this building stuff has actually been pretty interesting. Hopefully, though, we won't be having to go through all this ever again. ; )

    Hi foodhuntress,
    Welcome to the farm! Thanks so much for taking the time to write and say hello. Until you're actually living your dream life, you're welcome to e-visit as much as you like--it's all of the farm fun (and craziness) and none of the work!

    Hi Bgina,
    Great to hear from you. I'll email you soon.

    Hi B,
    The dogs ate your rosemary bush? And I thought my dogs were destructive, LOL. As far as a substitute for the rosemary in this bread, I've been racking my brain and haven't come up with one yet. Of course I'm not very imaginative when it comes to cooking with herbs. I'm sure you could use dried rosemary in a pinch--just add a bit less. And you could always simply make it without any, but I think that subtle hint of rosemary is what makes the bread really special. Sorry I'm not more help!

    Hi The Dame,
    Thanks so much. I'm hoping to have more updates soon, too!

    Hi Zanne,
    Thanks for the support and the smile. Ha ha, 'major fresh herb operation'--I love it. And I think you'll love this bread!

    Hi Lydia,
    You renovated an entire house and three kitchens and lived to tell about it? You are much braver than I am. I can't wait to see photos of the finished bakery either! : )

    Hi STC,
    Wow, I'm amazed that I've managed to come across as organized (and my mother and Joe will be even more amazed when they read this, LOL). Honestly (and why I'm being honest about this I have no idea) my recipes are a mess. I'm a recipe hoarder, so besides my oodles of cookbooks I've squirrelled away countless magazines and probably a couple of thousand recipe clippings.

    I have dozens of file folders that are sort of helpful, and at one point I actually used to put little sticky notes in magazines with the name of the recipe written on each one. But the only place my recipes are really easy to navigate is online. Anytime I see one that catches my eye I save it to (click here to see my stash). In about five seconds you can install a tab thingie so that you can save a recipe (or any web page) with one click, and then you can give it all sorts of labels to make it easier to find. I highly recommend it!

    Hi Annie,
    Thanks. Well, Joe says we're going to have to tear down The Shack, because it really is falling down around us. But I'm hoping that we'll be able to save the older (really scary) half--it's a log cabin (hidden under rotting wood siding) that's about 150 years old and used to be a general store. I have dreams of restoring it, but I'm afraid that may be only a dream. You never know, though. Besides, razing this place will make a huge mess! ; )

    Hi Almost Vegetarian,
    A hot cup of tea and a warm slice of bread sounds like perfection to me. : )

    Hi Junglegirl,
    I loved reading your comment. Your mother sounds wonderful. And I can't believe people don't feed you! That is such a shame. Your timing is perfect, too. This afternoon I was apologizing to the guys because I'd meant to give them some banana cake to take home and instead of mixing up the cream cheese frosting (and doing various other things), I spent a couple of hours chasing down some extremely wayward donkeys instead (we're talking miles from the farm). They (the builders, not the donkeys) were very understanding. The good news is that the sourdough onion rye I started this morning took much longer than expected to ferment which worked out perfectly with the donkey chasing schedule. And now I'd better go get it into the oven--and get us fed some back-up bread instead!

    Hi Christine,
    So nice to hear from you. Thank you and you're welcome!

  18. I covet your bakery. And the bread! It looks so good.

  19. GIRL BOARDS!!!
    that is HILARIOUS!!!

    happy new year, farmgirl...

  20. Oh, that's ever so great! Your bread looks gorgeous!

    Cheers and Happy New Year!


  21. Your house/bakery sounds splendid, and so do you, clever one. How competent you must feel. I would be very interested in seeing photos of the project in progress!

  22. Hi Susan...last night I experimented with your Rosemary Raisin bread. I made a giant mistake in that I didn't proof my Active yeast before adding it to the flour. It might be helpful to shed some light on the subject of Instant versus Active yeast in these recipes, for those ignorant souls such as myself who haven't done much baking. It can be very disappointing to spend so much time on a recipe, only to have it fail. I noticed that most of your bread and pizza dough recipes call for Instant yeast. How can we best adapt Active yeast to your recipes. Thanks so much. Susanna.

  23. Incredible looking yummy stuff in those photos! You are inspiring me!

    Good luck on the construction. Congrats, you actually got a contractor ... early.

    We have remodeled six house, right down to the studs, so we know about your coming adventures.

    We also lived in the houses during the work, plus we did a major portion of the grunt work. I built the river rock chimneys and they are actually still standing. :-)

    Will be interesting to watch your progress!

    Now, back to your great looking recipes!

  24. Oh I would LOVE a slice please!!!!

    can't wait to read the progress of the bakery!

  25. Hi Farmgirl Susan,

    Please keep us updated. Love the idea. I have one simular but mine is a lot futher off. Mine is with fresh made sausages and other goodies. Good luck with everything.


  26. How very exciting!! I bet it's wonderful to see your dreams coming into fruition!

    Entertaining commentary as well!

  27. Hi Sher,
    This bread really is good--and easier to make than it looks. I think you'd really enjoy it.

    Hi Reneshay,
    Yeah, those girl boards are great. I'd never even heard of them before. ; ) After wading through piles of 2x4s and 2x6s, I wasn't looking forward to picking my way through dozens of 1x4s in search of 23 good ones.

    I took it as a good sign when I saw that they were actually standing up on end rather than laying in a pile. And then I picked one up. Hurray! It was like lifting practically nothing at all. And there were even two different stacks so I could sort through all the warped ones and still keep them all neatly organized. I never knew buying lumber could be so refreshing and fun, LOL.

    Hi Rosa,
    Thanks and Happy New Year to you! I'm looking forward to seeing what you bake up in 2008.

    Hi Lindy,
    I've been taking lots of photos of the construction, but the ones of the kitchen aren't all that exciting just yet. I'll send you some, though.

    Hi Susanna,
    I was so sorry to hear about your bread baking troubles with these loaves. My apologies for not getting back to you sooner. The day you wrote, though, I did add some information about active dry yeast vs. instant yeast at the end of the article.

    Personally I prefer to use instant yeast because you can add it straight in with the dry ingredients. It's become more and more popular over the years, but when it comes to yeast in general, there is a huge controversy among bakers. They disagree about everything from which is the best kind to use in bread to what the differences are between them--or if there even are differences. For example, some 'experts' say that all the "instant" type yeasts are the same, while others say that under no circumstances should you ever bake with Rapid-Rise yeast. And it just gets more confusing from there.

    You can read a little bit more about yeast here and here.

    Hope this helps. And I hope, too, that you haven't given up on baking bread! : )

    Hi Strawberry Lane,
    Wow, you remodeled six houses and lived to tell about it? (And didn't kill each other in the process?) And built river rock chimneys yourself? I love those. I'm very impressed!

    The other day Joe said the best thing about this whole project is that we aren't having to live in there while the work is being done. You seriously must be super girl. ; )

    Hi Jaden,
    I'd be happy to share a slice with you, but I don't know how you'll have any room for it what with all the amazing food you're always cooking up in that steamy kitchen of yours. ; )

    Hi Jane,
    Fresh made sausages? Oh MY. Don't give up on your idea, even if it seems like it might never happen. Our has taken what feels like forever, but it looks like it's finally all coming together. Best of luck to you!

    Hi SegoLily,
    It really is exciting. Things are moving so quickly now it's crazy. Good to know it's entertaining as well! ; )

  28. Just found your site from someone else's comments etc. It's been fun to visit and read about your adventurous farm life! I've also enjoyed reading your recipes and have visited year in bread. We're city folk, but I love seeing the donkeys and sheep and cats and what not...a beautiful life! God bless you!

  29. Hello! Just found your blog through a friend. I love to bake and will most definitely be trying your bread.

    I also have a strange love of 1x4's - girl boards - I love it!


  30. That looks fantastic. Awesome! I'm going to have to try this!

  31. Susan...thank you so much for taking time from your busy life to address the yeast issue, both in the article and to me directly. I must say I was feeling pretty demoralized. I had attempted numerous loaves of bread and three pizzas and all were utter disasters. I wrung my hands, read everything I could find on baking, purchased numerous books, turned up the heat in my house, bought a baking stone, and a pizza peel....I even cried. I was listening to the voices of every baker I had been reading, and all had something different to say on every subject of baking, as you have reminded us. Finally I found Saf instant yeast at our local Williams Sonoma, and put everything I had been reading to the back of my mind and just let my instinct take over. I made your pizza dough last night. Honestly, if it didn't turn out I was packing it in. My husband stood by the oven in fearful anticipation as I pulled out the most gorgeous pie we'd ever seen. I think I get it. Baking is a lot like life. You gotta get your hands sticky, take in as much information as you can, but in the end....listen to your own voice. Thank you for being one of the better voices out there. Susanna.

  32. I have a QUESTION for you: I would love to try some of your wonderful recipes, including this, latest one, but am afraid that yeast breads won't rise in my house. I keep my thermostat set at 50 degrees (seriously!) and when a friend brought a loaf of unbaked dough over for lunch one day, it wouldn't rise. Any suggestions for baking bread in a frigid zone?


  33. Your recipe for the Carrot muffins first caught my eye. Then, navigating around your site I landed on this recipe as well. Rosemary and bread are so perfect together, and I love to put raisins in whatever I can. My family often laughs about that. I especially love using my therapeutic and food grade essential oils while cooking. Just a drop of the Rosemary oil is wonderful. I'll be looking forward to experimenting with this recipe and the oil. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Hope you don't mind. I've added a link to your blog on mine. Wished to share this delicious spot with others as well.

  34. This is a lovely recipe. I enjoy the rosemary-currant bread from my local artisan bakery, and this reminds me of it. I'll definitely give it a try in the next few days.

    I'm a one-to-one substitution person between active dry and instant yeast. I like the longer rise.

    Also, Lynn (the previous commenter) asked for recommendations on rising dough in cool conditions. Here's what James Beard recommends, as explained in Beard on Bread: Heat a mug of water in the microwave, place the mug in the corner of the microwave, and now you've created a warm, humid environment in which to bring bread to a quick rise. I hope that helps!

    Happy New Year.

  35. Congratulations on the bakery-to-be! It is exciting to see your progress. That bread looks way too good!

  36. I have never before made bread by myself, but I baked this bread yesterday, and it is yummy. I thought the recipe was easy to follow, except that I had to Google what proofing is. :-)

  37. Looks delicious, just as I expected it would. The more foodies I get to know the rounder my figure is becoming...and I'm proud of it.

  38. Gorgeous!! I must give it a try--the crumb is beautiful. I can see the texture. A must-try...after the sun goes down.

  39. Is your wholesale bakery open yet? I live in Mid Missouri. Wondering if anyone sells your bread near me? I live about 100 miles east of Kansas City.

  40. Hi JeannaMO,Thanks for your interest in our bread bakery. I'm sorry to say that, for numerous reasons (that include everything from building delays and major plumbing problems to personal circumstances to skyrocketing flour and gas prices), the operation isn't up and running yet - and at this point we aren't sure when or if it's actually ever going to be.

    But I'd definitely like to put the 7-foot wide oven and 60 quart mixer already installed in the kitchen to good use someday. The good news is that at least gas prices have come back down - now if only flour prices would! : )

  41. Just to clarify, you proof the loaves on the baking stone after preheating the oven to 400 for one hour, then cut the x's. When you cook for 30 more minutes, do you turn the oven back on or does the warmth of the stone continue to cook the loaves?

  42. Hi Amie,
    I'm glad you asked for clarification. The shaped loaves proof (rise for the second time) on the kitchen counter or any other space preferably about 70° to 75°F.

    They do NOT proof in the oven. You're just turning on the oven early because it takes a while for the baking stone to heat up.

    Once the loaves have finished proofing, THEN you put them in the hot oven, which should still be turned on.

    Hope this helps. Happy baking! :)

  43. Ok, this may sound crazy but the only dough making that I do is in my bread machine. Could I do this one and after the dough cycle ends divide and proof once more on the counter?

  44. Hi Elizabeth,
    I don't have any experience with bread machines, but it seems like your idea should work fine. If you try it, I hope you'll come back and let us know how the bread turned out. Happy baking! :)

  45. Made this bread today ( I used a mixture of rasins and cranberries)'s heaven and easy. My luck with bread making is hit or miss...this was a hit and my house smells divine.

  46. SO GLAD you posted a link to this post on a recent blog post about your bakery-to-be -- I made this DEEEEEElicious bread several times when you FIRST posted it, then forgot about it as winter became spring...summer...fall... relocating twice in 3 years after that... And now VOILA! It is back in my life! Hooray!!! And sending you some good juju for healing so you can get back to the things you love.


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

Hi! Thanks for visiting Farmgirl Fare and taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love hearing about your experiences with my recipes. Comments on older posts are always welcome!

Please note that I moderate comments, so if I'm away from the computer it may be a while before yours appears.

I try my best to answer all questions, though sometimes it takes me a few days. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your e-visits to our farm!