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Aptly meaning "dew of the sea," rosemary has grown wild in the soil around the Mediterranean for over 2,500 years (Ortiz 46). This herb is a member of the mint family and was often used medicinally to reduce the effects of illnesses associated with memory loss and the digestive and nervous systems (Hess 208, 424; Herbst 393). Of course, rosemary also flavored a variety of savory dishes, such as roasted meats or sausage, as well as sweet preparations. In her cookbook, Martha Washington called for rosemary in a custard recipe, "To Make French Curds," and rosemary flowers in those entitled "To Make Conserue [sic] of Rosemary Flowers," "To Candy Rosemary Flowers," and "Spirits of Rosemary Flowers" (Hess 152-153, 277,281, 424-425). Fresh or dried rosemary adds a fragrant aroma and delicately herbaceous flavor to this light-textured bread. Makes one 12-inch-Iong loaf.

Ingredients
  1. 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  2. 2 cups warm water (110° to 115°F)
  3. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  4. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 5 cups bread flour
Directions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until foamy.
  2. Stir in the oil, rosemary, and salt. Mix in the bread flour, 1 cup at a time, to make a soft dough.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic, adding only enough flour to prevent sticking.
  4. Transfer the dough to a large bowl coated with vegetable oil, and turn the dough to coat all surfaces. Cover with a slightly damp towel. Let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until doubled in size.
  5. Punch down the dough. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Lightly grease a 15 x 10 x I-inch baking pan with butter. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  7. Roll the dough into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Starting at a long side, tightly roll up the dough, jelly-roll style. Pinch the seam to seal. Taper the ends. Place the 12-inch loaf, smooth side up, on the prepared baking pan. Cover, and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes, until almost doubled in size.
  8. Bake the loaf for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  9. Remove the bread from the baking pan, and cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes before serving.


Used by:
Calf's Head, Hashed
Fowl, Roasted & Stuffed
Lobster Cutlets
Turbot au Gratin

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