A touch of rosemary

Rosemary is my only plant that survived the attack of Mr. Pat the Possum some time back. It has grown well, and I do hope it will endure the long winter ahead. Rosemary is one of my favourite herbs. And I am sure a lot of you love it, too. But do you know rosemary is an ancient symbol of remembrance and fidelity? A little search on the internet yields quite a number of interesting articles about this. It’s pleasant to know that rosemary has always been a favourite through time.

Rosemary is most used in savoury dishes and bakes. But today I will use this herb in a sweet bread. Originated from Tuscany, the bread pairs rosemary with raisin, and it proves to be a wonderful combination. It has the right level of sweetness from the raisin and the aroma of the rosemary is just fantastic. Enriched with eggs and olive oil, the bread remains soft and nice for at least three days.

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Serve this with butter or mild cheese, you will find yourself coming back for another slice. This is one of the best recipes I have come across, and I will surely make it again and again. Highly recommended for everyone! Don't worry if you are not a raisin fan like me. The flavour of raisin is pretty mild in this bread, making it much more enjoyable.

I would like to submit this post to Weekend Herb Blogging. Created by Kalyn, it is currently hosted by Ulrike from Kuchenlatein this week. Please check out the round up later.

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Rosemary Raisin Bread

Recipe from this book

Ingredients (yield 2 round loaves)

2 tsp dried yeast

100ml warm water

450g strong white flour*

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp milk powder

1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

225g raisin

4 tbsp olive oil

4 eggs, lightly beaten


Sprinkle the yeast into the water in a bowl. Leave for 5 mins then stir to dissolve.

Mix flour, salt, milk powder in a large bowl. Add the yeast liquid and the remaining ingredients. Mix to form a dough (adjust water or flour if needed). Knead until the dough is silky, springy and elastic. (This takes about 10 mins by hand).

Put the dough in a clean, oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Gently turn the dough into an oiled surface. Rotate the dough in a circle, applying downward pressure to the side, cupping the dough with the inside of your hand. Do this gently until the dough is smooth and round. Cover and leave for 10 mins.

Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Shape into a round loaf. Put on the oiled baking tray. Cover and leave for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 200C. Cut a slash 1cm deep across the top of each loaf, then another in the opposite direction to make an ‘X’.

Bake each loaf for 45 mins, until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped underneath. Turn out and cool on a wire rack.

(*): If you are in Australia, I recommend using Wallaby Bakers Flour for your white bread. I have used quite a few brands, and this bread flour provides the best result. Recently, my local Coles supermarket has started to stock it. It normally comes in 5kg package and you can use it for varieties of bread and pizza. My local grocery also carries the organic range, but it comes in 10kg package so I haven't tried it out yet.



Ellie 11:56 PM  

Mmmm, I can smell the rosemary from here! That looks like a beautifully fragrant bread :)

Ulrike 2:19 AM  

Mmmmhh, a great combination rosemary and raisins together in a bread, that stirs my baking heart :-)

Kalyn 2:22 AM  

Rosemary, one of my very favorites. What a delightful sounding bread you've made. There is a restaurant near me that has the most amazing rosemary flatbread, served with roasted tomatoes and warmed goat cheese.

SteamyKitchen 3:57 AM  

I too love rosemary. Its such a hardy plant - always surviving....even if I forget to water it!

Simona 6:30 AM  

I came here from WHB: what a great idea! I have plenty of rosemary in my garden and should try again to make bread. Thanks for the recipe.

Nora B. 1:08 PM  

Anh, I never would have thought of using rosemary with a sweet bread. This sounds like a great combo, thanks for writing about it. I should throw some rosemary in next time I make raisin bread (which happens to be one of my fav. breads).

zorra 4:44 PM  

Sounds and looks great! I will have to try it soon!

Truffle 5:17 PM  

What a fantastic combination. I am so envious of those that bake their own bread.

Anh 5:44 PM  

Ellie, thanks dear. It is indeed very fragrant.

Ulrike, thank you. We all love baking occasionally, right?

Kalyn, I love rosemarry, too. And the bread you described sounds perfectly delicious! Yum!

Jaden, thank you. I hope my plant will thrive, too.

Simona, thanks for dropping by. This recipe is a great way to use rosemary.

Nora, I came across this bread some time back and thought it was a little strange. But after making and trying it, I am totally convinced! :D

Zorra, thank you.

Truffle, I would love to trade a loaf of this bread for the perfectly cooked beef of yours! ;)

Maria Helene Schlösser 7:10 PM  

What an amazing combination! I have to try it! :)

Lydia 8:25 PM  

I've never had a bread with rosemary and raisins! I love raisins, and though I grow rosemary in my garden, I have to use it very sparingly in my cooking. Definitely will try this recipe, though.

Patricia Scarpin 10:58 PM  

What a fabulous recipe, Anh!
I love rosemary, too, and I'm glad mine has been growing - slowly, but still - so I can use it sometimes in my food.

Cookie baker Lynn 11:40 PM  

Lovely bread. It looks like large hot cross buns. I can imagine how wonderful that would smell baking. Mmmmm.

Angie 12:14 AM  

Arh...bread and rosemary, my all-time fav combination )

Hedgehog 2:44 AM  

You're such a good cook Anh. Hey, is mr Pat the possum still living in your house?

Nanditha Prabhu 2:48 AM  

sounds and smells grt!

Sharmi 6:01 AM  

thank for the info on rosemary. never tried it. my friend told me it gives a real good flavor. have to try out sometime.

Anh 9:28 AM  

Maria, thank you. Hope you like it.

Lydia, this combination is quite popular in Italy I think. I have come across several recipes for it.

Pat, thanks sweetie. Hope your rosemarry grow quicker each day.

Lynn, thanks dear. It does look like a giant hot cross buns, but I love its taste much better. :D

Angie, I was thinking of you when making this bread. I do remember how much you love rosemary =)

Hedgehog, so happy to hear your compliment. And no, Pat the Possum hasn't visited us again. :P

Nanditha Prabhu, thank you.

Sharmi, you really should try rosemary. It's truly wonderful.

Precious Moments 10:15 AM  

Rosemary and raisins, both my favourites. yum yum.

Mae 6:53 PM  

It's one of my fave herbs too! I have it as a topiary in my kitchen on the windowsill so i could smell it all the time. I love it on roasts. Especially, roast potatoes.

I've wanted to try it on bread for ages.

Cynthia 10:55 PM  

Hi Anh, thanks for stopping by my blog and helping me to discover yours.

Rosemary is one of my favourite herbs too and it is interesting how you've paired it here with raisins. The bread looks moist and rich. Will give it a try sometime.

I've aded you to my feeds so that I don't miss another of your posts.

joey 1:31 AM  

Sounds intriguing...rosemary and raisin...the more I think about it the more i like it! :)

Your plant looks gorgeous! :)

Anh 2:27 PM  

Edith, *hug hug*

Mae, I grow my rosemary in the balcony together with some sage. It's really lovely... I'll add more to my herb garden after I move to a larger place. :)

Cynthia, thanks for your lovely comment. I'll sure drop by your blog often.

Joey, thanks dear. It's an interestingly delicious combination.

Amy 5:15 PM  

Mmm I'd love a slice of that bread. It looks so delicious and the rosemary is a great addition.

Sandeepa 4:58 AM  

Haven't really used Rosemary in my cooking. Your plant looks good and the bread too

neil 2:29 PM  

When I saw that you were putting rosemary in the bread, I immediately thought olives must be going in next, certainly didn't see the raisins coming, intriguing combination. The texture of your bread looks just right.

Wendy 4:04 PM  

Just discovered your blog today and love it.
Looking forward to trying this bread out. Lots of rosemary in the garden to be used up!

Seena 1:46 PM  

this is first time am learning about rosemary..thanks for sharing.

Seena 1:49 PM  
This post has been removed by the author.
Elle 2:29 PM  

That is not only a yummy sounding bread, but a fantastic photo. Rosemary is unusual in a sweet bread, but sounds great with the raisins.

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A culinary journey of a Vietnamese girl, who loves to cook. From her tiny kitchen in the middle of Sydney, Australia. You can contact me at anhnguyen118[at]gmail[dot]com

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