I struggled with whether or not to share this bread and if I did share it, I had no idea what I would call it.Let me explain. I set out intending to make a yeast risen cake. They are my latest obsession. Well, the obsession really started because I ran out of baking powder one day and I thought that it was time to test out yeast risen cakes. It also seemed perfect for our lemon theme in Bundt Bakers this month. (Thanks for hosting Anne!) I drew inspiration from several yeast-risen cakes that I saw around but particularly from the Polish babka. I loved the crumb that I saw on a couple and I adapted the recipes hoping that I would have the same.
The addition of rosemary was because it was the herb of the week for me. Months ago, when I first pondered this, I thought basil would have been the winner. But it got edged out by rosemary. The smell from the oven was just amazing; I knew that I had made a great choice.The dough had quite the oven spring and rose way above my ten cup Bundt pan.
I impatiently waited for it to cool so that I could get a slice. Finally, I did. And I was disappointed. What I had was definitely bread - not cake. On that cake -bread line, this wasn't even near the middle. Dejected, I sat down to make notes on what to change for the next iteration so that I could get a more cake-like crumb. I nibbled on pieces as jotted in my notebook. At one point, I looked up for something. That's when I realised that I had eaten almost half of bread. It was clearly delicious. It needed to be shared. But with the Bundt Bakers? And if yes, what would I call it? When half the bread was gone, and I still hadn't made up my mind, I realised that it would be detrimental to my waistline to make another lemon-rosemary "hopefully-cake-this-time". This was definitely worthy of sharing with the Bundt Bakers and I would just have to figure out a name while I went for a long walk to prepare for the remaining half.
The bread is unbelievably soft. Shreddable soft. I absolutely love it! It's much too delicate for French toast; though I think a dip in a coconut custard would be heavenly. Maybe if I let some pieces get a wee bit stale? Perhaps. But I did lightly toast a few slices. So good. I'm still disappointed that I didn't get the cake that I was craving but this bread more than makes up for it. Plus, I really shouldn't be that disappointed since I make a microwave mug cake almost every single day. My cravings are being satiated.And this just means that I get to bake a layer cake just because it's a day that ends with a "y" pretty soon.
Be sure to check out all the lemon cakes below!
Soft Lemon Rosemary Bread
Recipe by: Kelly Adapted from: Are You Cooking?
Yield: 1 Bundt
Ingredients120 grams all purpose flour
3 teaspoons instant yeast
190 grams warm milk (110F - 130F per manufacturer directions)
60 grams sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest (zest of 2 lemons)
5 egg yolks
2-3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely minced
240 grams all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
85 grams butter, melted
Stir flour, yeast and milk together. Whisk until smooth. Cover and let sit until doubled. This will happen pretty quickly as there is a lot of yeast. Don't go too far!
Rub the lemon zest into the sugar to help release the oils.
Beat yolks and lemon sugar until thick and pale yellow. Add all of the sponge and the rosemary and beat until combined.
Slowly stir in the flour and salt. Beat with a paddle attachment for 5 minutes then drizzle in the melted butter. Knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough glossy and pulls away from the side of the bowl. It's fairly sticky!
Cover and let sit until doubled. The time it takes will depend on the temperature of the room. Estimate 30 minutes to an hour if it's relatively warm.
Grease a 10 -12 cup Bundt pan and preheat the oven to 350 F.
Distribute the dough evenly in the pan and once again, let it rise until doubled once more.
When the dough is ready, bake for 15 minutes at 350F then lower the temperature to 325F. Bake for another 20 - 30 minutes or until the bread registers at least 190F.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Try not to cut it while it's still hot!
2 tablespoons of rosemary gives it a subtle rosemary flavour. You can definitely smell it though. Bump it up if you want more. Lemon extract could also be added to boost the lemon flavour.
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