In the dark of winter, a warm loaf of bread is all it takes to restore warmth to your soul. I love the fragrant rosemary combined with sweet honey in this bread. In Ethiopia, dabo, or honey bread, is on the breakfast table. It has a gentle sweetness that lends itself to any topping, from butter and jam to the traditional shiro, Ethiopian chickpea spread.
The rosemary is toasted to bring out the fragrant essential oils. Enjoy with your morning coffee or tea.
From Soul of a New Cuisine
Servings: Makes 2 loaves
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1/4 cup canola oil
2 packets active dry yeast(11/2 tablespoons)
2 1/2 cups warm water
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup honey
1. Toast the rosemary in a small saute pan over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine the oil, yeast, and warm water and stir to dissolve the yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
3. Combine the flour and salt and mound in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle. Slowly pour the dissolved yeast into the well, working in the flour with your fingertips, then knead the dough until a ball forms. Knead in the honey and toasted rosemary.
4. Put the dough in a large oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth or oiled plastic wrap and let rise to 1 1/2 times the original size, about 1 hour
5. Grease to 9 x 4-inch loaf pans. Punch down the dough and transfer to a floured work surface. Knead for 5 minutes. Divide the dough in half and shape into loaves. Place in the prepared pans, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 20 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the pans in the oven and bake until the tops are golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Invert the pans onto a cooling rack and let sit for 5 minutes, then remove the pans and let cool.