- One ¬ľ-ounce package active dry yeast or 1¬ĺ¬†teaspoons instant yeast
- 1¬ľ cups warm (105¬įF to 110¬įF) water
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1¬Ĺ teaspoons salt
- ¬ĺ teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
- About 3¬Ĺ cups bread flour or unbleached all-purpose¬†flour
- 4 ounces (¬ľ-inch-thick) sliced prosciutto, chopped into¬†¬ľ-inch dice
- 1¬Ĺ tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 2¬†teaspoons dried rosemary
With the additions of prosciutto, fresh rosemary, and¬†cracked pepper, a basic bread becomes a festive loaf.
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric¬†mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let stand until the¬†yeast softens, about 10 minutes. Stir to dissolve the yeast.
- Using a wooden spoon or the paddle blade on low¬†speed, mix in the oil, salt, and pepper. Beat in enough of¬†the flour to make a shaggy dough that clears the sides of¬†the bowl.
- If kneading by hand, turn out the dough onto a lightly¬†floured work surface. Knead the dough, adding more flour¬†as needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10¬†minutes.¬†If kneading by machine, change to the dough hook and¬†knead on medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and¬†elastic, about 8 minutes. If you like you can knead on the¬†work surface to check the consistency.
- Shape the dough into a ball. Transfer the dough to a¬†lightly oiled large bowl. Turn to coat the dough with oil.¬†Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place¬†until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough and shape into a ball. Return¬†the dough to the bowl, turn to coat with oil, cover, and let¬†rise until doubled again, about 45 minutes.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat¬†to 400¬įF. Lightly oil a large baking sheet.
- Turn out the dough onto the work surface. Knead,¬†gradually working in the prosciutto and rosemary. Flatten¬†the dough into a 12-inch disk, then roll up jelly roll‚Äďstyle.¬†Pinch the seams shut. Place on the baking sheet, seam¬†side down. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise until¬†doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
- Using a very sharp knife, cut 3 shallow diagonal¬†slashes in the top of the bread. Bake until the bread is¬†golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the¬†bottom, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.