, , ,

Decided, on a whim, to make bread. That was until I discovered that there wasn’t any more yeast left! So I went with an Irish soda bread (Okay, inspired by masterchef again) and tweaked the flavours a whole lot. Here’s a combination of sweet and savoury – rosemary infused into the browned butter, or beurre noisette, with it nuttiness and richness. The loaf was brightened with citrus notes from the orange zest and the currants gave it little pockets of sweetness. Finally, a little black pepper and sea salt to round off.

I like that the loaf wasn’t too heavy or fluffy with an almost-perfect slightly chewy texture, thanks to the whole wheat flour. This particular one must be toasted before eating. Lightly golden, crisp just around the edges and oh the difference it makes to the flavour! The combination of rosemary, black pepper, citrus and currants is magical. Now let me rave about the wonders of browned butter – it’s so freakin’ amazing. Sure, it requires some extra effort to make and careful attention to prevent it from becoming all burnt and bitter. But it is soo soo worth it! The depth and nuttiness, makes everything taste better. The loaf was gone so quickly that I had to make a ‘cake version’ the following night to take to school, as promised. 
Rosemary, Currants & Browned Butter Bread Loaf
loosely adapted from the recipe here at 101 cookbooks
2 cups organic whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur brand)
3/4 cups buttermilk
1 t baking soda
2 T organic dark brown sugar
generous pinch of sea salt
2 T European unsalted butter
1 T dried rosemary
freshly ground black pepper
1 T grated orange zest
handful of currants soaked in a little rum or water

Prep the beurre noisette:
Place the butter in a bowl and microwave it on high for 1 minute to melt it down. In 20sec increments, continue to heat the butter. It will turn from pale yellow, then start to bubble, then the milk solid components of the butter will separate and start to brown, finally it all becomes a golden amber colour with specks of dark brown. Trust yr instincts/nose because it will begin to smell AMAZINGLY GOOD. Toss the rosemary into the hot browned butter and let it infuse. Use a fork to remove about half of the rosemary and set aside.

The bread:
super easy to make. Stir together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the middle. Pour the brown butter into the middle. Mix to combine. Add the buttermilk and orange zest. And lastly, the currants. Stir til just incorporate, do not overmix. Pour into a loaf tin. Using a knife to make a deep cut in the middle of the batter. Sprinkle over the reserved rosemary (from the brown butter) on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 30 minutes.