I have a beautiful rosemary tree in my garden, and it gets neglected alot. Mainly because there aren't too many dishes that I have made that use "fresh rosemary." It's such a Christmas-isy, woodsy perennial herb that its flavors blend well into roasts, soups and marinades. My favorite Italian restaurant is the Macaroni Grill and they serve this wonderful rosemary foccacia bread with dipping sauce of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It's like heaven and earth together on a plate, I could eat this all day long and be happy as a bee.
I wanted something like this to balance our wonderful Steak Au Poivre meal, and nothing too complicated. The yeast beast battle that I've been in fear of, had to be put to the test, again. One of the food blogs that I oogle and drool over is The Pioneer Woman. She had a perfect step-by-step demonstration on her food blog that helped tremendously because working with yeast has not been successful for me. Give yourself a good 2 to 3 hours to prepare this for dinner, because it is sure worth the wait. I was deliriously happy the bread cooked beautifully and tasted like heaven on my plate. My only revision to the recipe was the original called for blue cheese, I had substituted Gorgonzola since it's less pungent, but still creamy and gooey like blue cheese. Enjoy!
Rosemary Onion Bread with Gorgonzola Cheese Topping
Adapted from the awesome and wonderful Pioneer Woman
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 whole Large Yellow Onion, Sliced
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1½ cup Warm Water (Make sure it's at least in between 100 to 110 degrees)
3 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
1 Tablespoon Sugar
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 cups Bread Flour
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (more To Taste)
Freshly Chopped Rosemary To Taste (be Generous!)
½ cup Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
1.Saute sliced onions and minced garlic in 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Cook them until brown and caramelized, about 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
2.Pour warm water into a bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top. Add sugar and olive oil, then stir gently with a fork until combined. Set aside.
3.Combine flour and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the flour mixture your onions, and rosemary in alternating ingredients, stirring gently until dough is combined. (It’ll be sticky!)
4. Generously flour a flat surface. Knead dough 15 to 20 times, adding flour generously to make it easier to handle. (Keep it sticky, though!)
5. Drizzle olive oil in a separate bowl, then add your ball of dough, turning to coat. Cover with a tea towel and place in a warm spot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
6. Divide dough into eight portions, and form each into a rough round shape. Place on a baking mat or parchment paper, then cover with a towel and allow to rise for 15 to 20 minutes.
7. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until brown. Brush with butter halfway through baking time.
8. To top with Gorgonzola cheese, either place crumbled Gorgonzola cheese on completely baked rolls and allow it to soften naturally, OR remove the rolls with five minutes baking time left, top with cheese, and return to the oven to finish baking and allow cheese to melt. ***I highly recommend that you take them out within the last 5 or 10 minutes, and butter it up!*** Serve warm or at room temperature. Divine!
Review: This went perfectly with our Steak Au Poivre dinner, best bread ever. The sweetness from the caramelized onions, and gooey Gorgonzola, and buttery rosemary bread was the PERFECT accompaniment to our meal. Actually, it's my first successful attempt with yeast. I have had 3 or 4 possibly 5 FAILED bread attempts. I'm very happy to experiment again with yeast, and I know that I can divide and conquer the yeast beast! Yeah!