Homemade Rosemary Bread


Ahhh! This is one of my favorite breads to make and eat! It is highly addictive and I have secretly eaten a whole loaf haha! It is delicious dipped in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cracked pepper and kosher salt. My kiddos love this bread, and the aroma of the fresh rosemary is amazing! 

Ok, I forgot to take pictures during the process of making this 🙄 but it is easy, I promise. 

To your Kitchen Aid or Bosch stand mixer, add all ingredients except for the flour. Chop just the leaves of the rosemary not the stems. Add 3 cups of flour and turn mixer on low. Add 2-3 more cups of flour and mix until the bread pulls away from the sides and is no longer sticky. Mix for 5 minutes. Let it rise for 30 minutes. 

Dump the dough onto a floured countertop and divide the dough into 4 evenly sized balls. Prepare 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with Pam. Form the balls by pulling from all sides and tucking and pinching the bottom of the dough to form a ball. Place tucked part of dough onto the cookie sheet, 2 per sheet. Brush with olive oil and press chopped fresh rosemary and kosher salt onto the dough, gently! 

Let rise for 30 minutes. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Eat alone, dip in olive oil mixture or slice to make delicious grilled cheese sandwiches! Also yummy with my homemade tomato soup!

Homemade Rosemary Bread

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 T yeast
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 T- 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary depending on how much you want in the dough, I always use 1/4 cup. Use just the leaves of the rosemary not the stems. 
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil 
  • 5-6 cups all purpose flour
  • Olive oil for brushing the top of the dough
  • Kosher salt and fresh chopped rosemary for pressing onto the top of the dough

In your Bosch or Kitchenaid stand mixer add the warm water, yeast, sugar, salt, rosemary and oil. Add 3 cups of flour and turn on low. Add the additional flour slowly until the dough pulls away from the sides and is no longer sticky. Mix for 5 minutes. Let the dough rise in the mixer covered for 30 minutes. 

    After 30 minutes divide the dough into 4 equal sized balls on a floured countertop. Form dough into balls by pulling from all sides and tucking and pinching underneath the dough. Place tucked side down on the cookie sheets (two per sheet) lined with parchment paper or sprayed with non-stick spray. Brush the dough with olive oil and gently press kosher salt and chopped fresh rosemary onto the dough. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown at 375 degrees. Serve with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and cracked pepper. 

    Homemade Tomato Soup

    Let me start this post by saying I hate when my kids go back to school. I always told myself when they were little that I wasn’t going to be ‘that mom’ that looks at mom’s with small kids and says things like ‘enjoy them while they are little’ and ‘they grow so fast’. Well I am definitely that mom and worse. I have two years till my oldest leaves the house and I am dreading it. My youngest is 10 and I am holding on to her childhood with an iron grip. 😉 But, I guess there is a positive side to them going back to school, I have time to work on my recipes and blog again! I love to see my kids faces when they get home from school and I’ve made something yummy for them. I feel like I bake and cook to feed their souls, and we always set aside a time for family dinner even if there’s one at dance, football or other activities. Sometimes it’s the effort that counts! 

    This recipe comes with a WARNING… it is for people who definitely like to do things from scratch and make things more difficult for themselves then they need to be. I love to be in the kitchen so this is fun for me. But for those of you who are like, I’m just going to go and buy the tomato soup from kneaders or blue lemon… I totally get it! 😉 Their soup is way yummy!

    We love homegrown tomatoes at our house but at the end of the summer we always have so many that I need to come up with ways to use them all! After experimenting with many tomato soup recipes this recipe is the one I have loved the most and have stuck with for the last couple of years. I always serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches or homemade croutons.

    First, pick your tomatoes and wash them well. I used about 33 small to medium tomatoes which comes to about 12 cups of tomatoes cut up. If you have a little more or less it’s ok, you can easily tweak the other ingredients to taste.

    Then remove the skins. This is done by immersing the tomatoes in boiling water for about 1 minute or until the skin of the tomatoes crack. Transfer the tomatoes from the boiling water to an ice bath.

    Now they are ready to use. For the soup, roughly chop 1 small onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 4 stalks of celery and 2 peeled carrots. Heat over medium to medium high heat a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil in a large pot. Sauté the chopped ingredients in the olive oil for about 5-10 minutes until tender and fragrant. Add 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth or water and let that simmer while you get the tomatoes ready.


    While that is cooking, core and peel the tomatoes, roughly chop them and add them all to the pot. Add all of the other ingredients and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes or until the soup is softened enough to blend. I was impatient one time and blended it a little to early, it wasn’t as smooth as it normally is and needless to say, not as good. 

    Ok, this is the part that would be so much easier with an emulsion blender. I keep forgetting to buy one, and I always regret it when I get to this point. So if you do have one, awesome! Blend it up with the emulsion blender in the pot. If you don’t have one, transfer a little bit of soup into a blender, purée, then pour that soup into another pot. A pain? Yes. Make sure you don’t put too much soup in the blender at one time. I did that once and hot soup was coming out of the top, ouch!


    At this point add any additional salt, chicken bouillon, broth or spices it may need. If you want to get fancy, add a little bit of heavy whipping cream. It makes it taste like the restaurant tomato soup. Don’t add too much though or your palate will be coated with cream. Just enough to taste. If it is too acidic you can add a 1/2 tsp of baking soda to cut the acidity. I usually just add a little more salt and it is fine. The last time I made this soup I served it with grilled cheese sandwiches made from my homemade rosemary bread. Yummy!

    Homemade Tomato Soup

    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 4 stalks of celery, diced
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • 2 cloves of garlic chopped or minced
    • 1-2 T extra virgin olive oil 
    • 1-2 cups chicken or vegetable broth depending on how thick or thin you want the soup
    • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
    • 4 drops hot sauce
    • 1 T fresh chopped thyme or 2 tsp dried thyme
    • 2 tsp chicken bouillon 
    • 1 tsp salt 
    • 12 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, cored and peeled (around 30-35 small to medium)
    • Optional- 1/4-1/2 c heavy whipping cream
    • Optional- garnish with fresh basil 

    Peel and core the tomatoes by immersing the clean tomatoes in boiling water for a minute or until the skins crack. Transfer to an ice bath. Now they are ready to peel, core and chop. 

      In a large pot heat up olive oil and sautée onions, celery, carrots and garlic until tender about 5-10 minutes. Add the broth. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer on low to medium heat for 20 minutes. 

      Blend the soup by using an emulsion blender and leave it in the pot. If you don’t have an emulsion blender; transfer the soup in small batches to a blender, purée, then pour the soup in another pot and keep on warm till ready to serve. Adjust the spices, salt or add heavy whipping cream at this point if desired. 

      Mall Pretzels (with optional cream cheese filling!)

      My family loves mall pretzels, but they are so dang expensive! About 10 years ago I decided I wanted to try and make them myself. Out of all of the pretzel recipes I have tried, this is still my favorite. Some recipes say to dip in boiling water but I have found this just makes them totally fall apart and hasn’t made a difference in the texture after baking. I just dip these in hot baking soda water before baking and they still come out chewy but crusty on the outside. They are delicious!

      Disney makes cream cheese filled pretzels that I couldn’t get enough of on our Disney cruise we went on several years ago, so I decided to try and make my own cream cheese filling. I have included it in this recipe also.

      These are definitely time consuming when rolling them and shaping them into pretzels but I have to say, my kids excitement makes it totally worth it. This recipe makes 16 large pretzels but you can easily half this recipe or make smaller ones and get more pretzels out of it.

      First dissolve the yeast, sugar, and salt in the hot water in a stand mixer.

      Then, add the flour.

      Mix until the dough is soft and pulls away from the bowl.

      Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size, about 30-40 minutes.

      (Optional) While the dough is rising make the filling. Mix the cream cheese with the powdered sugar until smooth.

      Divide the dough into 16 equal portions, then roll out to a 3 ft long rope with your hands. Make an upside down U shape and twist the rope 2 times.

      Then fold over and pinch the dough together to make a pretzel shape.

      If you are going to fill them, when the dough is in a 3 ft rope, flatten it out with a roller and fill with the cream cheese mixture. I use a ziplock bag with the corner clipped to put the mixture in, then squeeze a line of cream cheese right down the middle of the dough.

      Pinch the dough around the mixture.

      Dip each pretzel in the baking soda water then put on a silicone or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. If you are using parchment paper, spray the paper with Pam.

      Let the pretzels rise for about 20 minutes. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.


      Mall Pretzels (with optional cream cheese filling!)

      Ingredients:

      • 4 1/2 tsp instant yeast (two .25 oz packets)
      • 1/4 c brown sugar
      • 2 tsp salt
      • 3 c hot tap water
      • 6 c all purpose flour
      • 2 c bread flour

      Filling (optional)

      • 1/2 c powdered sugar
      • 4 oz softened cream cheese

      For dipping before baking:

      • 2 c hot tap water
      • 2 T baking soda

      Directions:

      In a large mixer dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 3 cups hot tap water. Add in the flour and mix until soft dough forms and the dough pulls away from the sides, about 8 minutes.  Cover and let rise till doubled, about 30-40 minutes.

      If you are going to fill them, while the dough is rising, mix the powdered sugar and cream cheese with a hand held mixer until it is smooth.

      When the dough is ready, divide it into 16 equal pieces. Dissolve the baking soda in hot water in a shallow dish large enough to dip a pretzel in. Roll out the first ball of dough with your hands into a 3 ft long rope. Form a U then twist two times and fold over and pinch dough forming a pretzel shape.

      If you are doing the filling, after the dough is in a rope, take your roller and flatten out the dough. Using a pastry bag or ziploc bag with the tip cut, squeeze out a strip of the cream cheese mixture in the center of the dough then bring the dough together and pinch around the filling.

      Form into a pretzel and dip in the baking soda water, then put onto a silicone lined, or greased cookie sheet. Repeat with each portion of dough. Let them rise for about 20 minutes. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush hot pretzels with melted butter and top with coarse salt or whatever topping your heart desires. Enjoy!