Thursday, January 12, 2012

Laptop Lunches bento & rosemary bread recipe

This is a momentous event, this bento lunch of Ethan's today! 

Laptop Lunches lunch

Packed in a Laptop Lunches box:
- carrots and grapes
- granola bar
- turkey and cheddar cheese 
- homemade rosemary bread

First of all, I think it's the first time he's ever taken a Laptop Lunches box to school. Which is funny because I bought this box before he started Kindergarten thinking it would be his main bento container. Then he turned out to be a light eater at school and the box was just too big for his appetite.

Secondly, I think this is the cutest cheese, ever!  It's just the usual cheddar cheese I always use (bought in big blocks from Costco and sliced at home), but I used cutie patootie little bento cutters to make that adorable bear face. Squeee!  I am eternally grateful that my ten-year-old boy still thinks things like this are really cute too. :)

Thirdly, did you see that there is BREAD in this box?!! Bread, folks! My kid is eating bread! This is my child that has only eaten bread if it is toasted or grilled and comprised of sourdough. Period.  But I made some homemade rosemary bread several days ago and he flipped for it, gobbling it up just as fast as I could cut it. I made a second batch yesterday and this small piece is all that was left. He saved it asking it to go in his lunch for today.  Yay! 

The rosemary bread is devine. If you are familiar with the bread from Macaroni Grill, you'll love this too because it tastes exactly like it. YUM!
homemade rosemary bread
(sorry for the goofy picture. I took it with my camera phone.)

Rosemary Bread Recipe

1 C. warm water
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. yeast

Combine these three ingredients in a glass bowl and leave it alone until the yeast gets all happy, bubbly and foamy. This can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on how fresh the yeast is and the temperature of the water and the room.
When everything is puffing up and looking weird add:

2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Mix it all up. When you are getting close to everything being all incorporated add the rosemary. I used dried crushed rosemary, but fresh would surely be lovely too. I'll be doing that when our herb garden is up and growing this summer! For full strength rosemary bread add 2 Tablespoons of rosemary (this is the right amount for Macaroni Grill knock-off bread), use less if you like a more subtle rosemary flavor.

Continue to mix, add flour if needed until the dough is not longer sticky, and you can knead the dough into a soft round. Knead for ten minutes, got to get that gluten going!

Oil a large bowl with extra virgin olive oil. I use the same bowl I mixed the dough in, to save myself from washing extra dishes. ;-)
Put the dough in the oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Leave in a warm place for it to rise for one hour, until doubled in size. (I leave mine in the oven, turned off, but with the oven light on).

After an hour of rising, punch down the inflated dough and divide in half, then in halves again. This will leave you with four small rounds of dough. Allow the dough to rest for five minutes.

While dough is resting prepare your baking sheet. Wipe with extra virgin olive oil, or use parchment.
Place dough on baking sheet, allowing several inches of space between.
Brush or spray (I use this  oil sprayer filled with EVOO) each dough round with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Allow to rise again for 45 minutes, until doubled again.

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned. For a more golden and crunchy crust, pull out half-way through baking and brush/spray with EVOO again.

This will yield 4 loaves of bread that are about 7" round. 
I crunched the numbers for nutritional breakdown.
For a half-loaf (making this recipe yield 8 servings):
calories: 193
fat: 5.2 grams
carbs: 29 grams
fiber: .8 grams
protein: 5 grams

I hope you enjoy! We sure are! :)

Supplies used to make this lunch:

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aud1inok said... [Reply to comment]

Yummy! Can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing it.

EP said... [Reply to comment]

Looks awesome. Do you use instant yeast, or active?

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

EP, active yeast. :)

Ms. Glaze said... [Reply to comment]

This is so cute! Man, I wish I had a Mom like you growing up! I was always on the hot lunch program.... Love the cutouts – so creative!

Claire said... [Reply to comment]

Hi, I am new to bread making, which flour do you use? Thanks

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Claire! I like to use King Arthur Unbleached Flour. :)

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I'm new to this blog and I just found this recipe. I tried it out but with fresh rosemary and the outcome was delicious. My whole family loved it. In fact, they're asking when I'm making more!

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