End of the month and last day to post about BBD # 41 (well, actually time expires tomorrow at midnight). This month our charming hostess is Connie from My Discovery of Bread, and she choose to celebrate 4th Anniversary (yes, this international event has been carrying on for so long, from the great idea of Zorra of Kochtopf) with the first theme enjoyed at BBD: Bread with local herb and/or spices.
I live in Italy, a Mediterrean country, and one of the most popular and very used herb in our kitchen is rosemary. Very interesting the meaning of its name I found on Wiki: "The name rosemary derives from the Latin name rosmarinus, which is from "dew" (ros) and "sea" (marinus), or "dew of the sea", because in many locations it needs no other water than the humidity carried by the sea breeze to live. It was said to be draped around Aphrodite when she rose from the sea and was originally born of Ouranos's semen. Today, the goddess Aphrodite is associated with rosemary, as is the Virgin Mary, who was supposed to have spread her cloak over a white-blossomed rosemary bush when she was resting; according to legend, the flowers turned blue, the color most associated with Mary".
I am on vacation in Elba Island until the end of July and rosemary here is a little different, got thinner sprigs and needle-like leaves but is more fragrant.
This sort of short cut bread sticks are very common and popular in Bologna, but you can play with different shapes at your pleasure. They will be very nice at parties and pic-nics, excellent with ham and salami and cheese, or just as an aperitif with a good glass of wine.
200 g water
50 g lard
70g g extravirgin olive oil
8 g salt (one teaspoon)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface shaping into a rectangle about 1cm. thick. Cut into strips as wide as a finger using a pastry wheel and then divide strips into 5/6/7cm long sticks. Arrange on baking tray lined with parchment paper, brush with olive oil and let rise for about twenty minutes. Bake in preheated oven at 190/200° for 16/20 minutes, depending on the size of the sticks.
If you wish, you can use also sage, oregano, thyme and marjoram ... Nice idea for Christmas/Easter table: use festive cookies'cutters shaping stars, hearts, eggs, bells, rabbits. The scraps of dough can be knead again together, then cut into sticks.