Daniel Leader’s Rosemary and Olive Oil Bread

Dan Leader moved his family to New York’s Catskill Mountains in 1983. His dream: build a wood-fired, brick oven bread bakery and establish a healthy life. It’s fair to say he succeeded … wildly so.

Leader’s rural bakery, Bread Alone Bakery, mow boasts an international reputation. The bakery produces organic whole grain breads and natural, hand-made pastries. Two more New York locations have since opened, in Woodstock and in Rhinebeck.

And Leader, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, has three books under his belt. We’ve baked several of his breads, with excellent results.

Leader gave us permission to reprint his recipe for an Italian loaf, known as a rosemary filone. Our kitchen smelled wonderful as these rosemary-flecked loaves baked in the oven.

The bread uses extra virgin olive oil as an ingredient and features an Italian yeast-based starter, or biga.  “Italian bakers typically make rosemary bread from dough flavored with biga and tenderized with olive oil,” Leader writes in his book, Local Breads (W.W. Norton & Co., 2007), where the recipe appears.

Leader also notes that these loaves store well. “The olive oil in the dough will help to keep them moist,” he writes.

The loaves were indeed moist and tender. The rosemary aroma alone that permeated our kitchen made this bread worth making. We’ve also sent our loaves to the YeastSpotting section of the great baking blog, Wild Yeast. For more baking recipes that use extra virgin olive oil, check out the latest edition of our In Season newsletter.

Bon appétit,

Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch