Today is my last day teaching yoga at Machi Yoga. My heart is a puddle. This beautiful community welcomed me as a practitioner and later as a teacher when I moved back to my hometown in October 2021. In my past year of moving, these beloved people have welcomed me, first as a practitioner and later as a teacher. And while I’m so very happy to return to my apartment with my husband in the mountainous metropolis of Madrid, the sixth-generation Oregonian in me is heartbroken to leave the small mountain town of Hood River, Oregon, where my heart and soul reside.

I wanted to make something special to thank my yoga community for their presence and practices and for just being wonderful living and breathing humans. The cold weather came on fast this fall, and cold weather means comfort food. I decided on rosemary artisan bread, one of my favorite things to make, eat, and share.

Rosemary and I have been in a love affair for decades, starting with my peace activist neighbor Peg Morton, a tiny woman who peacefully protested the School of the Americas in her 70s. She had a huge rosemary bush planted in her yard by her friends while she served a 70-day federal prison sentence for crossing the line at Fort Benning. Years later I started my own rosemary bush from a two-inch plant in my garden which quickly grew into a bush the size of a two-seater car. Whenever I walk past it, I touch the plant and savor the smells that ground and inspire me to make this bread.

If you have rosemary, grab a few handfuls, mix them with flour, yeast, water, and salt, and let them rest and rise. Make rosemary bread. For remembrance. For fuel. For grounding the heart, soul, and senses in space and time. Even if just for a moment. Life is just a series of moments strung together by the breath, just like yoga.

Making bread can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. Not so with this recipe. I can see you raising a skeptical eyebrow at me when I say “easy” and “bread,” and I get it: that was my first reaction too. Now, I’ve made countless loaves of this set-it-and-forget-it palette-pleasing showstopper, and many yogis I’ve shared it with ask for the recipe, so here it is. 

Rachel's No-Knead Rosemary Artisan Bread

A lazy, show-stopping loaf for you and your favorites.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, Bob's Red Mill, and others.
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12

Equipment

  • 1 Cast iron Dutch oven with lid
  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 medium mixing bowl
  • 1 spatula
  • 1 serrated knife
  • 1 kitchen towel
  • parchment paper (optional)

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus a little more for dusting)
  • 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1.5 cups cool water
  • 1-2 sprigs rosemary (fresh is best, but dried works too)

Instructions
 

  • The night before: combine all ingredients into a shaggy mess in a bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel for 8-12 hours or until the dough has risen (you can also mix in the morning and bake in the evening).
  • The next morning or later: preheat the oven to 450 F / 232 C and put the Dutch oven with the lid on in the oven. Set a timer for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes of pre-heating the Dutch oven and letting the doug rest place dothe dough in the center of the Dutch oven and cover with the lid. Bake covered for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes of baking, remove the lid, and bake uncovered for 5-15 minutes or until golden brown on top and sides.
  • Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and remove bread with a spatula and let it cool on the cutting board. Put your ear down next to the loaf and listen: can you hear the loaf crackle as it cools? Let it cool a few minutes then...
  • Slice and devour with extra virgin Spanish olive oil, butter, soup, or on its own. You do you.

I shared a loaf with a dish of olive oil after a workshop.

What do you do to mark bittersweet moments in your life? Leave a comment and share your wisdom.

Rachel Drummond is a student and teacher of Ashtanga Yoga, handstand enthusiast, and writer. She enjoys practicing and teaching yoga all over the world and writing about how to bring yoga to life off the mat through contemplative physical practices.

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Don't leave empty-handed!

 

 

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