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Super Soft Rosemary Bread

by James Morton

A really simple, no-knead bread recipe.

Prep time

2 hours and 30 minutes

Cook time

35 minutes






Sometimes life doesn’t call for teeth-crushing, denture-tearing, filling-detaching, super crusty sourdough. Sometimes all I’m after is a soft loaf, with delicious and sweet soft crust, perfect for sandwiches or with soup. And so to this recipe, which is the first time I’ve ever published a recipe quite like this. First, it’s a really simple, no-knead bread recipe. You require no experience whatsoever to make it; all you might need is a loaf tin.

The thing that makes this one different is the addition of double cream – this adds a real soft, lightness to the bread that I have found cannot be achieved in any other way. With the fresh rosemary, I think this loaf just works. Rosemary, which I’ve had in my kitchen’s window box for 2 years now. Through Summer and Winter, this plant has suffered the worst neglect possible. It has never been fed or watered – all I have done is regularly tear pieces off it. It has watched its friends, the basil, the mint and coriander, perish by its side, only to be replaced with nasty-looking weeds. And it towers above them, flourishing. If you have one plant in your window box, make it a rosemary.


Step 1


 First, find a loaf tin; if it’s not non-stick, grease it with plenty of butter. Make sure and get right down into the corners. 

Step 2


 Into a large bowl, weigh your flour, yeast and salt, and mix these together with your stripped rosemary leaves. Add in your water and cream, and then use a wooden spoon to bring this together. Once it comes into a rough dough, use your hands to work it and form it into a ball. 

Step 3


 Cover your bowl in cling film and leave it for 30 minutes. After this, give it a quick push and fold to get ride of the air inside; this rest and light working removes all need to knead. Replace your cling film and leave the dough for another hour, at room temperature. 

Step 4


 Scrape your dough out onto a floured surface, using a dough scraper or spatula. Roll it up like a really-tightly wound swiss roll, then place it in your tin. There’s no need to knock it back or any of that rubbish. Leave this for a final 45 minutes to an hour at room temperature, uncovered. 20 minutes before you plan on baking, preheat your oven to 220C/200C/Gas 8. 

Step 5


 When it’s time to bake, slash your loaf across the top several times, diagonally. Use a serrated (or very sharp) knife. Bake it in your hot oven for about 30-35 minutes or so; if you take it out and remove it from its tin, it should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Leave to cool before serving, with an optional extra sprig of rosemary. 

Top Tip

This bread will work with any herbs, even dried. For a super-soft version of a traditional French classic, mix in three heaped teaspoons of Herbes de Provence instead of the rosemary.

If you like super soft rolls, you can use this recipe! Just divide your dough into 12 equal pieces, shape them into rough balls and place them on a baking tray. Bake them in a hot oven for 15 minutes, or until turning golden brown on top.



500g strong white flour
One sachet (7g) instant yeast
10g table salt
280g tepid water (yes, weigh it)
80g double cream
3-4 sprigs of rosemary, stripped, plus 1 to decorate