So I'm flipping through the recipes and keep stopping at the rosemary bread. It doesn't require a biga - which I had not prepared the previous night, it sounds delicious, it doesn't take any ingredients that I don't have, and it's easy - which usually is an exclusionary criteria for me but I had a helluva spasm in my neck, had actually called in sick to work because of it, and the muscle relaxant had quite effectively removed all motivation from my body and mind. So rosemary bread it would be.
Quick story about rosemary. It, I think, is Nik's mom's name. Yes, I know...one would think that after all these years I should know my mother-in-law's name (ok, she's not legally my mother-in-law but just because we don't live in Vermont or Iowa doesn't mean that I can't have a pseudo-mother-in-law) Anyway, the reason, or reasons actually, that I am not sure about her name are because 1) she's German, 2) her handwriting is old school European style, and 3) Nik is stubborn.
Let me explain...1) Say the name Rosemary aloud with a German accent -- see, it sounds like Rosemarie, 2) Old-school European writing is beautiful and quaint, reminiscent of days gone by...a time before e-mails and blogs, back in the days when communication was slower and less efficient, a fact not helped by the fact that old school European writing is virtually illegible because it looks like an uppercase letter followed by a series of w's. For several years I would study the signature on the birthday card she sent me, and I am not exaggerating when I tell you that year after year it looked like this...Rwwwwwww, 3) Just ask Nik what his mom's name is, you might suggest. Mmm hmm, like I never thought of that...his answer for 20 years has remained unchanged. I ask/insist, "TELL ME, is your mom's name Rosemary or Rosemarie?" He answers - cooly, consistently and aggravatingly, "Yes." (It has occurred to me that he really doesn't know either.) The solution?...I just call her Oma, as in, "Come on, Oma, let's go in here and drink schnapps till we are silly."
The recipe is not difficult. I used fresh rosemary (which now has a bizarre double-meaning since I just talked about Nik's mom) because the rosemary bush (aargh) needed trimming anyway, but the original recipe says that dried can be substituted for fresh. I didn't make any substantial modifications to the recipe except I decreased the yeast and added about 1/3 cup more water to the dough.