Lynn Joyner Banister has been baking all her life. But it wasn’t until age forty-eight that she realized her lifelong dream, installing a commercial kitchen in her two-car garage in Chesterfield, Massachusetts, and starting the Work of Art Bakery. “My baking is different from that of my grandmother [from whom she learned the art],” she told me. “She baked for the family. I also bake for my children and grandchildren, but I do mostly professional baking and use new gadgets like the food processor and convection ovens. I believe that what makes my grandmother and me the same is that we both put our love in our work, that ’magic ingredient’; if it’s only for one person or a whole school, the recipient feels special.” Here is the recipe for her popular onion-rosemary bread.
Sauté the onion in the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat until soft. Remove from the heat, stir in the herbs, and let cool.
Pour the water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Dissolve the yeast in the water and mix with the dough hook. Add the salt and the onion and herb mixture, then mix in enough flour to make a firm dough, adding more flour if necessary, kneading until the dough holds together.
Remove the dough to a floured work surface. Clean out and grease the bowl. Return the dough to the greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour.
Grease two 8½-inch loaf pans.
Remove the dough to a floured work surface and punch it down. Divide in half, shape it into 2 loaves, and put it into the prepared pans. Let the loaves rise for 1 hour, covered, or until the dough has doubled in volume. Carefully brush the loaves with the beaten egg a few times while they are rising.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Just before baking cut 4 slits on the top of each loaf and dust lightly with flour. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the breads are nicely browned and sound hollow when tapped.
Remove the loaves from the pans and let them cool on a rack.