Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Herb Bread

My family loves bread and baked goods. I often find myself throwing together muffins or baking soda biscuits at the last minute to complement our dinner meal.

Last evening, I tried something new. It's a yeast bread, but by condensing to only one rise time it can be brought to the table in almost the amount of time as any 'quick bread' recipe.

It was a hit with everyone! It was soft and filling, the subtle herbs giving enough flavor that only butter was needed to top each slice. I love that you can tweak the herbs to include whatever you would like to fit your own tastes. This time, I happened to have fresh parsley and dried thyme on hand, so that's what I used.

I think that those little dried tomato pieces I've seen would be absolutely lovely as well. Or a bit of garlic and sage. The possibilities are endless!

I didn't have any soft butter and was too impatient to wait, so I used 2 Tablespoons natural shortening. It's non-hydrogenated, which is important to me. I still limit my usage of it, though.

The kind of flour you use in baking affects the nutrition the most. I prefer to use freshly milled soft white wheat. When I don't want to take the time to grind wheat berries (or the children are sleeping and I don't want to wake them with the loud mill) I use unbleached whole grain white flour.

Herb Bread
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons or more fresh or dried herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc)
Mix together 2 cups of the flour, yeast and sugar. Stir in the salt, water, butter and herbs. Knead for several minutes. (I used an electric mixer) Add in the remaining cup of flour and knead by hand until smooth.

Place in a greased and warmed large bread pan. (I like to warm my bread pans for a minute in the oven, which helps the dough rise quickly even on chilly days.) Cover with a towel and let rise until double.

Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes. It should be well browned on top.

Now here's the hardest part... Let loaf cool on wire rack several minutes before slicing and eating!


Carrien said...

Yummy. :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds yum, can't wait to try it myself!

Anonymous said...

Sounds yum, can't wait to try it myself!

Chantelle said...

Made this last night with Basil. Was a big thick and I think I need it let it rise more, but still sooo yummy!

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