Friday, September 24, 2010

Garden Herb French Bread

This is a really easy bread to make using your garden herbs. It has a light crust and soft middle. Use whatever herbs you have available in your garden. The aroma will fill the kitchen. I used Cinnamon Basil, Oregano, Thyme and Garlic. The recipe makes two loaves. This was my first project using my new mixer and dough hook. It mixed so quickly I felt I didn't get a chance to break it in properly. Guess I better get busy with some more things.


4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
7 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tbsp. salt
As many garden herbs as you like
finely minced garlic or garlic powder to taste
a little cornmeal for dusting pan and rolling the dough in
1 egg white (farm fresh) whipped with about a tsp. of water for brushing on the loaf

I first warmed my mixing bowl and then added the warm water and the yeast to dissolve. Then in another bowl I whisked together all the dry ingredients. Then add the dry ingredients to the yeast mixture. Use your dough hook and mix everything for about 5 minutes.

Place it in another bowl that you have greased with a little olive oil. I kind of roll the ball around in the bowl and then place a towel over it. Place it in a fairly warm area to rise to almost double in size. It takes about 45 minutes.

Next punch it down in the bowl and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a nice rectangle shape and then roll it up to make a nice long loaf. Place them on a lightly oiled cooking sheet dusted with the cornmeal. I kind of carefully roll each loaf in the cornmeal. Tuck in the ends a bit and make sure the seam is on the bottom. Place a towel over the whole thing and let them rise again to double in size. Carefully slit the tops 4 to 6 times with a very sharp knife making diagonal very shallow cuts.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Take them out of the oven and brush with your egg white mixture and then place back in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes. Take out and cool your bread on wire racks.

Enjoy and Happy Gardening!!

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