Monday, October 7, 2013

Herb And Buttermilk Artisan Bread

I think for me one of the greatest joys in life is spending time with my Grandchildren.

During our last visit we spent time in the garden picking herbs and wildflowers. I love watching their faces and they smell different herbs.

I especially enjoy the lovely bouquets of wildflowers they pick for me.

We picked a few squash and headed back into the kitchen with all our booty. Now it's time to do some baking! My favorite of all!!

First we baked peanut butter cookies. I think both grands ate at least 6 a piece. Shhhh...don't tell mom and dad!

For some reason my grandson insisted on rolling the cookies into snakes, so we baked one sheet as snakes and the other the traditional Grandma way.

Next, I took all the herbs out of our basket and picked out a few sprigs for bread. Today it was Rosemary, Cinnamon Basil and Mexican Oregano.

My Granddaughter was captivated by the whole process as you can tell in the photo. This is a time I love to share stories and sing silly songs. My granddaughter always wants to repeat the words and I love to listen!

This is a very rustic recipe. I bake this artisan bread using one of my cast iron skillets. The buttermilk makes it so nice and moist inside. The aroma as it bakes is incredible.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Makes one round loaf


2 cups organic unbleached flour
1 cup organic whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
2 tbsp. baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp. organic raw pure cane sugar
1 minced garlic clove
2 tsp. finely grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of Sea Salt

NOTE: (If you do not have buttermilk on hand, improvise with milk and some lemon juice. Let stand for 20 minutes until it thickens up.)


Add warm water, yeast and sugar to a small bowl. Mix together carefully with a wire whisk. Cover with plastic wrap and then a towel. Set aside for at least 20 minutes. Mixture will become foamy.

In a larger bowl add all of the dry ingredients, including herbs, Parmesan and garlic. Whisk it all together.

Cut the cold butter into small chunks and add it to the dry ingredients. Cut the butter in until it becomes small crumbles.

Add the buttermilk and the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. The dough can be formed by hand or in the mixer with the dough hook.

Knead the dough until it becomes nice and soft. Place the dough into another slightly oiled or buttered bowl. Turn the dough once in the bowl so it all receives a bit of the oil.

Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and towel. I let mine rise for 1/2 hour.

Prepare a cast iron skillet with a tiny bit of oil or butter.

After this time, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. It is important not to over work the dough at this stage. It is not important to work out the gas bubbles. Any air will add to the beauty of the rustic bread. Gently form a ball by bringing the dough to the underside of the ball.

Set the dough ball in your cast iron skillet. Make a couple of slashes in the top with a very sharp knife. Cover with only the towel. You do not want it to stick to the plastic wrap at this point. I let it come to a rise again for 2 hours.

Bake in a preheated oven at 375. In my oven it took 25 minutes to finish. You can test it by inserting a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.

Happy Gardening!

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