Saturday, November 04, 2006

Worth Your Thyme


Herb Garden Loaf

Years ago, a man who was very kind to me mentioned that herb bread was his favorite food in all the world. I found this recipe somewhere (I can't remember where) and I made it for him. I've held on to the recipe--scratched in my own hurried handwriting onto three separate index cards-- and I make this loaf a few times a year. It isn't difficult, especially for the beautiful and delicious results.

4-41/2 C. flour
3 TBs. sugar
2 pkg. rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. each marjoram, thyme, and rosemary
3/4 C. milk
1/2 C. water
1/4 C. butter
1 egg

In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 C. flour, sugar, yeast, salt, and herbs. Heat milk, water, and butter on stove top until the butter is just melted. Stir milk mixture into dry ingredients and mix well. Mix in egg. Add just enough or remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth (4-6 minutes). Cover it and let it rest 10 minutes.

Divide dough into three equal pieces. Roll each into a 30 inch rope. Braid the ropes and pinch the ends like so...


Tie a knot in the center of the braid and wrap the ends around the knot in opposite directions to form a roundish loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet. (I use my pizza stones)


Cover and let rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in size...

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until a beautiful golden brown. Melt extra butter and brush on top. Sprinkle with extra herbs and enjoy. I served this with our first pan-seared steak of the season. The bread is remarkably soft and absorbs the pan sauce beautifully.

And remember, the only thing better than the smell of fresh bread baking is the smell of fresh herb bread baking.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks yummy! Thanks for posting the recipe. I will be printing this one up to try soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh Suzanne, your herb bread looks both delicous and beautiful!! I can't wait to make it!

Diane said...

Looks great. I think I will try a couple batches making one regular and the second by taking away the herbs and replacing them with Parmesan cheese and garlic when I make lasagna or linguine alfredo. This recipe could also be easily tweaked for Easter. Thanks for sharing it

Kristen said...

I'll be making it tomorrow! It looks like challah bread, which makes great french toast!

Anonymous said...

Question: Did you use fresh herbs in that bread, or dried? Looks great, would like to make it today! Thanks

Suzanne Temple said...

Anon, I used fresh herbs, chopped into very small pieces with kitchen scissors.

jerseygirlmama said...

This looks and sound delicious! I think you and Danielle should open a recipes only blog together! You both seem to have a gift. Jeff (the husband and Daddy in our household) is a chef by training and he loves these recipes! :) Kristen

Melissa said...

What a beautiful bread! I think I'll try your recipe for the early Thanksgiving dinner we're having with my family next weekend. Thanks for sharing!

Erin said...

That look smazing! I'll have to try it soon, my herb garden went crazy this summer and I have more herbs than I know what to do with.

helene said...

Sue,

Wow! Gorgeous loaf! They have all this bread baking stuff up on Melissa Wiley's blog (the lilting house)today. I urged her to check out your beautiful braided loaf here! Lovely!

Jen said...

I really want to make this. Wow! I'm running out to the store tomorrow to get the remaining ingredients I don't have here. I couldn't stop thinking about this post after I read it initally this afternoon. I was in my kitchen dreaming about the smell of it baking in my kitchen. LOL.

Jen

Suzanne Temple said...

jgmama, great idea, but the last thing I need is another blog!

Melissa, Early Thanksgiving? Great idea! Do you have middle and late Thanksgiving, too? You should!

Thanks erin and helene, and good luck making it jen!

Love2Learn Mom said...

Wow, it smells good from here! :)

Loni said...

I can almost smell it too. It LOOKS beautiful! Thanks for sharing this. I found you through the Lilting House and also participated with a recipe. It's neat sharing all these ideas!

Jamie said...

I just made it, well, it is rising for the first time. I am not much of a baker, so hopefully it will look half as good as yours! Thank you for the recipe!

Cay Gibson said...

THis looks delicious and something the kids would love to help make.
Thanks for sharing. :)

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