Saturday, November 10, 2012

Briarpatch Herb Bread

This is one amazing bread! This amazing recipe is from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads, and Mr Clayton originally got this recipe from a herbalists, Pearl Lloyd who grew more than 150 types of herbs in her private herb garden. This bread uses four types of herbs, oregano, chives, basil and parsley. According to the book, ideally the herbs should be fresh, but dried can  be substituted. I used fresh chives and fresh basil from my garden, and dried parsley and oregano.

It was one of those Sunday late morning, where the family went out for a late breakfast and naturally we skipped lunch. So I made this bread as a late afternoon tea time snack. The full recipe makes two loaves, but since I do not want to keep any leftovers as I am pretty sure that we cannot finish two loaves, I made half the recipe for one loaf. I used the stand mixer to mix the dough, and the dough was pretty sticky. Sprinkle some flour over the dough when shaping the bread and it is much easier to handle with dry clean hands. I made it sightly lighter by replacing some of the whole-wheat flour with white bread flour.

The bread is simply amazing. Smells incredible with the herbs and it has a soft texture, and very tasty. I sliced it about 40 minutes after I took it out from the oven, while it is still slightly warm and delicious!

This is not a very tall bread, and it did not look very impressive, but it is wonderfully soft and moist. Makes  a perfect sandwich bread. According to the book, this bread freezes well.

We had the bread with some slices of ham and cheese. I do not have any veggies in my fridge at that time, though with some cut slices of tomatoes, cucumber and lettuces would be lovely. Thumbs up from the family, everyone loves the bread. It was very good too spread with some salted butter, yum! I have no idea how this bread would fare on the second day, as we finished the whole loaf that very day! Definitely will be making this wonderful healthy bread again, for one of our "sandwich days"!

I'm sharing this with :

Here is the full recipe for two loaves, and my adjustments for one loaf is indicated at the bottom of the recipe :
Briarpatch Herb Bread
(adapted from Bernad Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads)
2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour, approximately
1 package dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
1-3/4 cups hot water (120degrees-130degrees)
1 egg
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1/3 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, or 1/2 tablespoon dried
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Baking pans :
2 medium (8-1/2"x4-1/2") loaf pans, greased or Teflon.

  1. Measure 1-1/2 cups flour into a mixing or mixer bowl and stir in the yeast, sugar, and dry milk. Pour in the hot water. Blend into a thin batter. Break in the egg and add the parsley, oregano, nutmeg, chives and basil. Beat this mixture in a mixer for 2 minutes. Allow the mixture to ferment and become bubbly, about 15 minutes. There is no need to cover it for this short period.
  2. Add cooking oil, salt, and 2 cups whole-wheat flour to the mixture and beat with a wooden spoon or with the mixer flat beater until the flour has been worked into the batter. Let stand for 3 minutes to allow the whole-wheat particles to fully absorb the moisture before adding more flour. Alternate between the white and whole-wheat when adding small portions of flour to form a rough shaggy ball of dough. Knead with the dough hook for 8 minutes.
  3. Grease the mixing bowl, drop in the dough, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature to rise until double in bulk, about 40 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and shape each into a ball. Press each ball into an oval roughly the length of a bread pan and fold in half lengthwise. Pinch the seam to seal, and place in the baking pan with the seam under. Cover the pans with wax paper and leave to rise until the dough reaches the height of the pan, about 35 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, 20 minutes before baking.
  6. Place the pans in the oven and bake until golden brown with flecks of herbs over the crust, about 35 minutes. Turn one loaf from its pan and test for doneness by tapping the bottom with a forefinger. If it is hard and sounds hollow, the loaves are done. If not, return them to the oven for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. (If using a convection oven, reduce heat 50degrees).
  7. Turn the loaves out onto a metal rack to cool before slicing. While still hot, brush the bread with the melted butter.

kitchen flavour's notes :
for half a recipe, I made the following adjustments -
  • use in total, 2 cups bread flour and 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • reduce salt slightly to 3/4 teaspoon
  • the rest of the ingredients, use only half of the amount from the original full recipe


  1. This bread sounds fantastic, Joyce - and yes, it looks the PERFECT sandwich loaf!

  2. Joyce, the bread looks pretty good to me! And the texture looks nice and soft. You had me going with the photo of the simple sandwich. I love breads with herbs in them. This bread must be really good for it to be finished in one afternoon :)

  3. Joyce, I still haven BYOB (bake your own bread) so far. Yours looks too good and healhty.

  4. It sure looks incredible good with all that herbs added into this bread. I would like to try this one day.

  5. Looks soft and fresh - ideal for my weekday sandwich lunch!

  6. Hi Joyce, what a beautiful loaf, looks so soft and indeed perfect for a sandwich... I really do enjoy seeing the breads you make :)

  7. This mist be really good; love all the ingredients;loos perfect!

  8. this sounds amazing, maybe you should have made two loafs!

  9. amboi..sedap nya. Can you make extra and freeze it and wait for me to pop over? keeekeekkee

  10. Una delicia está de lujo,abrazos y abrazos.

  11. Whao ! It looks perfect for sandwich ! You making me hungry ;)

  12. Lovely bread! I love the basil and oregano in this~

  13. Hi Joyce, love your this bread, though I've never heard or seen one before. You sure one very creative lady and coming out with these spectacular breads.
    Looks really good too....
    I sure wouldn't mind 3 pieces....with iced coffee, ha ha.
    Have a beautiful Sunday.

  14. Hi Joyce,
    This looks like a wonderful bread, the texture looks perfect! Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  15. joyce you know, i got a super sensitive nose and i practically can smell your bread from here! LOL! yes, i'm a little kwa cheong! i love the crust, girl!

  16. Gorgeous! The good news is, I'm growing all these herbs in the garden...the bad news is, I'm still not speaking with yeast. Maybe one day! Send me a loaf in the meantime :)

  17. Joyce,
    I never bake bread with herbs...but I can see you have baked a really nice bread. Your sandwich look good even though without tomato or cucumber or lettuce but with just a glass of cold milk is just as delicious.

  18. wow, this is something good to eat as sandwich for sure, Joyce :)

  19. More than 150 herbs in her garden ! I just can imagine how gorgeous her garden must be :D I love your herb bread , it looks delicious on its own or with that ham and cheese filling .... No leftover ! Ayahhhhh ! You need to bake another batch and let us taste some ! lol