Made another lovely bread from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads. I have not baked any bread in December, as it was a busy month for me. But that did not stop me from thinking about baking a bread, any bread! So when the new school terms started in early January, and I was alone in the house in the mornings with the kids at school, my yearning for some homemade yeasted bread took over! I took out one of my favourite bread book, and decided on Rosemary-Garlic Bread, from the chapter on "Herb And Spice Bread".
I made the full recipe which yields two medium sized loaves. Herbs and spices used are dried parsley, dried rosemary, ground black pepper and fresh chopped garlic.
This bread is dense but soft, moist and very tasty from the garlic and herbs. I did reduced the salt slightly and I still find it a tiny tad salty, it may be OK for some, but I would prefer to reduce by another 1/4 teaspoon or so. The black pepper taste is a little strong, even though I've reduced the amount slightly, but I like it. For a milder taste, use half the amount called for.
Savory bread like this is great with soups. We had this with some canned mushroom soup. Very nice too, just spread with some butter, or just eat it on its own. This is a nice bread but between this bread and another herb bread that I've made a couple of months ago, Briarpatch Herb Bread, I prefer the later. Briarpatch Herb Bread has a softer texture and makes such a perfect sandwich bread. You might want to give that a try!
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(adapted from "Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads")
3 cups whole-wheat flour
2-1/2 cups bread or unbleached flour, approximately
2 packages dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt (I use 1-1/2 tsp)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (I use 1-1/2 tsp)
2 cups hot water (120 degrees -130 degrees) (I use about 1-3/4 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (I use 2 tbsp dried parsley)
3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary (or 1 tablespoon dried)
Baking pans : 2 medium (8"x4") bread pans, greased.
- In a mixing bowl measure 1 cup each whole-wheat and white flours. Stir in the yeast, salt, and black pepper and blend. Add the hot water and olive oil, and beat for 2 minutes with the mixer flat beater, until the batter is smooth.
- Stir in the herbs. Mix well. Measure in 2 cups whole-wheat flour, and add the balance of the white flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the batter becomes dough and forms a rough, shaggy mass.
- Knead the dough with a mixer dough hook, for about 8 minutes.
- Drop the dough into a greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Put either in a warm place for 30 minutes, until doubled in bulk, or leave at room temperature for about 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough. Divide in half. Roll each half into a ball and put aside to rest for 5 minutes.
- Press each ball into an oval, roughly the length of the pan. Fold lengthwise, press the seams together, and place in the prepared pan, seam down.
- Cover the pans with wax paper and leave to rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour. The dough will reach the height of the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees 20 minutes before baking.
- Uncover and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake until the loaf is a deep brown and crusty, 35 to 40 minutes. Turn one loaf from its pan and tap the bottom crust with your forefinger. The bread is done if sounds hollow and hard. (If using a convection oven, reduce heat 50 degrees).
- Turn the loaves onto a metal rack to cool before slicing. The bread is delicious toasted, keeps well at room temperature for several days, and can be held frozen for a year at 0 degrees.