Swirled Herb Bread
This lovely swirled herb bread is perfectly seasoned with the herb swirl. It is a great addition to any meal or served on it's own.
Servings: 2 loaves
- 1 ¼ cup warm milk This should feel just slightly warm to the touch, about 100 degrees
- 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup olive oil, butter or canola oil You can choose here. I have used all 3, and like all 3.
- ½ cup potato flakes while this isn't necessary, it does help produce a really tender loaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour I used a einkorn flour, but a white whole wheat or hard red winter would be great as well.
- 2 ½-3 ½ cups all purpose flour This is a variable. So much will depend on humidity, measuring techniques etc. Also, if you prefer a 100 % whole wheat loaf, go for it! It is really good either way.
- 3 eggs
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened you can use olive oil here if you prefer, but I like the butter
- 6 tablespoons fresh basil all these herb ingredients are variable, if you prefer one more than the other, use more!
- 2 tablespoon fresh oregano
- 2 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoon minced garlic I love roasted garlic for this, but didn't have any when I made this loaf.
- 1 cup grated parmesan
Add ingredients to mixing bowl or bowl you will use to mix if you are doing the process by hand. Start with only 2 ½ cups of the all purpose flour though. You will want to add any extra gradually after mixing for a few minutes. This is a straight dough method, which means you add everything in at once to mix. It is so simple to do!! Also, I am using instant yeast on this one, so you don't need to activate the yeast, just throw it in with other ingredients. Now, mix for at least 1-2 minutes before you decide about adding more flour. You will want the dough to be tacky (slightly sticky), but not overly sticky. It is a partial wheat loaf, so it will absorb more moisture than an all white bread. Continue to mix, adding flour as needed fro about 6-8 minutes. I like to mix on a medium speed on my mixer. If you are mixing by hand, it is the same concept. I always mix for 8-10 minutes when I mix by hand. Cover dough and allow to rise in a warm place until the dough is doubled. Mine took about 40 minutes. This will depend on the temperature of your dough and the temp in your house. While it is rising, prepare your bread pans. I like to just spray mine with a pan spray. If you prefer, use softened butter. I don't recommend oil as I have had a few bad experiences with the bread sticking in pans I have oiled. Now, divide dough in half. I love using a bench knife for this, it is one of my favorite tools for working with bread dough. Roll each section to a 12x18 rectangle. Spread with half of the herb mixture, being sure to leave about 1 inch on a 12 inch side without the spread. This is the side you will use to pinch your loaf closed. You cannot do this with butter smeared on it. :)Now, roll your roll just like you would a cinnamon roll. Pinch closed. Cut a slit lengthwise through your roll, leaving about 1 inch at the end uncut. Place the 2 sides facing up on the surface. Twist them over each other again and again until you reach the end of the loaf. Curl each end under to the twist shows even at the end. Place each loaf in prepared bread pans. Cover and allow to rise until doubled. While it is doubling, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place both loaves in the oven for baking. Now, my loaves took a little over 30 minutes to bake. Your time may vary a bit depending on the thickness of your pan and the actual temp of your oven. You are looking for the top to get a deep golden brown color. Once it is finished, remove from oven. Carefully invert and remove from pan. Allow to cool right side up. Let this cool as long as you are able to ease in cutting, but let me just tell you. It will be hard. This bread smells so good!! Your whole house will smell amazing and magically, everyone will be in a better mood. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!
Mix all ingredients. I did mine in the food processor, then I didn't have to cut up any of the herbs. If you would prefer to mix by hand, that is great. Just make sure and finely chop the herbs first. Same thing if you are mixing with a hand mixer.