Saturday, November 23, 2013

Program today - Herbal Holiday Baking

Today, as this posts actually, I am presenting a Program on Holiday Baking using herbs.(stop back next week for photos of us from the program!)

It has inspired me to make tea bread and savory bread for Holiday Gifts this year.  I always share recipes that could not fit into the handouts with students and others on the Program Recipes Page (see above) and today is no exception.  I have added three recipes to the page including a gluten-free recipes for those who love the idea of an herb bread but need to avoid the gluten.

Here I thought I would share a couple recipes that turned out to be my favorites from the program. If you are interested in my entire set of available programs, check this out!

Lavender Tea Bread
This recipe is kind of a sneak peak because we will be sharing it on Facebook as part of the Advent calender of daily herb recipes that starts on December 1st.  Check out this webpage for more details and previous calendars.

3/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp. dried lavender flowers, finely chopped, or 3 Tbsp. fresh chopped flowers
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs

Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat milk with lavender almost to a boil, then steep until cool. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in bowl. In another bowl cream butter and gradually add sugar, then eggs, one at a time, beating until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture alternately with lavender milk, in three parts. Mix until batter is just blended, do not overbeat. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool. When completely cool, drizzle with a simple sugar glaze or sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Garnish with sprigs of fresh lavender.

This second recipe is a savory rather than a sweet bread.  You can serve it with soups or with butter as a rich hearty evening snack and it is the perfect side to a green salad.  I am thinking a great Thanksgiving appetizer too!  We love this recipe so much that every loaf I pre-made for the program got eaten and I finally had to make one in the morning before the program so I would have one to take with me.  The participants in the program made a mix of this recipe so they could all try it at home.

Savory Herb & Spice Quick Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg
1 cup fat-free milk
1/3 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Transfer to a 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 1 loaf (14 slices).

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