I'm Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh growing herbs is a passion I've had for more than 20 years now. The Backyard Patch is my own herb business started in 1995. I specialize in fresh, amazing, organic blended herbs. Those for cooking, tea and bath -- and they are all home-grown and hand-blended. In the last 20 years I have gained a knowledge of herbs and their flavors that I share here.
The Celts were great about celebrating seasonal and
celestial time periods. They marked many
of these days with a celebration. August
first is the festival of Lughnasadh (Loo-na-sa) it was a celebration of the
first loaves of bread from the new harvest. To commemorate this festival I am sharing a
couple of herb bread recipes.
Make them and enjoy your Loaf Mass!
Summer Herb Quick Bread
Adapted from "The Provence
Cookbook" by Patricia Wells
2 tspbaking powder
tspfine sea salt
3eggs, lightly beaten
1 cupplain yogurt
Tbls.imported French mustard
cup Swiss Gruyere cheese, grated
the oven to 425F. In a food processor or
blender, combine flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, yogurt and mustard; add
cheese and herbs. Pour batter into bread pan and bake in the center of the oven
for 45 minutes or until firm and golden. Remove pan from oven and invert onto a
cooling rack. Makes 1 loaf or about 12 slices.
It will keep if stored in a zipseal bag at room temp for about 3 days.
Oregano Herb Standard Bread
1 pkg. Active dry yeast
5 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 ¾ cup milk
3 T. salad oil
2 T sugar
2 T minced Oregano
1 t. salt
Stir together the yeast and 2 cups of flour. Heat together
all the remaining ingredients except the flour, until
lukewarm. Add to flour-yeast mixture and beat on low speed for 30 seconds,
followed by 3 minutes on high speed slowly stirring in flour as much as can
with a spoon.
Now knead in the remaining flour to make a stiff dough for
about 8-9 minutes. Shape into a ball and put in lightly greased pan/bowl,
turning once to grease all sides of surface. Cover and let rise for approximately
1 hour or so until the dough mixture is approximately double in size. Punch
down dough and divide in half, cover and let sit for 10 more minutes. Shape
into 2 loaves and place into buttered 8 x 4" loaf pans. Cover and let rise
another 45 minutes Bake in 350 F for 40- 45 minutes and cover with foil
last few minutes to prevent over-browning.
Herb Sourdough Bread
If you have a sourdough starter this is a great herb bread you can craft with it. Try it if you can get some.
1 cup sourdough
1 Tbls. butter
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp crushed dried basil
3 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Pour the culture into a mixing bowl. Melt the butter and add
the milk to warm. Stir in the salt, sugar, thyme, oregano, and basil and stir.
Add the butter mixture to the culture and mix well. Add the flour a cup at a
time until the dough becomes too stiff to mix by hand. Turn out onto a floured
board and knead in the remaining flour until the dough is smooth and satiny.
Or mix and knead all of the ingredients for a maximum of 25
minutes in a bread machine or other mixer.
Proof the dough overnight (8 to 12 hours) at room
temperature, about 70°F, in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap (or leave in
the machine pan, removed from the machine, securing the plastic wrap with a
rubber band). During this time, the dough should double in size in the covered
bowl, or rise to the top of the machine pan. After the proof, use a spatula to
gently ease the dough out onto a floured board. Allow the dough to rest for 30
minutes. If marked flattening occurs during this time, knead in additional
flour before shaping.
After the 30-minute rest, shape the dough. Flatten it
slightly, then lift a portion from the periphery and pull it toward the center.
Continue this around the dough mass to form a rough ball, then pat and pull
into the loaf shape you desire. Place on a baking sheet or in a bread pan and
proof for 2 to 4 hours, until it doubles in bulk or rises nearly to the top of
the pan. Proof for the first hour at room temperature and then at 85° to 90°F
in a proofing box.
Place the pan with its shaped, proofed loaf in a cool oven,
then turn the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 70 minutes. Or
transfer the loaf to a preheated baking stone in a 450°F oven and bake for 40
minutes. When the loaf is baked, remove it from the pan and let cool on a wire
rack for at least 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.