Herb and Onion Bread
I like to substitute oregano for the rosemary because I'm an oregano freak. I usually add more herbs than it calls for. I sometimes add dried parsley, just so that there are more little green flecks in the dough (that way people know they are supposed to be there, and not just something weird that fell in the dough).
Even though this recipe doesn't call for it, I knead the dough, because I'm happier with the texture that way.
This bread smells incredible when baking! making bread by hand may seem daunting, but it only took me about 2 or 3 batches to get used to it. Once you learn how to do it, it's very rewarding, and doesn't really take that much time. It takes several hours, start to finish, but most of that time is not labor-intensive. I'm glad that people with bread machines are getting the taste of real bread, but it seems to me that they"re missing out a lot of the experience. I hope you enjoy these!
- Makes 1 loaf
- ½ cup milk
- 2¼ cups flour or wheat flour
- 1½ tbsp sugar
- ½ small onion, minced
- 1 tbsp salt
- ½ tbsp dried dill weed
- 1 pack yeast
- 1 tbsp crushed, dried rosemary
- ½ cup warm water
- Scald the milk and dissolve in it the sugar and salt; cool to lukewarm.
- In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
- Add the cooled milk, flour, minced onion, and herbs, and stir well with a large, wooden spoon.
- When the batter is smooth, cover the bowl with a towel and let the cough rise in a warm place until triple in bulk—about 45 minutes.
- Stir down and beat vigorously for a few minutes, then turn into a greased bread pan.
- Let it stand in a warm place about 10 minutes before putting it into a preheated, 350°F oven.
- Bake about 1 hour.
Basic bread info
- Most recipes call for dissolving the yeast in warm water. Hot water out of the tap can be too warm for this. The water should be about 100 – 110°F (37 – 42°C, 310 – 315°K). If it is too hot, you will kill the yeast and your bread won't rise. Test it on your wrist like you would baby formula.
- Kneading the dough develops the gluten. It is also when you add the last bits of flour. Since flour varies so much in moisture content, the amount of flour you add will be a little different every time. Books always say to quit kneading when the dough is smooth and satiny. I usually stop kneading when it doesn't stick to my hands anymore. Then I let it rise. I put a little oil in the bottom of a bowl, put in the dough then turn the dough upside down. The point of this is to grease the top of your dough so that it doesn't dry out. You could spray it with PAM instead, or make sure it rises in a fairly humid spot (put a bowl of warm water next to it while rising). Then put a dish towel over the bowl and put it in a warm draft-free place. I use my oven, even though it isn't that warm. Do not turn the oven on. Let the dough rise until doubled (i.e. it's twice as big as it was before). Then punch it down, by literally punching your fist into the dough. This is fun! the dough collapses.
- Now, some recipes call for letting the dough rise again. This gives the bread a lighter texture.
- Now you form your loaves and bake it.
- Always preheat the oven.
- The bread is done when it pulls away from the side of the pan. Or, you can take it out of the oven, flip it out of the pan, and knock on the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it's done. This is the true baker's way, but i can never tell if it's hollow or not.
- You can eat bread fresh out of the oven, but it's easier to cut if you wait until it cools. It tastes better if you don't wait, though!