Tuesday, January 31, 2012
French Herb Bread
What do you think of the new look? I'm pleased as punch with it!
I've had a Twitter account for a while now but didn't really understand how to use. Now that I've (mostly) figured it out, I love it. Such a fun way to share bits of information. If you are a twitterer too, let's hook up. (Probably too late to try and play this cool since I already outed myself as lame and out of touch.) You can find me at @candygirlky.
On to the food. This recipe for French Herb Bread was included in King Arthur Flour's latest catalog. My bread baking skills have improved to the point that I jump right in when I see a bread recipe I want to make. I used my new kitchen scale for the first time here and am a convert. I can't believe I waited so long to buy one. So much easier.
By far one of the easiest and most delicious breads I've made. Herbs de Provence are one of my favorite herb mixes to use and are perfect here to give the bread a lovely herbaceous flavor. A perfectly crusty crust encases a light, yet hearty interior. Dry milk and potato flakes are kind of oddball ingredients and by chance, I had them in my pantry. If you don't have them, pick them up just for this recipe because you will want to make it again and again.
I made a full size loaf but plan on making mini loaves in the future to serve alongside bowls of steaming soup. Or the next time we grill out to mimic the little loaves of bread popular at a lot of steakhouses. Served with honey butter. Or maybe with some Gruyere cheese sprinkled on top and baked into the crust. Endless possibilities.
French Herb Bread
adapted from King Arthur Flour
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup potato flour or 1/2 cup dried potato flakes
2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
Combine all of the ingredients, and mix and knead - by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle - until smooth, adding additional water or flour as needed. If using a mixer, about 6-8 minutes.
Cover the dough and let it rise for about 1 hour.
Shape the dough into a log and place in a lightly greased 9" x 5" inch loaf pan.
Cover and let rise until the dough has crowned about 1" over the rim of the pan, 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes. An instant-read thermometer, inserted into the center of the loaf should register at least 190 degrees F. Tent the bread lightly with foil if it appears to be browning too quickly.
Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out of the pan, and cool on a rack.