Thursday, 8 August 2013


“A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou.” - Omar Khayyam

It has been a cold, wet and dark Winter’s day today. Nothing to cheer one up like a warm, glowing home to come to with the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven! That and some olive oil and balsamic vinegar spread generously on thick slices and a nice glass of red wine…

Herb Bread


550 g flour (can use white, wholemeal or half-and-half)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 packet instant yeast (7g)
Dried herbs, chopped (rosemary, thyme, dill, oregano, sage, etc to taste)
Spices, ground (dried mustard, cardamom, paprika, onion powder, etc to taste)
Poppy seeds and white sesame (optional)

Turn the oven on and with oven rack in the lowest position and warm to 80˚C. Turn oven off after 10 minutes and keep door closed.

Mix 3_ cups of the flour, sugar and the salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix the milk, water, oil, herbs, spices, and yeast in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Turn the mixer to very low speed and slowly add the liquid. When the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and shiny, stopping the mixer two or three times to scrape dough from hook, if necessary, for about 10 minutes. (After 5 minutes of kneading, if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time and up to _ cup total, until the dough is no longer sticky.) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead to form a smooth, round ball, for about 20 seconds.

Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl, rubbing the dough around the bowl to coat lightly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the warmed oven until the dough doubles in size, for 40 to 50 minutes. Take the dough out and punch down, kneading a little.

Roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself. Place the dough in an oiled 25x10 cm loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all four sides of the pan. Paint the loaf top with milk and sprinkle some poppy seeds and white sesame on the top, if using. Cover with plastic wrap; set aside in a warm spot until the dough almost doubles in size, for 20 to 30 minutes.

Keep one oven rack at the lowest position and place the other at the middle position and heat the oven to 175˚C. Place an empty baking pan on the bottom rack. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the boiling water into the empty pan on the bottom rack at set the loaf onto the middle rack. Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes until golden brown. Remove the bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack, and cool to room temperature. Slice and serve.

This post is part of the Food Friday meme,
and also part of the Food Trip Friday meme.


  1. Perfect for breakfast! looks yummy!
    here for ftf..

  2. I think I need to pair it with my favorite coffee! ;)

  3. I would be glad to have this for breakfast along with my favorite juice drink :)

  4. Yummy!!!!! Got to try this!!!!!

  5. Delicious! ^_^ Perfect for breakfast with some hot choco. :)

  6. oooh, that sounds like a perfect way to unwind!

    appreciate much your taking the time to share and link over at Food Friday, Nick