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Monday, September 3, 2012

Garlic-Herb Bread


Nothing makes a house smell better than fresh homemade bread baking. So I'm going to pass along a lovely recipe for Garlic-Herb bread that I got out of my old Oster Bread Machine cookbook. You'll notice in the photo above, that the loaf isn't shaped like the square bread machine pan. That's because I don't like having my bread machine bake the bread, as it's an odd shape and the crust is too hard. So I set my bread machine to the dough cycle, so it'll mix and rise the bread for me. In 90 minutes it goes off and I transfer the dough to the counter, mold it into my desired shape and either put it in a greased bread pan, or simply place it on a stoneware pan or pizza stone. (If you do that, sprinkle some cornmeal on the stone first so your bread won't stick.) To make it easier, I just used a spoonful of crushed garlic from a jar.

Garlic-Herb Bread

Large Loaf (1 1/2 pounds)

1 1/4 cups water
1 Tablespoon margarine or butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 1/4 cups Bread flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves

2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast OR 2 3/4 teaspoons regular active dry yeast

Mix together following your bread machine instructions. (Mine have always said put liquid or moist ingredients in first, followed by the dry ingredients, with yeast always last.) Note: If bread dough is a bit dry and crumbly, you can add a few drops of buttermilk as it mixes. Set bread machine on dough cycle. When done, take dough out of machine. Drop on floured counter and gently mold into desired shape. Either place on a stoneware pan or pizza stone sprinkled with cornmeal, or put into any greased loaf pan. Put in a warm place and cover with a thin dish towel to rise a second time. (Setting it on the stove that will warm slightly as the oven preheats works nicely.) Let it rise until it's nearly double in size. You may want to take sharp knife and slash the top of the loaf to give it room to expand while baking. Bake at 375ºF for 25 minutes.

Works well in place of garlic bread.