This bread thing, it’s getting to be old hat.
Add some yeast, flour, and other stuff…mix, let rise, punch, let rise, bake. Lather, rinse, and repeat for each loaf.
(And yes, I do know I’m somehow jinxing myself – and some upcoming bread recipe will go down the drain, but for now, I’m feeling a little cocky.)
I’m not saying I don’t love baking bread, because I really, really do. But I needed a little something new. A little extra, you might say…something to push and/or develop for my baking skills.
And it doesn’t hurt if it makes it pretty, too. I do love pretty things.
Garlic Herb Braid, adapted from Real Mom Kitchen
3/4 c milk
1/2 c water
1/4 c butter, cubed
3 T sugar, divided into 1 T and 2 T
2 packages yeast
2 t dried basil
1-3/4 t dill weed
1-1/2 t salt
3/4 t garlic powder
3/4 t dried rosemary, crushed
4 to 4-1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 T butter, melted
In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water, yeast, 1 T sugar, and cubed butter to 110°. Remove from heat, and let sit until bubbly, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, the rest of the sugar, and seasonings.
Add to wet mixture to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add egg; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 4-6 minutes. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Divide dough into thirds. Shape each into a 15-in. rope. Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes.
Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes (Check at 15 minutes mine probably should have cooked a little less than the 20 minutes) or until golden brown.
Brush with melted butter. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.
(First off, I’m going to apologize in advance…pretty much all the cooking I do is in the early morning or at dinner time – and right now, it’s dark at both times. So, no natural light. Just be prepared that my pictures may not be the best for a little while, until I can figure out how to fix it. Now back to the bread.)
I had to alter this recipe a bit, mostly because I didn’t have instant yeast. So if you do happen to have some, go here to access the original recipe. My way turned out great, too, so it’s all about what you have in your kitchen.
Making the dough was really easy – and I liked that I knew the bread would be ready quickly because of the short rise times.
I did learn, though, that my measurement skills, like my shape making skills, apparently are not up to par. My three equal ropes of dough were not exactly equal.
You can see all those lovely bits of herb right in the dough.
With the short baking time, I got to place it in the oven right before dinner. The smells of our baked pasta intermingling with this delicious bread was mouth-watering. And then, we got to eat it when it was nice and warm, fresh from the oven.
I’m not sure if I could eat this bread as a stand-alone, it is pretty herb-y. But that would be easy to alter for next time.
Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.
(Yep, I’m still feeling cocky. Better prepare myself for the upcoming fall.)