I haven’t baked too much bread lately because of the summer heat. However, I had a craving for some fresh baked bread, so it became the day’s mission to find something that looked good. I knew in the back of my mind that I needed to find a recipe to make for The Secret Recipe Club, so I pulled out my assignment and went bread browsing.
The Secret Recipe Club, if you haven’t heard yet, is a fun cooking and baking club I started in April. It became so popular that it required its own site! Each participant is secretly assigned another participants blog. Then you find something to make or bake and post about. Only you can’t say anything until the posting reveal day, which just happens to be today!
I was assigned to Tangerine’s Kitchen which is run by Rachel out of India. The rest is a bit of a mystery, I couldn’t find too much about her on her blog, but I can certainly tell she loves to cook and bake!
After browsing around and selecting several recipes, I actually found this recipe for Cilantro, Scallions and Garlic Bread. The original recipe used only water along with the flour, which is fine, however adding a fat such as oil or melted butter will help to produce a more tender loaf with a nice brown crust. I prefer a softer bread so I definitely opted for an added fat. Also, using milk instead of just water in bread-making adds richness, produces a finer crumb and a softer crust. So in my version I used some milk along with the water and I chose olive oil as my fat as I enjoy the bold flavor it adds to bread. You could easily use melted butter or canola oil instead.
I also chose to use chives and a little rosemary instead of cilantro. I love cilantro but I already had some chives and rosemary, so it seemed a perfect substitution. Rachel’s recipe said to bake until done, so I really didn’t have a time to go off of. In a case like that you’ll want to pull out a thermometer and insert it into the center of the bread. Sources vary on the ideal temperature, but anywhere from 185 – 200 F should yield a delicious loaf.
The rosemary and the olive oil, both being bold flavors, resulted in a robust flavor combination that I loved. You could certainly use a milder herb and oil combination such as thyme and canola if you prefer a milder bread.
adapted from Tangerine’s Kitchen
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon SAF instant yeast
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup lukewarm milk
1 1/4 cups room temperature water
3 tablespoons olive oil*
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
2 scallions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Dissolve the yeast and honey in the warm water. Allow it to froth for about 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the flours together with the salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yeast mixture, the olive oil, and the water. Using a dough hook combine the ingredients until a soft dough is formed. Dough might be a little sticky to the touch.
Lightly dust counter and your hands with flour. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Place dough into a greased bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
Combine garlic, scallions, chives, rosemary, and about 5 or 6 turns of freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl.
Punch the risen dough down and add in herb mixture. Knead all the ingredients together well. Cover and allow to rise again until doubled, about an hour.
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Punch down dough and press into a rectangle, about 14″ x 6″. Roll the rectangle up and pinch the seam together. Place loaf onto insulated baking sheet, seam side down. Use a sharp knife to cut several 1/4″ deep slits diagonally into loaf. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes (mine was 43).
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
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