Bread... Glorious Herb Bread!
A close-up view
I kind of feel sheepish to make this when i have been thinking of seriously going on a diet. I guess it is really hard when one loves food the way i do and have absolutely no self-restrain! But, i wanted to bake bread from a really long time and when i saw this book in the library called 'Bread' by Eric Treuille and Ursulla Ferrigno, i had to borrow it to look at the amazing photos inside.
Keeping with inspirations as my theme ;) i decided to make the herb bread as per the book, but decided to add cilantro,mint and green chillies instead of the parsely or rosemary that was mentioned. This herb combo was inspired by the masala bread that was sold in bangalore and my best pal would get a loaf for me each time she went to bangalore to visit her cousins.
I unfortunately followed the recipe 95%, as i have never baked a bread before, perhaps next time, i will play with the ingredients a little.
Here is the write-up:
2 tsp dry yeast
11/2 cup water
31/4 cup bread flour
2 tsp. salt
1 tbls melted butter (i used 1 tbls olive oil)
handful of finely chopped herbs (i added green chillies with the hersbs)
1.Sprinkle the yeast in 1/2 cup of water and let is stay for 5 minutes and then dissolve. ( tip: to know if the yeast is avlive, the yeast will increase in qty, so if you put it in 1/2 cup of water, the water will increase in volume in 5-10 mts)
2.Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl, make a well in the center and pour the yeast, olive oil and add in the herbs.Stir in remaining water as needed. Mix well and then take this mix on a floured board and knead for 5 minutes. The mixture will be sticky. ( mine was really really sticky, as i used the remaining 1 cup of water, i think i should have used only 3/4. So, please add in a little at a time!)
3 Put this dough in a clean glass or plastic bowl,cover it and keep aside in a warm place to rise for about 11/2 hours. (timer time)
4.When the time is up, take the dough and punch it well( thinking of a pesky co-worker, usually does the trick, the problem is i do not know when to stop ;)
5. Let the dought rest for 10 mts, then shape it as a round loaf, place it is a floured baking sheet,cover it and let it rest for 45 mts.( i was unable to make a round, as mine was sticky, so let it free form)
6. Bake it in 400 F for 45 minutes, till golden and hollow. When you tap underneath it should sound hollow. ( mine came out really nice, i was pretty sure, it would be horrible, as my dough was sticky, but it came out just great!)
7.Cool in on a wire rack and the cut in slices and gobble up plain, with pasta, sandwiches....yadda yadda yadda.....(seinfeld fan ;)