Herb Bread, page 304, August 2015

This one just sounded so good, I had to make it.  I had mom’s kitchen smelling like delicious fresh bread for days and days.

Ingredients went into the bread machine in the following order:  1 1/8 cups water, 1 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 3 cups bread flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon gluten, 1 teaspoon dried marjoram, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried tarragon and 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast.  This loaf can be made using the medium or dark crust settings (I used medium) and the basic cycle.

This smelled really great; it rose very well, with a high, rounded top.  As it baked, we kept coming up with ideas on how to best use it, deciding that toasted cheese sandwiches dipped into tomato soup would be best.

I really do wish I had remembered to take pictures.  The loaf was a beautiful white bread with herbs throughout the loaf.  It was really pretty.  We made our grilled cheese sandwiches with a blend of sharp cheddar cheese and a white cheddar-Italian truffle cheese I picked up the other day.  It was really good.

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Sourdough Pesto Bread, page 296, June 4, 2015

Time for another loaf I can eat to have around the house.  I haven’t used my sourdough starter in a couple weeks, so I thought it was time to bring it back out of the fridge.  Last last night, I stirred my starter before removing 1/2 cup of it to a glass bowl.  I added 3 cups each of flour and water before covering it loosely with plastic wrap and leaving it in the kitchen to warm up and reactivate.

12 hours later, the starter had woken up, was bubbly and frothy.

Of the newly activated starter, I only need 1 cup for my loaf, so I will put the remaining starter in another container in the fridge.  I will label my starters and do some experimenting later to see how they each affect the bread I bake with them.

Into the bread machine pan, I placed 1 cup of my sourdough starter, 1/3 cup fat free milk, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons pesto, 3 cups bread flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon dried marjoram, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast. This recipe doesn’t FullSizeRenderrequire the addition of vital wheat gluten.

I can tell already that today is going to be tough.  The smell of the pesto is incredible right away.  As this loaf takes the time to mix, knead, rise and bake, I expect it will just get better and better.

As you can see from this photo taken during the first rise, the bits of herbs are scattered throughout the dough ball.

Something came up and I had to leave the house during the bread making, so I wasn’t teased by the lovely aroma too much.

This loaf baked to tall and lovely golden brown perfection.  Unfortunately, I sort of squashed it down while putting it in my bread box before taking a picture of the finished product.  I also haven’t tried it yet, I have company coming later this evening and will get opinions then.

It was delicious.  The flavor of the basil pesto really came through well.  I made myself a toasted cheese sandwich with it and served that with some tomato soup. Heaven.