By Sharon Davis, Family & Consumer Sciences Education, Manhattan, KS
After a recent blizzard of holiday sweets, I‘ve begun to embrace all things soup and savory breads. In fact, I’m betting you’ll love the Mini-Bread Bowls demonstrated by the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. The whole wheat bread bowls are a perfect individual size, served fresh or easily frozen and warmed briefly in a hot (450°F) oven.
My latest savory bread is one I found in Stowe, VT at the Trapp Family Lodge. Their Zesty Herb Bread is from 33 years of baking by their Executive Pastry Chef, Marshall Faye, now retired. His recipes and stories are found in Now That’s a Linzertorte! Written with R. Pierce Reid, 3rd Edition, Chef Faye states he “bakes all” with what is their local flour from the King Arthur Baking Company. I found this bread quick to mix, definitely use a bread flour, and pre-mix the herb mixture and keep in the fridge for your next batch!
While you’re baking round loaves, consider dividing the dough into six to eight small rounds instead of just two to serve with your favorite soups and stews or divide again into sliders or buns. Chef Gemma Stafford, Bigger Bolder Baking, shares her shaping technique —easy to apply to both small and larger rounds of dough.
Last tips! I love round loaves because everyone at my table loves the “heel” so I cut four heels from each round loaf and slice the rest. There won’t be any left, but homemade day-old bread always makes the most delicious croutons too!
Zesty Herb Bread
- Makes 2 round loaves
- Baking temperature: 400°F (pre-heated oven)
- Baking Time: 25 minutes (190°-200°F at center of loaf)
Ingredients: First prepare the Herb Mix:
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 Tablespoons oregano
1 Tablespoon sweet basil
2 Tablespoons chopped chives or onion
1 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 Tablespoon garlic salt or garlic powder (I used powder)
Mix dry ingredients in large bowl to blend
4 cups bread flour (I used 1 cup whole white wheat flour, 3 cups bread flour)
4 ½ teaspoons dry yeast (instant, quick, regular active dry or Platinum®)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) Herb Mix
Add liquids that are whisked together:
1 ½ cups warm water (90-100°F)
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Cornmeal for dusting
Egg White + 1 Tablespoon water (egg wash)- optional
- Mix the liquids into the dry ingredients and stir or mix until well combined – by hand or with mixer. Mix about 3 minutes. Cover dough ball with the bowl and let rest 5 minutes.
- Using either a very little flour or a very little water (depends on how wet or dry the dough is) knead the dough 10 minutes—by hand or with a dough hook on the mixer.
- Cover and let rest 10-30 minutes in a warm place.
- Divide the dough in half, shape into two round loaves and place on a baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal or parchment and corn meal.
- Cover lightly with oiled plastic wrap or non-terry, slightly damp flour sack towel. Let loaves proof (raise) in a non-drafty place until doubled in size.
- Heat oven for 10 minutes to 400°F. Optional: Brush loaves with egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water. Not optional☺ Slash top of each loaf about 1/8 inch X 4 inches (in an X or three small slashes)
- Bake about 25 minutes until golden, sound hollow with tapped and 190-200°F at center. Cool on wire cooling racks until cooled- 100 ° or less at center before slicing or wrapping.