We’ve just been through a snow day – actually, it was three days of snow in a row! There’s something about a snow day that makes me want to pull out the bread maker and whip up a fresh hot loaf. I know what that something is actually – it’s a fun memory I have of my mother on snow days. We used to do just that along with making a pot of soup. We’ve made a lot of bread in my family both by hand and with the bread machine, but it seems that snow days were always bread machine days.
My mom is gone now but as I often mention in my entries, continuing to do things like this brings me close to those we’ve lost and I love to share them with my own family. My son never got the chance to know his grandma, but I really feel that doing these things with him has helped him to know more about her and feel close to her.
About a year ago I purchased an Aerogarden and we love having one! For our winter/spring season we grew all herbs, so I had plenty on hand that needed a good project. I’ve seen recipes that use fresh herbs in bread before and they sounded good, so I decided to try and create one based on some basic measurements that I know work well in my bread maker for a 1 1/2 pound loaf.
Sometimes I use a mix or a recipe, but quite often when it comes to the bread maker I seem to think of it as one of those science sets you would do experiments with when you were a kid! I love to throw different things together and see how it turns out. Sometimes it comes out great, sometimes pretty good and on occasion there have been a few real clunkers!
A recent disaster resulted in a loaf that rose about one inch and felt like it weighed 10 pounds! I had yeast on hand that was a bit too old and took a chance on it – clearly it didn’t pay off! There was a happy ending though – I used it to repair a broken brick on my front steps!
This experiment I am happy to say turned out very well. The flavor of the herbs came through nicely without being overpowering. The crust was nice and crispy and the inside was very soft – perhaps the extra bit of moisture from the herbs contributed to this. My recipe does not call for any specific type of herb or herbs, but rather with filling up 2/3 of a cup with your favorite combination of minced herbs.
For this particular mix, I had a lot on hand – the Aerogarden can be quite prolific when it comes to herbs! I decided to go with a mix of basil, Italian flat leaf parsley, sage, thyme and oregano. I had more basil, parsley and sage than the other two and for that reason alone, they made up the greater portion of the mix.
Bread With Fresh Herbs
- 3 cups flour (I used a combination of 2 cups white and 1 cup wheat)
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon softened butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast or instant yeast
- 2/3 cup minced mixed herbs.
Add the ingredients in the order recommended for your bread machine and set it to the basic cycle. My machine signals me during the cycle for mixing in additional ingredients – I added the herbs at this point. If your machine doesn’t have this option, just add them at the start.
The snow is several days behind us now and the bread is long gone, but we just got a weather alert that another storm will be moving in tomorrow – I have a feeling it won’t be long before the bread machine comes out again…