Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Garlic & basil bread

I wish I had known how entertaining it is to make bread from scratch years ago; I'd have been doing it all this time! Like a potter at his wheel, I love to mix, shape, and form the dough into a delicious piece of edible artistry. Now, I'm not saying my bread is pretty... but it is pretty damn tasty! So here's a simple recipe for some extremely aromatic garlic & basil bread that is sure to compliment anything from garlic hummus to sweet red pepper relish.

3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 packet active dry yeast
1 tbsp raw sugar
2 cups warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh garlic
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 tsp crushed dried rosemary

1) In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in the warm water
2) Stir in yeast, let sit for 10 minutes until foamy
3) In a separate bowl, combine flours (set 1/2 cup aside for rolling)
4) After 10 minutes, add 1 1/2 tbsp oil to water/sugar/yeast
5) Slowly add flour combination, stirring as you add roughly 1 cup at a time
6) Once mixture has turned into dough, spread the 1/2 cup flour on a flat, hard surface
7) Lay the dough out on this surface, sprinkle on the basil, garlic and chives as you begin to knead the dough. Knead until bread is smooth
8) Use remaining 1/2 tbsp oil to coat a large bowl
9) Put dough in oiled bowl, sprinkle on rosemary and turn to coat dough in oil/rosemary
10) Cover bowl, let dough rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size
11) Remove dough from bowl, knead and cut in half
12) Shape halves into loaves, place in oiled 9x5 bread pans and let rise to the top of the pan (30 min)
13) Cut 3 diagonal slits roughly 1/4 inch deep across the top of each loaf
14) Bake loaves for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F

After the bread is done baking, allow to cool a few minutes before slicing. Put on your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

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