Friday, September 17, 2010

Late night herb bread

 Even the oregano knows it's autumn

Sometimes, internet, I don't know what I did when I was single. I know I cooked. A lot. It's not like I was suddenly imbued with magical cooking powers when my sweetheart came along. I have clear memories of cooking many tasty things in the kitchen, wine glass in hand, and belting out to Dar Williams, nary a boy in sight. I'm not single now, but this summer, I've felt like it. The sweetheart's on a job a couple hours away, and only home a few nights every couple weeks.  Consequently, I just haven't felt like cooking. 

I've been eating though. Usually a big salad, or (and I'm sharing my Number One Sexy Single Secret meal here) a baked sweet potato with sauteed kale and garlic on top. Topped off with a dollop of yogurt, and a dab of harissa mixed in if I'm feeling particularly ambitious. It's superfood heaven. Green, white and bright orange. Sweet and bitter. Creamy and crunchy. 

All this to say, every time I've cracked open the cookbook this summer, it's been hard to motivate for a big meal I can't share with anyone. I don't want to hog all the sandwich recipes!

But fall is setting in here in Alaska, and I'm beginning to putter around the kitchen again. I've been making my way through 4 gallons of cherries that I picked last week, and last night I made herb bread. It was late, and I had blog guilt. But the bread was fantastic!

Mezza Luna Loveliness
My fresh herbs are still kicking. I went out to my garden and snipped chives, oregano, tarragon,  thyme and parsley. While the yeast bloom was... blooming, I chopped the herbs with my lovely mezza luna.

 Kneading away

I started out mixing and kneading in the KitchenAid, but switched to hand kneading a couple minutes in. I felt like kneading, and the the dough looked (and was) so sumptuous to the touch.
The loaves have risen!

Two healthy rises in the oven, a quick shape into loaves and one more rise. Out came perfect, fragrant bread. Great for toast on my way into work this morning. This is the second bread I've made from the cookbook, and both have suggested 3 rises. It paid off big time, as they loaves were the loftiest I've ever made. I think next time, I'll see if I can knock off one rise. 

Morning toast

1 comment:

  1. Adding the extra rise makes for a lighter loaf, as you discovered. The bread will still be delicious if you knock off one rise, just a little heavier (which you may even like better). Love the oregano picture - it nicely captures the essence of fall.


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