I’m a carb fiend. And I love bread. As insistent as my sweet tooth can sometimes be, I will almost always choose a hot, fresh piece of bread smothered with butter over something sugary and/or chocolatey. The rest of my labor day weekend baking frenzy resulted in more wonderful breadstuffs and yielded the aforementioned English Muffins:
and one of the tastiest loaves of bread I think I’ve ever put in my mouth. This Italian herbed boule emerged from the oven hot, wonderfully fragrant, with a chewy crust and a lovely texture. It’s also delicious and makes a really good looking sandwich.
Italian Herbed Boule
recipe from One Lovely Life
3/4 c water
1/2 c milk
a package of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced well
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
flour (recipe states about 3 cups)
In a pan, heat the milk and water until barely warmed. Stir in the sugar and yeast and let it hang out for a few minutes. Scrape this into a large bowl. Add in the olive oil, rosemary, oregano, garlic, and salt. Stir it up well. Stir in a cup of flour at a time. I added in 2 cups to begin with and stirred it into the wet mixture until the flour was all incorporated in. Then I added in more flour a little at a time until I came up with a soft dough. This is another one of those that is sticky, so while you’re kneading it, add just enough flour to make it easy to handle – you don’t want this to get over floured and “hard.” However much flour you end up using after the initial 2 cups, just make sure you’ve got a soft, slightly sticky dough. Stick this into a greased bowl, turning the dough to grease all over. Cover it and let it rise until doubled, about an hour.
Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and spray them with cooking spray. Shape the doughs into two little rounds, and lay them on their sheets. Using a sharp knife, cut a few 1/2 inch slashes in the top of the dough. Cover the dough balls and let them rise another hour or so, until puffed up again.
Preheat the oven to 450. Place another rimmed cooking sheet in the bottom rack of your oven. Let this heat up while the oven preheats. Slide your sheets with the bread dough on them into the top racks of the oven. Quickly pour a cup full of water into the bottom sheet and shut the door. Let these bake about 12 minutes, until golden brown all over and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.