Each time I begin to share something that I have cooked on this blog, I feel so compelled to make an interesting beginning to the whole thing. If there’s a crisis greater than the “what to cook today?” syndrome, it has got to be the “how do I introduce this recipe/ begin this post?” syndrome. Its about 10:15 pm in the night right now, not really very late, but not really an hour when my creative senses are at their best.
The best that I can come up with is this list of mostly useless boring trivia related to this recipe:
- I made this bread in August this year. The exact date is 10-08-2008. A 08-08-08 would have probably looked a little more exciting. Sigh.
- It was made two days before my birthday. Hmmm.
- I understand the true power of procrastination now. This bread was meant to be sent to Dhivya for her AWED – Italian, but it is making an appearence months later for the Recipe Marathon #2.
- The inspiration for this recipe came from this Italian Herb Bread posted by Ann Barr .
Fortunately the bread is fabulously flavourful and interesting unlike my introduction. Although it takes about 8 hours including preparation and waiting time, its actually very simple to make and the result is worth the wait.
- Water – 2 cups
- Whole Wheat Atta – 3 1/2 cups + plus some more for dusting
- Salt – 1 1/4 tsp
- Honey – 1 tbsp
- Active Dry Yeast – 1 1/2 tsp
- Garlic – 1 tbsp (minced)
- Dried Oregano – 1/2 tsp
- Dried Basil – 1/2 tsp
- Dried Thyme – 1/2 tsp
- Olive Oil – 2 tbsp
- Warm the water. You should be able to dip your finger in the water. Dissolve the honey. Add active dry yeast and let it stand for 5 minutes until yeast frothes. Dissolve yeast.
- Combine Flour, herbs, garlic and salt in a bowl. Add to the yeast and bring together to form a dough.
- Knead the dough for 5 min until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Transfer to a well oiled bowl and set aside in a warm place until the dough is doubled in volume. This should take between 4-6 hours.
- After the dough has risen, punch it down, transfer to a floured surface and knead for a minute by folding. (i.e. knead by folding dough like you would fold a letter)
- Divide the dough into equal parts. Roll each part into a long rope/strand about 1/2 inch in thickness approximately. Braid the strands to form the loafloaves. You can make two 3 strand loaves and one 5 or 6 strand loaf. Follow this link for a fabulous video by Gerard that tells you how to braid with 3, 4, 5 or 6 strands.
- Set aside, cover with a cloth and let the loaf/loaves rise. This should take about 30minutes-1 hour.
- Preheat an oven to 180 C. Brush loaf/loaves with olive oil. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet.
- Bake at 180C for 40 minutes or until the loaf/loaves are golden brown and the base sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack and slice.
Check my fellow marathoners: