Herb Wheat Bread

Course : Breads
Serves: 1
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1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
3 1/2 cups white flour -- prefer, up to 4
1 cup stone-ground whole wheat flour unbleached

Preparation / Directions:

Makes 1 large or 2 small round loaves Put the yeast and warm water in a large bowl and leave until yeast swells. Stir in the warm milk, the sugar, salt, all of the herbs, 3 cups of the white flour, and all of the whole wheat flour. Mix well and beat with a wooden spoon for about 1 minute. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and let rest while you clean and grease the bowl. Knead the dough, working in as much of the remaining white flour as necessary until the dough is smooth and shiny. Return the dough to the bowl, turning to coat all over. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk - about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Turn the dough out and knead about 1 minute. Grease a shallow 1 1/2-quart casserole to make 1 large loaf (use 2 small casseroles to make 2 loaves). Shape the dough into a large round (or 2 small) and put in the casserole(s). Let rise, covered with a towel, for 45 minutes, until the dough swells enough to make a rounded dome. Brush or spray the top of the bread with cold water and put the casserole in a preheated 375 F oven. Brush or spray top twice more in the first 10 minutes. Bake 1 hour if using large casserole, 50 minutes if using small casseroles. Remove from the oven and let cool in the casserole if you want a soft crust; if not, ease out of the dish and cool on a rack.

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