The fresh scent of aromatic kitchen herbs always brightens my mornings. To bring the joys into my kitchen, I decided to make a refreshing herb bread for breakfast. Herb bread and black coffee, turns out, a match made in heaven.
This Spring, for the first time in my life, I started to grow my own kitchen herbs on the balcony. I bought mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary and sage. I also bought lavender just because I love its bright colours and infatuating fragrance.
Every morning, I visit all my herbs on the balcony and spend a moment to just admire their bright green colours. The plan was to grow a few more like lemon balm, coriander, basil, tarragon, marjoram and Italian bay, but since we cannot leave the house there is no way for me to acquire pots, seeds or soil. So I will have to wait until we are back in business.
It's day 3 of official "stay at home" orders here in Dresden. The sun is shining but the temperatures plummeted to under 0 degrees C. Apparently we will experience -5C at night which is unusual for end of March. In a way, it's better when it's nippy as it makes it less appealing to want to go out. Although the abundant sunlight gently embracing us through the kitchen window is still a reminder of how much we miss going back to our daily routines.
Given the underlying stress of reading negative news with no end to this madness in sight, I wanted to create a nice surprise for G and create freshly baked herb bread for breakfast. At first sunlight, I went on the balcony to meet and greet my kitchen herbs and harvest a handful in preparation.
Pin this now
Being on the balcony surrounded by Mediterranean plants inevitably reminds me of the great times spent in Italy. Our hearts melt at any mention of delicious Italian pizza, fantastic snappy grissini or gorgeous espresso. One thing is clear: the moment borders reopen, we will drive directly to Italy just to enjoy a well deserved Italian meal.
For now, I wanted to bring a bit of Mediterranean flavour into my own kitchen. This herb bread is my own invention with some ingredients I still had in the fridge. The dough is identical to the one I used for my Swirled Vegan Tomato Herbed Bread the difference is that I made the paste different. Rather than using tomato and fresh herbs I wanted to do a garlic herby butter.
Herbs don't just smell and taste fresh and aromatic, but they are actually good for you too. Turns out they are also super useful for our bodies with their potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. If you love garlic bread, this herb bread is right up your alley. While the dough is soft and fluffy, there will be swirls of herby garlic butter running trough for a sharper taste.
How to make herb bread?
The most important part of making a delicious herb bread is to use fresh herbs. While you can make it with dried herbs, the taste will be slightly dull. I recommend using two tablespoons of each of the following herbs: rosemary, oregano, thyme and sage. If you don't have one or the other, simply increase the amount of your favourite, available herb to get roughly a total of 8 spoons of fresh herbs.
You should start by making the dough. Warm up the oat milk to around 40C / 105F. You don't have to be exact about it, but it should be relatively warm. Take off the hob and mix in the sugar until fully dissolved. Add the instant yeast over the sugary oat milk and set aside for about 10 minutes until the top becomes frothy.
In a large bowl add the flour, salt and butter. Using your fingers start combing it. Add the yeasty milk to the flour mix and using your hands start mixing the dough. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for about 8 minutes. The result should be a silky smooth ball.
Transfer to a lightly floured bowl, cover with a damp towel and set aside to proof for about 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
In the meantime, we make the herb butter. In a food processor, mix all the herb butter ingredients (50g of butter, garlic and the fresh herbs). Pulse until all the herbs become finely chopped and everything is well combined. The result should be a super smooth garlic butter with small bits of herbs in it.
When doubled in size, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knock back the dough. With a rolling pin, roll your dough into a 30 x 20 rectangle. Using a spatula or a butter knife spread the herb butter evenly over the top of the dough.
Using your fingers, gently roll the dough into a log. With a sharp knife, cut the log lengthways. You should now have two logs. With the cuts sides facing up, press together one end of each of the two logs. Then lift one half over the other half to form a twist.
In order to put the twist into the bundt pan, you will need to form a circle. Grab both ends of your twist and bring them together, forming a circle. Try to press the ends into a nice twist so the whole circle is relatively even, and "twisty". Transfer it to the slightly oiled bundt cake pan.
Leave it to rise for another 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat the over to 180C / 350F. Carefully transfer the twisted herbed bread to a greased loaf tin. Brush the loaf with a little bit of oat milk and bake for 30 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10-15 minutes before removing from the tin.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.