You know what’s funny?
I seem to bake less bread in the cold winter than I do in the hot summer.
I think it’s because I grill burgers a lot in the summer and like to experiment with bun recipes and in the winter I just eat a ton of bread and go into carb overload, which is not “get into my skinny jeans” friendly.
Side note: I hate having to lose weight. Boo.
Even so, I decided to make this gorgeous (and delicious) garden herb bread the other day. What can I say? I needed a carb overload!
This bread is especially delicious served up alongside tomato soup…especially if you slather it with butter and stuff it with cheddar first!
Garden Herb Bread
Adapted from Taste of Home
½ cup warm water (120 degrees F)
4 ½ tsp active dry yeast
3 tbsp sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
¾ cup milk, room temperature
1 ½ tsp dried marjoram
¾ tsp dried thyme
¾ tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp dried minced garlic
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 cup all purpose flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
Place the water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir to combine. Let rest for 3-5 minutes or until foamy.
Add in the butter, milk, herbs, spices, egg, gluten, and all purpose flour. Use the paddle attachment to mix until smooth.
Slowly add in the whole wheat flour. Once the mixture becomes thick, switch to the dough hook and add the remaining flour. Knead with the dough hook for 3-5 minutes or until smooth.
Lightly grease a bowl with nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Once doubled, punch down the dough and split into 6 equal parts. Roll each section into a long rope (24-28 inches). Pinch 3 ropes together and braid. Tie the braid in a knot and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Loosely cover and allow the loaves to double, about 25 minutes.
If desired, brush the loaves with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Bake the loaves at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until deeply browned. Cool completely before slicing.