Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Herb Baguettes

These wholesome bread loaves are irresistible served warm with soup or cheese. Recipe makes 3 loaves.


2 sachets rapid rise dried yeast
1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (try oregano, basil and chives)
1/3 cup wheatgerm
3 cups strong white flour
2 cups wholemeal all-purpose (plain) flour
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (40 g) butter, melted
2 teaspoons dried oregano


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 3 baking trays.
2. Put the yeast, herbs, wheat germ, flours and salt into a large mixing bowl or into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.
3. Add 14 fl ounces (400 ml) lukewarm water approximately, and mix well to form a pliable dough.
4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. Divide into 3 equal pieces and shape each into a long narrow loaf.
5. Put the loaves on the baking trays and cover with oiled clear plastic wrap. Leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
6. Remove the plastic wrap and brush the loaves with the melted butter. Sprinkle with the dried oregano. Using a sharp knife, slash each loaf diagonally a few times.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. The base of the loaves should sound hollow when trapped with a knuckle. Put on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cold.

Tip: Wheatgerm is the center of the wheat grain, which is usually extracted during flour milling. It can be bought in its natural state or toasted. It is a source of protein and Vitamin B. Add it to the flour when bread-making.

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