Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Herb Loaf

Serve this aromatic wholemeal loaf as part of a ploughman's lunch. Recipe makes 1 loaf.


3 cups strong white flour
3 cups plain wholemeal flour
4 teaspoons caster sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
2 ounces (60 g) butter
3 sachets rapid rise dried yeast
1/2 cup chopped fresh mixed herbs
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
Beaten egg, to glaze


1. Grease a baking tray. Sift the flours, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl, add any wholemeal husks from the sieve to the bowl. Rub in butter with the fingertips. Stir in the yeast and fresh herbs.
2. Add the egg, milk and 1/3 cup lukewarm water and beat until the mixture forms a dough which leaves the side of the bowl clean.
3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
4. Shape the dough into a long oval loaf and put Onto the baking tray. Cover with oiled, clear plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
5. Slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. Brush with beaten egg. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the loaf upside down on the baking tray and return to the cooling oven for a further 5 minutes. Leave on a wire rack to cool.

Tip: A ploughman's lunch consists of crusty bread, Cheddar cheese and pickled onions. Revive slightly stale bread by brushing it with water and putting it in a hot oven for a few minutes. Serve warm.

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