Would you like to fill your home with delicious aroma of freshly baked bread within 90 minutes? No it’s not a trick and yes, the results are totally and completely edible. This recipe will show you how to prepare not one, but two loaves of savory herb bread in a short enough time that you might be able to start preparation after work and still have fresh bread with dinner. For real. I did it with a toddler underfoot.
My mom has been baking this bread for as long as I can remember. I used to love coming home from school and being hit with the herb bread scent as I opened the front door. My friends also loved coming over and eating this bread. I distinctly remember the neighbor’s kid eating almost a loaf of it in one sitting way back when!
For some reason I associate this bread with cold weather. Probably because my mom often made it with Potato Soup which was one of our favorite winter meals. Warm fresh bread is good all the time but it just makes a meal on a chilly winter day, which we have had plenty of this year.
I really love the flavors of this bread, and I love the crevices which fill so delightfully with butter making each bite a tasty adventure. This bread never lasts long in my house so I’m thankful it’s so quick and easy to make again and again.
Quick Herb Bread (adapted from my mom who adapted the recipe from Bake Your Own Bread years ago)
Yield: 2 loaves
2 tablespoons active dry yeast (2 packages)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
2 cups hot water
2/3 cup skim milk powder
4 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
nonstick cooking spray
1. Measure the yeast, herbs, salt, honey, hot water, and skim milk powder into one large bowl and stir with a spoon until the honey is dissolved. The mixture will look murky. You can also use the dough hook of your stand mixer to do this.
2. Add the first 3 cups of flour, one cup at a time, mixing gently until all the flour is wet, then increasing the speed to medium-high and mixing for 3-5 minutes.
3. Slowly add in the remaining flour and mix with the dough hook until fully combined.
4. Coat 2 loaf pans with nonstick spray, including the top rim. Divide the dough between the 2 pans, ensuring the corners get filled.
5. Cover the pans with a clean towel and place in a warm location for 20 minutes.
6. Do not preheat the oven. Place the loaf pans into a cold oven. Set the oven to 250 degrees and bake for 10 minutes, then raise the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes, for a total bake time of 50 minutes. Knife test for doneness; the loaves will be golden brown, and sound hollow when you tap on them.