Pastor Ryan's Herb Bread

This bread definitely doesn't look like the picture in the recipe on PW's blog. I was a little nervous when I took the lid off my cast iron pot, but my fears quickly vanished when I got a whiff as I sliced into it. This bread was extremely easy to make and was the perfect accompaniment to an Italian dinner. I like this recipe because you can throw in whatever herbs you have on hand. Next time, I won't cut so far into it so it can "bloom," but otherwise it tasted wonderful and was very easy to make.

Pastor Ryan's Herb Bread

4 cups bread flour
1 cup warm water
4 oz. melted butter with chopped herbs of choice (I used thyme)
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. active yeast
Olive oil
Kosher salt

Pour water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Sprinkle yeast over water, and let stand until frothy. Combine all ingredients, with the exception of the kosher salt and olive oil, and mix on low until ingredients have formed a dough. Switch to the dough hook, and knead on low speed for about 10 minutes, or until you can successfully achieve a windowpane through the dough. (This where you can pull off a small chunk of the dough and stretch it gently to see if it's somewhat translucent. If you can do this without tearing, it's ready.)

Once this elasticity has been achieved, let the dough sit out with plastic wrap over it for 1-4 hours to double in size. After it has gotten bigger, it should be kneaded for a minute or two so that the yeast can redistribute.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place heavy cast iron lidded pot in oven. Cut a large "X" into the surface of the bread dough so it can bloom. Carefully tip bread into hot pot and coat the rounded dough with olive oil and a tablespoon or two of kosher salt.

Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and bake for another 15-30 minutes, until browned as desired. (My bread was finished after the first 30 minutes, so adjust cook time as necessary.) The bread can get brown on the bottom if it’s too close to the heating element; if that happens, just slice it off with a sharp knife.

Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks


Ellie said...

Great recipe! I'll bet this smells amazing when it comes out of the oven!!!