The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pull Apart Buttery Herb Bread

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Pull Apart Buttery Herb Bread

I grew up in a household where bread and butter was served with every meal. Now granted, it rarely was a nice, warm home baked bread. More likely than not it was either Rainbo or Wonder brand sliced white bread from the corner store. Today I still like bread with almost every meal, but I've made great strides in seeing to it that it's a home baked bread.

I currently live in Interior Alaska and the corner store is a 20 mile trip to town, so I've come up with a recipe that works well for me that's quick and easy enough for a good quality daily type generic bread. One cup of warm water with one tablespoon of white sugar dissolved in it. Sprinkle with two teaspoons of yeast, let it sit until the yeast blooms, then stir in one teaspoon salt and one cup of flour and really beat it good with a fork until it's smooth. Now add two more cups of flour and work it into a dough. If it's too sticky add more flour a handful at a time and work it (knead) until you have a smooth elastic dough.

Next step, I place my dough on the counter, wash and dry the bowl I mixed it in, spray the bowl with a non stick cooking spray, plop the dough ball back in it and spray it too. I cover it loosely (usually with a piece of wax paper, but sometimes a kitchen towel) and let it raise until doubled in size. You should end up with enough dough for two loaves.

Divide your dough in half. Knead one lightly, shape, and place in an oiled loaf pan. There you go, one loaf of plain bf bread.

The other half we will turn into a wonderful pull apart loaf of buttery herb bread.

Step 1: Shape dough into a flat 10 x 16 inch square. You can shape it by hand or roll it out. Spread it well with softened or melted butter.

Step 2: Sprinkle it liberally with chopped, fresh herbs of your choice. I like to use primarily parsley, with small amounts of oregano, cilantro and chives (but that's because I grow those herbs in my kitchen window garden, you should use what you like and have on hand, and dry herbs will also work).

Step 3: Now cut your dough, length wise into two inch strips and stack them up. Now cut the stack into 8 two inch pieces. Now we're going to place them in an oiled loaf pan, sideways and alternating the way you put them in so that they face opposite directions, but always so that you can see all five of the layers.

Step 4: Cover loosely and let both loaves rise until again double in size. When they are ready, bake in a 350F oven for about 45 minutes or until done.