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Midsummer Breads

Fresh Herb Bread

1 package (1 Tbs, 15 ml) dried yeast
3 1/2 cups (875 ml) bread or all-purpose flour, approximately
1 Tbs (15 ml) sugar
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1/2 cup (125 ml) non-fat dry milk
1 1/4 cups (310 ml) hot water
1 Tbs (15 ml) butter at room temperature
One or more of the following finely chopped fresh herbs:
2 Tbs (30 ml) dill
2 Tbs (30 ml) savory
2 Tbs (30 ml) basil
1 Tbs (15 ml) oregano
1 Tbs (15 ml) thyme
1 Tbs (15 ml) marjoram

Blend the yeast and 1 1/2 cup (375 ml) of the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, salt, milk, and hot water and beat for 3 minutes with a wooden spoon or electric mixer. Add the butter and continue beating until the batter pulls away in strings from the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the remaining flour until the dough has formed a ball and can be kneaded. Knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth and satiny, about 8 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning it to grease all sides, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a floured, flatten it with your fingers, sprinkle it with the herb or herbs of your choice, and knead for 2 minutes, and form into a ball. Form the ball into an oval about 9 inches (23 cm) long and 6 inches (15 cm) wide. Fold the oval in half lengthwise, pinch the seam, and place seam side down in a lightly greased 9x5-inch (23x12 cm) loaf pan. Cover with wax paper or parchment and allow the dough to rise until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes. Bake in the middle of a preheated 375F (190C) oven until the crust is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry and clean, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately turn out onto a wire rack to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Makes 1 loaf.

SOURCE: unknown

Minted Herb Bread

2/3 cup warm water
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
2 TBS grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp mint
1 1/2 cup bread flour
1 tsp yeast

Mix yeast in water. Add rest of ingredients. Knead. Place in greased bowl, flip over so that top is also greased. Cover and let rise until double in size. Punch down *literally* and knead on floured surface. Shape into loaf and place in greased loaf pan with cornmeal sprinkle on the bottom. (If you don't have a loaf pan, just shape into a loaf and place on a cookie sheet that has been greased and sprinkled with cornmeal). Cover and let rise again until double in size. Bake at 375F until done.


Lemon Thyme Teabread

2 c cake flour, sifted
2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp dried lemon thyme leaves
5 large eggs
8 oz butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 c sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract

Combine flour and salt in bowl. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs to creamed butter and sugar. Add zest, thyme and extracts. Add flour 1/3 cup at a time to creamed mixture. When well mixed pour into loaf pan and bake at 350* for 45-50 min or until done.

Source: Debbie Downes - Champaign-Urbana Herb Society

Rosemary Biscuits

1 3 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups of biscuit mix
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp chopped fresh or dried rosemary

CUT cream cheese into biscuit mix with a pastry fork until crumbly, add milk and rosemary, stirring just until the dry ingredients are moistened. TURN biscuit dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 3 or 4 times. PAT or ROLL dough to 3/4 inch thickness; cut diagonally with a knife into one inch diamonds. BAKE at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, or, until lightly browned.

YIELD : 2 dozen biscuits.


Solstice Herb Bread

3 C. flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. dry active yeast
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 1/4 C. hot water
2 tbsp. vegetable shortening

Mix 2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add herbs, water, and shortening. Beat slowly, stirring in remaining cup of flour until smooth. Scrape batter from sides of bowl and let rise in a warm place for 35 minutes or until it doubles in bulk. Punch down and beat with a spoon for about 15 seconds. Place dough in a greased loaf pan, patting down and forming a loaf shape with your hands. Cover and let rise again for about 30 minutes or until it again doubles in bulk. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes. Brush top with butter or margarine and remove from pan to cool.

SOURCE: unknown

Swedish Crispbread (Knackebrod)

This is the traditional Swedish crispbread often served at Midsummer or Christmas together with herring and cheese (SOS - Sill, Ost, Smor). I prefer fennel as a spice, but you could try caraway or aniseed, or a mixture as well. Make sure the oven is as hot as possible. The hole in the middle is traditional, and necessary for the placing on the stick. If you don't have a Swedish roller, prick the breads everywhere with a fork before baking.

1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 package dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon fennel, crushed or aniseed
3 1/2 cups coarse rye flour
1 1/2-2 cups wheat flour

Dissolve yeast in the water (if using dry yeast, follow instructions). Add salt and fennel/aniseed. Add rye and enough wheat flour to make a quite firm dough. Knead vigorously for at least five minutes. Divide into 16 parts and roll to balls. Let rise, covered, for 40 minutes. Heat the oven to maximum heat. Roll out one piece at a time to a thin circle, 8-10 inches in diameter. Use plenty of rye flour when rolling. Make a one-inch hole in the middle. Prick the surface all over with a fork (in Sweden we have special rolling pins for this purpose). Bake one at a time on a dry tray in the oven for about 2-4 minutes. They should get brown, but not too burnt. Slip them on a stick (e. g. a broom) through the hole in the middle to cool. Store in a dry place and eat with butter, cheese and/or pickled herring, maybe together with beer and aquavit.

SOURCE: by André Grisell

Spiraled Herb Bread

1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup warm water

2 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 tbs olive oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tb each of assorted herbs (try a combo of 3 or 4 of the following: thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary, chives, chervil, savory, etc)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp milk

preheat oven to 425*F

Combine first 4 ingredients and let stand 10 mins. Sift flours into a large bowl. Make a well in center of flour and add the yeast mixture, water and oil. Stir with a fork until crumbly but moist. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes. Add extra 1/4 cup of flour if mixture is sticking to the surface.

Shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise 1 1/2 hours.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few minutes. Flatten dough to 8 in square. Sprinkle surface with salt, pepper and herbs evenly.

Roll up like a swiss roll and put into a greased 1.5qt loaf pan. Cover and allow to rise 30 minutes. Brush top with milk, sprinkle with salt. Bake in center of a very hot oven 25-30 mins or until well risen, brown and crusty on top. It should sound hollow when tapped.

Strawberry Bread

3-1/4 cups flour
1-3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons oil
Two 10-ounce packages sliced frozen strawberries and juice
1-1/4 cups chopped walnuts (opt)

Mix first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add liquid ingredients and blend well. Do not use a mixer. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.

SOURCE: unknown

Cheese and Herb Scones

4 cups All-purpose flour
4 teaspoons Baking powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Dried basil
1/4 teaspoon Dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon Ground red pepper
2/3 cup Vegetable shortening
1 cup Shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/3 cups Milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 425 degrees; grease a large baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, basil, thyme and red pepper. With a pastry blender, or two knives, cut in the shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 3/4 cup cheddar cheese. Add milk and mustard to dry ingredients and mix lightly with a fork until mixture clings together and forms a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 5 or 6 times. Divide dough in half. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll one half of the dough into a 7-inch round; cut into 4 wedges. Repeat with remaining dough. Place scones one inch apart on prepared pan. Pierce tops with the tines of a fork. Brush tops with water and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.


Lemon-Kissed Honey Scones

3/4 cup honey, divided
1-1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
3 Tbsp lemon juice, divided
7 cups (2 lbs) biscuit mix

Whisk together 1/2 cup honey, milk, eggs, and 2 Tbsp lemon juice. Stir into biscuit mix until a soft dough forms. If mixture is too dry, sprinkle with 1-2 Tbsp of additional milk. Gather dough into ball. Knead several times on flour-coated work surface until dough incorporates. Roll out dough into 1/2-inch thick rectangle (8x12-inches); fold into quarters. Roll out again into 1/2-inch rectangle about 8x12-inches. Cut into 24 2" squares; arrange 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for about 8 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Cool sllightly.

For glaze, warm together 1/4 cup honey and remaining 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Brush top of scones with mixture. Scones can be frozen, tightly wrapped, up to six weeks.


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