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Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme Bread

This mixed-herb bread is great to serve with pâtés and soups or toasted for breakfast. It is also an excellent accompaniment to the Mussels cooked in Cider recipe. Use fresh herbs for the best result but halve the quantities if you are using dried. It makes a wonderful base for cheese on toast or try using it as a base for a pizza, topped with a tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and a few anchovies.

Ingredients

  • 400g strong white flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 level tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 sachet of fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp chopped sage leaves
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 280ml warm milk

Method

  1. Sieve the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl and stir in the black pepper, yeast and herbs.
  2. Make a well in the centre of the bread. Combine the oil and egg and pour into the well, then add half of the warm milk. Stir with a wooden spoon until all the liquid is incorporated, adding more milk when necessary until the dough is soft but not too sticky.
  3. Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and form into two long cobs, or whatever shape you wish them to be.
  4. Place on an oiled baking sheet and leave to prove in a warm place. Cover if necessary.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F, Gas 7).
  6. When the dough has doubled in size (this should take about 40-50 minutes), bake for about 15 minutes then turn down the temperature of the oven to 200°C (400°F, Gas 6) and cook for a further 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

This delicious recipe for herb bread has been reproduced by kind permission of Paul & Diana Peacock from City Cottage.

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