I've relied on this traditional recipe for years. Everyone in the family loves the perfectly flavored herb loaves, especially our little boy, who always asks for "more brown bread".
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rye flour
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- In a large bowl, combine the flours. Place 1-1/2 cups flour mixture in a large bowl; add the yeast, sugar, salt and herbs. In a saucepan, heat water and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup flour mixture; beat 2 minutes longer. Stir in enough remaining flour mixture to form a stiff dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Let rest for 15 minutes. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape into two loaves.
- Place in two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans. With a sharp knife, make four to five diagonal slashes across the top of each loaf. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Beat egg white and cold water; brush over loaves. Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).
Originally published as Country Herb Bread in Best of Country Breads 2000, p63
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