Monday, January 30, 2012

Vegetable Herb Bread

I love making bread from scratch, I love watching it rise, I love the smell wafting through the house as it bakes, and then I love to eat hot bread smothered (and I mean Paula Deen-style smothered) in soft butter. There needs to be enough butter so that when I hold it, melted butter drips down my hand. Ooh, I can't wait for this one to be baked.

There is just something so delicious about fresh-out-of-the-oven bread, that I have been known to eat more than half a loaf at a time, OK, sometimes even more. I just can't help myself. This is one of those breads.

Vegetable Herb Bread
adapted from a recipe by Canadian Living
Makes 2 loaves

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 onions, sliced thinly
1/2 teaspoon salt

5 & 1/2 cups flour
1 & 3/4 cups warm water (from the tap)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 & 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/3 cup shredded zucchini
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (oil packed)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Heat oil in large pan, add onions and salt and cook over med-low heat until golden brown and caramelized. Remove from heat set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Add onions and mix slowly until everything is combined. You may need to add a tablespoon or two more water to make a nice dough. When dough has come together, increase speed to #3 and knead for 8 minutes.

Transfer dough to lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

When doubled in size punch down dough; divide in half. Form each into oval and place parchment lined baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for about 1 hour more, or until doubled in bulk. Brush tops with water; with sharp knife cut 3 diagonal slashes on tops.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 1 hour or until golden brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom. Remove from pans; let cool on racks. (Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap, overwrap with heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 1 month.)


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