I love cooking.
I could spend all day in the kitchen with my Taylor Swift station on Pandora and little people running around my feet.
It’s my happy place.
I grew up watching my Dad whip up fancy recipes but other than him a love for cooking wasn’t really in our family history.
I rarely walked into another home that smelt of pot roast that had been cooking all day, or eat a bowl full of warm fresh soup with homemade bread.
But to me, those things, like beans cooked from scratch and homemade bread being cooled on the counter top, those things are little pieces that bring together the entire experience. Things like slow cooked beans and homemade bread take you back to another time. A time where life slowed down enough to appreciate the energy that was spent on these tasks.
It’s my word this year.
And so begins the time spent enjoying the process in the kitchen.
Friends, cookbooks are a part of that slow culture. I don’t know how many of my recipes are stored on my computer or phone, but I love thumbing through a cookbook, marking the pages of recipes I wish to make. It’s just a part of the experience my friends.
This bread is one that has been marked in my homemade bread recipe book for the longest time. I made it on an evening that was particularly cold and served it alongside a warm bowl of stew.
The smells that will fill your home are worth making this bread alone. So friends, take the time, slow down, and enjoy.
Italian Herb Bread
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3-5 Cloves Garlic minced
2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
3/4 Cup Water warm
1/3 Cup Milk warm
1 1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3 Cups Bread Flour
2 Packets Yeast
Italian Herb Bread
Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, seasoning, and salt. Cook until fragrant. I use a bread machine to do the work for me, so if you are using one, add all ingredients to machine and choose the dough setting. Bread machines take the guess work out of kneading and rising, but I do love baking the bread in my oven.
If you are not using a bread machine add the liquid and yeast to your mixer and wait for the yeast to activate. Once bubbling add dry ingredients and olive oil mix to the mixer and knead with dough hook attachment until just combined. Allow to rise and then knead by hand on a well floured surface. Place dough in a prepared pan and cover with a warmed towel. Allow to rise for another twenty minutes or so before baking. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 25 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container preferably in your refrigerator because of the lack of preservatives.
This is a crusty but soft bread and is perfect alongside soup or in a sandwich.