Homemade Garlic Herb Bread

It’s that time of year…the time of year that I’m even more like a kid in a candy store than I usually am :) My roommates lovingly (right, lovingly?) call me a cartoon of a human, because I’m just so excited about everything…all the time. And my reactions could probably fit seamlessly into a cartoon bubble. I like to call it my Joie de Vivre. The heavenly smell of freshly-baked bread could possibly be the scent-definition of joie de vivre.

Sliced Bread

I keep a sentence-a-day journal recording just a blurb about the most joyful part of my day, a fun little snippet, or something momentous that happened. The idea is that I’ll keep it for around five years, and I’ll be able to look back at what happened on that day in 2011, 2012, 2013… For example, this time last year, I went for a run on trails by the lighthouse in Palos Verdes and saw hundreds of dolphins swimming off the coast! I was climbing red rocks in Sedona, AZ with my cousin Stephen and my dad; Annie visited me in California and we caught up while making a delicious pizza. Southern California…

Palos Verdes Coast

Last week, “bread-making and Thanksgiving menu planning with Mom over cocktails on the deck” was it for the journal, and the view was a lot like that one :D  The bread-making began with fresh thyme, rosemary, chives, lots of garlic, and some aleppo pepper flakes.

Herbs

Then we go to work on the bread using the hook on the Kitchen Aid with just some activated yeast, bread flour, salt, pepper, and melted butter.

Bread hook at work

Kneed it briefly, pushing away with the heel of your hand, then pulling it over back towards you, turn it a quarter turn and repeat just a couple of times until it’s all incorporated.

Kneeding

Then cover it with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to rise. It’ll go from looking like this…

Pre-rise

To looking like this!…

Rise 1

Punch it down a little, and transfer it to a Dutch oven or a heavy, oven-proof pot. Cut a deep X into it, drizzle olive oil, sprinkle salt and more red pepper flakes, and let it rise for another ~30 minutes until it looks something like this…

Rise 2

Bake at 450 for 30 minutes, then remove the lid, reduce the heat to 400, and bake for another 15 minutes until it’s browned on the top and edges.

Freshly baked bread!

The olive oil on top gave the crust almost a flakey texture. The garlic, herbs, and spices add a wonderful flavor to the bread (although I think next time I’ll use more garlic and roast it first, then incorporate it into the bread).

Here’s what I did:

Garlic Herb Bread

*Adapted from Joy the Baker and The Pioneer Woman

From the recipe on Joy’s website (click the link above), I changed just a few things:

-2 Tbs. fresh thyme (1 extra!)
-2 tsp. fresh rosemary (added)
-4 clove of garlic, diced (more! :)

Follow the rest of her directions and you’re golden!…Really, there’s nothing better than the smell of freshly-baked bread. Try it; it’s like a love spell. That guy/gal will fall for you, or in my case, this loyal character:

Chrisy :)

**French phrase for fun!

Regardez ce visage trop mignon!
Look at that punam!

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