Monday, June 13, 2011

make some dough

As you may know I love my basil bonsai from Sweet Valley Herbs.  The one thing about the plant is that you have to keep using it in order to maintain it's lovely globe shape.  So last week I threw some of the basil leaves  - along with some Sweet Valley rosemary - into a batch of bread for my friend who had just moved into a new home.  We ate this soft, flavourful bread with thick hummus under a canopy of grape leaves on a sunny night - simple and lovely. So I knew I had to make some for myself this week!

Regular basil is notoriously easy to bruise in chopping so one thing I love about the basil bonsai is that there's minimal handling of the the leaves.  Just run your fingers down the stalk and you get a wonderfully fragrant pile of tiny leaves which look great scattered through the bread.    You can turn pretty much any dough into an herb bread by adding roughly a teaspoon of herbs per cup of flour.  I used a recipe for baguette which is a little saltier than your standard white to bring out the flavour of the herbs.  And if you don't want to make the time commitment to bread baking in June, herbs are also great in biscuits and scones.

Fresh from the oven yesterday, this basil-rosemary bread was the perfect foundation to a delicious Sunday supper:  topped with avocado, smoked salmon and chives and paired with ricotta-scrambled eggs.  Yum.

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