Chive and Herb Baguettes
Makes 2 smallish baguettes
This bread was created one summer when we pulled up five chive plants to make room for an herb garden. This meant that we had way more chives than we could possibly use to top baked potatoes. Handily enough, I was in the mood to bake bread, so here's the result. It tastes kind of like Italian focaccia, except it's shaped like a baguette with a soft crust. You can substitute fresh rosemary for the dried I use, but use about 2 tbsp because it's not as strong as the dried.
1 pkg dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chives, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (or 1/2 tbsp dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
FOR BREAD: Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup warm water and stir to moisten. Let stand 10 minutes. Mixture will be foamy. Stir together flour and salt in a large bowl. Pour in yeast mixture and remaining water. Stir until mixture is smooth and forms a ball. If too moist, add more flour. If too dry, add more water. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Grease a bowl with olive oil. Place ball of dough in bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled.
FOR SWIRL MIXTURE: While bread rises, pour olive oil into small saucepan. Add herbs and saute over medium heat until chives become limp. Set aside. Punch down bread and roll out into a 20"x8" rectangle on a floured surface. Spread chive mixture evenly all over the dough. Roll up jelly-roll style, cut in half. Shape each half into a cigar shape, about 10" long. Tuck ends under and pinch along ends and seam to seal. Place seam side down on a baking sheet greased with olive oil, cover and let rise for about 30 to 40 minutes, until doubled.
FOR TOPPING: Brush top of each baguette with half of olive oil. Press half of topping herbs into top of each baguette. Preheat oven to 400F. Bake bread for about 25 minutes or until golden and hollow-souding when tapped. Cool slightly before serving.