Herbes De Provence is a mixture of savory, thyme, fennel, and lavender, however you can use herbs of your choice; such as rosemary, dill, basil, thyme, mint, chives, etc. If you choose to make with herbs other than Herbe de Provence you may want to reduce the amount. This recipe comes from an internet site called The Fresh Loaf. Prep times includes time required to ferment the poolish. UPDATE: Please note that the dough should be tacky, add additional flour a couple tablespoons at time if the dough is sticky!
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 1⁄2 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 cups bread flour or 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup herbes de provence (or to taste)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 cup Grand Marnier (orange juice or water can be substituted) or 1⁄4 cup similar liquor (orange juice or water can be substituted)
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup water, as needed
- The night before baking, make the poolish by mixing together 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of yeast to make a batter.
- Cover the container with plastic wrap and set aside for 8 to 16 hours.
- Next Day:.
- In large bowl combine the remaining flour with the remaining yeast, salt, and herbs.
- Add the poolish, the liqueur, and 1/4 cup of the additional water.
- Mix the ingredients, and, if necessary, add more water or flour until the proper consistency is reached (tacky but not so sticky that the dough sticks to your hands).
- Knead by hand for 10 to 15 minutes or in a mixer for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Place the dough in a well-greased bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Set aside to rise until doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes. Remove it from the bowl and gently degas it, then return it to the bowl, cover it, and allow it to double in size again.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a ball or long loaf.
- Cover the loaf with a damp towel and allow it to rise again until doubled in size, which takes between 60 and 90 more minutes.
- While the loaf is in its final rise, preheat the oven and baking stone, if you are using one, to 450.
- I also preheat a broiler pan, or cast iron skillet, into which to pour a cup of hot water just after placing the loaf in the oven. This creates steam in the oven which increases the crunchiness of the crust.
- Just prior to placing the loaf in the oven, score the top of it with a sharp knife or razor blade.
- Place the loaf in the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 450, then rotate it 180 degrees and reduce the oven temperature to 375 and baked it another 25 minutes.
- The internal temperature of the loaf should be approximately 200 degrees when you remove it from the oven.
The texture is wonderful and chewy with the herbs providing a delicious taste treat. I would have liked the bread to develop more of a crust. It was baked on a baking stone and prepared as specified. The sponge was mixed up in the morning and the bread completed late evening. Used all water as I didn't have Grand Marnier or OJ. I would highly recommended adding the last bit of water sparingly. Made for *ZWT5*
No fault of the recipe, but this recipe did not work for me this time. After consulting several places I found that I've most likely overproofed the dough and it subsequently deflated during baking. What I plan to do next time is not letting it quite double because it is such a wet dough and by allowing it to double it can cause overproofing. It smelled wonderful while baking though. Thank you for posting this recipe and I'll try to make this recipe again and hopefully can post a picture of my success next time.
This bread is through the roof. The dough was really sticky but I resisted the urge to add more flour. The bread had a light texture with a nice chewy crust. I loved it.