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1 cup (8 ounces) water
3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) butter, oil or margarine
3 tablespoons (1 ounce) olive oil*
1 tablespoon fresh stemmed thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
*Use 3 tablespoons of oil if you simply want to drizzle the herb coating over the dough in the pan. To thoroughly coat each dough ball, use 5 tablespoons olive oil. This will give the bread a delicious crisp crust
Manual Method: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients, stirring till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it's smooth, shiny and supple. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or dough-rising bucket, cover the bowl or bucket, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
Mixer Method: Combine the ingredients using a flat beater paddle or beaters, then switch to the dough hook(s) and knead for 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or dough-rising bucket, cover the bowl or bucket, and allow the dough to rise as directed above.
Bread Machine Method: Place all of the dough ingredients into the pan of your machine, program the machine for manual or dough, and press Start. Take a look at the dough about 10 minutes before the end of the final kneading cycle, and adjust its consistency with additional water or flour, as necessary, to produce a smooth, supple dough. Allow the machine to complete its cycle.
While the dough's rising, make the coating. Heat the oil in a small frying pan, and gently sauté the herbs and garlic for a minute or two. Don't brown the garlic, as it may acquire a bitter taste. Set the oil and herbs aside.
Grease the bottom and sides of a small (8-inch) tube or bundt-style pan, or a deep (2-inch or deeper) 8-inch cake pan or soufflé pan. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and divide it into 32 small pieces, each about the size of a chestnut, and weighing approximately 3/4 ounce. Place about one-third of the balls in the bottom of the pan, if you're using a small bundt-style pan. If you're using a cake pan, put about two-thirds of the balls into it. Brush the balls with the herb coating. Continue to layer with the remaining balls and herb oil. (If you've used the greater amount of olive oil, dip each piece of dough into the oil to completely coat it.)
Let the bread rise, covered, for 1 hour. Bake it in a preheated 375°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until it's golden. Remove it from the oven, and turn it out onto a serving platter; the crispy bottom crust should be on top. Serve warm. >Yield: 10 small servings, or 4 to 6 more generous servings.
Nutrition information per serving (4 balls, 1/8 of bread, 87g): 235 cal, 7g fat, 6g protein, 33g complex carbohydrates, 2g sugar, 1g fiber, 7mg cholesterol, 322mg sodium, 113mg potassium, 34RE vitamin A, 3mg iron, 39mg calcium, 70mg phosphorus.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XI, No. 4, Spring 2000 issue.