By 10 minutes, I do not mean you can have fresh made bread in 10 minutes, I mean 10 minutes, hands on effort and you have a loaf of fresh made herb bread. Nothing fills your home with great cooking smells like fresh made bread. There is time in the bread machine, then you form the loaf and allow it to rise for 40 minutes and then baking time. SO it is actually a three hour loaf of bread that you only have to work 10 minutes to achieve!
It NEVER fails...
And it is beyond delicious.
OK, first of course you need a bread machine. Easy to find and if you plan ahead, brand new ones are always on sale. Me, I bought mine at a Goodwill store for $10. Personally, I am not a big fan of bread actually baked in a bread machine. Odd shape, crust a bit just wrong and it simply looks like a cheat.
BUT, there is a setting on all bread machines that reads "Dough". Mine is setting number 7. This setting does all of the leg work of making a loaf of bread.
And it is a warm environment where the bread dough rises perfectly every time!
This is my formula for what I call Herb "Eng" Bread. Named for my beloved cat who passed away almost 2 years ago. Eng, who has a sister named Chang, named from the biography my wife was reading 12 years ago when they found us. Eng was my kitchen cat. He loved to sit on the counters and watch as I made dinner. Kneading bread was a personal favorite of his... But I digress...
It is a French loaf of bread, just a little sweeter than normal (like my cat).
One tip, rather than cook by time, I like to insert a remote prob thermometer (same I use when I cook meat). I bake my bread to 190 degrees. I do time it also, but I usually need to continue baking for a few minutes.
And if you really want to impress the Mother-In-Law, while you are baking the bread, take a few whole heads of garlic, lop off the top, drizzle Olive Oil into the opening, sprinkle some herbs, seal in aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes (a bit longer than the time it takes to bake the bread, but it is worth it!).
Another great touch is to add an egg wash (you will get that beautiful color from the wash. It also makes it easy to add a few pinches of fresh (or fried) cut spices. I was making Rosemary, so I added about 2 TBS of cut fresh Rosemary after the egg wash.
You also want to make a few 3/4 inch deep slices into the loaf before you bake but after you do the egg was. If you do not, the bread will split at some point to allow steam to escape. The slits allow you to control the look. It gets the beautiful colors and look of a true artisan loaf of bread.
OK, here's the recipe...
1 cup Water (warm, about 105 degrees
2 TBS Butter softened to room temperature
3 cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Whole Wheat flour
1/3 cup Sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp instant yeast (They also call it bread machine yeast)
2 TBS Dried Herbs (Rosemary, Chives... I make my own blend I call "Not Your Grandmother's Herbes de Provence"
If you have the time, slice, drizzle with Olive Oil, Fry up to toast and top with the roasted garlic.
Now this is Mother-in-Law intimidation!