Mmhmmm...this bread is boy-howdy good. The recipe is, again, from my dearly loved Simple & Delicious magazine. love, love, love it! The combination of flavors is savory and they blend so well together. I strongly recommend this bread to you - even if you are somewhat skeptical of herbs in bread. I used to be but I have been whole-heartedly converted. :) Now, if you want a meal pairing, I suggest the creamy tomato soup with this garlic herb braid. Now that is a winner. Truly. Plus, this bread looks so impressive anyway. Even if it didn't taste good, you could make it just as a centerpiece. (ha! As if I ever spend time on centerpieces anyway. Another skill for another day. One of those days far off in the future. As in faaaaaaar off.) Instead of honing your centerpiece skills, why not try this bread? Plan it for one of your meals this weekend. You'll be glad you did. :)
4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) quick-rise yeast
2 teaspoons dried basil
1-3/4 teaspoons dill weed
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
3/4 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 tablespoon butter, melted
In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and seasonings. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water and cubed butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add egg; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 4-6 minutes. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Divide dough into thirds. Shape each into a 15-in. rope. Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes.
Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Eat half the loaf. Prepare to be amazed by the fabulous taste. Begin to formulate an excuse to your husband for why there's only 1/2 a loaf of bread left. Good luck with that one. :)