Fresh Herb Bread

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Fresh herbs and butter swirl around a soft, fluffy loaf of bread surrounded by a crunchy exterior. It’s the perfect bread to showcase your fresh herbs!

Bread with a slice cut off to show the swirled interior.

Every summer I plant a garden.   Sometimes it’s a small garden, sometimes I plant a larger one but I have always planted since I’ve had my own home.

I usually plant flowers in the front of the house and then I like to have a little vegetable garden in the backyard.   We usually plant herbs as well since I cook so much.

While it varies from year to year we most often have parsley, mint, oregano, rosemary, and thyme.  I use the herbs in my pasta sauces, for marinades, and other recipes but I was excited to find this recipe for Fresh Herb Bread as it is a great way to showcase my lovely herbs.

Ingredients:

  • dry active yeast (make sure it’s fresh and not expired)
  • sugar
  • salt (I like using sea salt but you can use table salt)
  • garlic powder (optional)
  • all purpose flour
  • fresh herbs (I used oregano, parsley, and chives)
  • salted butter (use salted for the filling, it brings out the flavor in the herbs)

If you are a bread maker this recipe will be fairly simple for you.  The bread is made by placing the yeast in a bowl with warm water and sugar to active it.

Pin Image:   Bread with a slice cut off to show the swirled interior, text title, cutting board with herbs on it.

Then the flour is mixed in to the yeast mixture.   Knead the dough until it is soft and elastic then put it in a bowl, cover, and let it rise.

What do you cover your bowl with?

This has been a popular question.  I used to use a dish towel over the top because it was convenient but I’ve learned this isn’t the best thing to do because it let’s air in the bowl and cools it off instead of warming it up.  The best thing to do is tightly cover it with a piece of plastic wrap or a food grade plastic bag would work as well.

While the dough is rising you will want to make your filling.  You can use any combination of fresh herbs.  I chose to use oregano and parsley from the store because I knew we were having our bread with pasta.   I also ended up grabbing some chives from my herbs garden.

A bowl of herb butter.

The herbs need to be finely chopped and the mixed with the butter.   Make sure the butter is softened so that it’s easy to mix and easy to spread.

What herbs can I use in this bread?

You can really use any fresh herbs you have in your garden or can find at the market.  Just make sure it’s a combination that you enjoy.  In addition to the herbs I used other good ones would be rosemary, thyme, or oregano.  You can also add minced garlic to the filling.

Once the bread has finished it’s first rise it gets punched down and gathered into a ball.   Then the dough is rolled into a large rectangle.  

The filling is spread onto the rectangle evenly.  I left about a 1 inch border the entire way around the dough so that the filling didn’t leak out.

Bread dough with herb butter spread on it.

Then the dough is rolled.   I rolled from the long end of the rectangle and then pinched together the ends and the seam of the bread.

Now you need to cut the roll into two pieces.   Take those pieces and twist them together, pinching the ends close.  Place the bread in a bread pan, cover, and let rise a second time.

How do I make the bread twist?

The bread twist is made by first rolling the dough into a tight log.   If you don’t want the twist you can simply put the bread in the pan like this and it will bake like any swirl bread.  If you want the twist you will cut the bread in half lengthwise then carefully twist the two pieces together and then put them in the bread pan to rise.

Once the dough has risen the second time it’s time to bake it.  Place the bread in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until it is golden brown and sounds hollow when knocked on.

Bread dough twist in a pan.

Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool before slicing.    Use a bread knife to slice.  You should have a lovely swirl of herbs in the middle of the bread.

How do I store the bread?

The bread is best stored on the counter.  The best way to do this is to put it in a paper bag and roll up the end of the bag.  This will keep your bread fresh for 3 days.  You can also cover it with plastic wrap or a plastic bag but this tends to trap moisture and can cause you bread to begin to mold quicker.

This bread is great served with pasta, soups, or salads.   I even enjoyed it toasted with a little butter on it in the morning for breakfast.

More Bread Recipes:

If you’ve tried my Fresh Herb Bread or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:

Bread with a slice cut off to show the swirled interior.

Fresh Herb Bread

Fresh herbs and butter swirl around a soft, fluffy loaf of bread surrounded by a crunchy exterior.
5 from 17 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Author: Hezzi-D

Ingredients

For the Bread:

  • 1 packet 1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 c. Warm Water
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 1/2 c. all purpose flour

For the filling:

  • 1/4 c. salted butter
  • 1/4 c. fresh herbs minced

Instructions

  • In a large bowl combine the yeast, sugar, and water. Let sit for 5 minutes or until foamy.
  • Add 1 cup flour and salt to the mixture.. Mix until well combined.
  • Stir in the remaining flour and mix well.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is soft and elastic, adding more flour as needed.
  • Grease a bowl and place the dough inside, turning to coat.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubles, about 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile cream together the butter and herbs until completely combined.
  • Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • Punch down the dough and turn onto a floured surface.
  • Use a rolling pin and roll into a large rectangle, about 12 inches by 10 inches. Spread with the filling, leaving a half inch to an inch on all sides.
  • Roll the dough from the long side. Cut the dough into half lengthwise so that you expose the herb filling.
  • Twist the two pieces together and pinch the ends together. Place the bread in the prepared pan.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake the bread for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on with your knuckles.
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  • Slice and enjoy.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Kneady Girl

Baked bread twist.

Welcome to Herb Week where we let the herbs be the star of the recipe and not just a garnish. Mint, dill, sage, and cilantro are just a few of the herbs we are celebrating this week.

Monday’s Herb Week Recipes

5 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness. This bread looks off the charts delicious! All those herbs and that butter layer all wrapped up in there. Yum!

  2. This looks great! BTW, disposable plastic shower caps are great too for covering the dough rising bowl.

5 from 17 votes (17 ratings without comment)

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