Tuesday, 7 August 2012

thyme honey loaf with fresh thyme and poppy seeds



... honey is always glorious baked into bread... not just for that delicious sweetness that is sealed in but also for that mouth-watering aroma that fills the house when it's baking... it's that almost-burnt sugar scent that permeates every corner of the kitchen that makes it worth it...

... i'm using the thyme honey I used with the welsh lamb that was sent to me by the New Zealand Honey Co as, whilst I want the sweetness, I still want the final loaf to be a savoury item and so the thyme infused into the honey adds a lovely herby kick... the added fresh thyme enhances those flavours beautifully into a very delightful loaf... this bread was incredible toasted as it really intensified the thyme honey and was very good with a nice strong cheddar cheese...


thyme honey loaf with fresh thyme and poppy seeds
I try and make 2 loaves every Friday if I can, simply doubling the recipe and then splitting the dough after its first rise... its at this point that I add any extra ingredients, usually keeping one plain and simple and experimenting with the other... the recipe below is for two medium loaves and shows this adding of the extra ingredients... the warm weather we've been having recently has been superb for making bread as I haven't had to place the dough in the airing cupboard, a warm corner of the kitchen seems to work just fine.

800g strong white bread flour
2 teaspoons of active dried yeast
2 large teaspoons of sea salt
600ml warm water
olive oil for kneading

2 tablespoons honey
a handful of fresh thyme
a sprinkling of poppy seeds
extra honey for glazing

- place all the bread ingredients in a very large bowl and bring together with a rubber spatula until it becomes a sticky shaggy dough, cover with a tea towel and leave for 10 minutes

- pour some oil onto your work surface and scoop the dough onto the oil, quickly oil the inside of the bowl

- knead the dough for 8 turns only - thats 'stretch and knead and turn, stretch and knead and turn' place back in the bowl and cover with the tea towel for 10 minutes - the dough should already be softer than you would imagine and you'll be able to see big air pockets forming

- repeat the process 3 more times then cover and leave to double in size for at least and hour

- you should have a nicely risen soft dough at this stage which you need to cut into two pieces

- oil your work surface again and place one of the pieces onto the oil and pat into an oval shape, starting at one end roll the dough up tightly, tuck the ends in and place into an oiled loaf tin - set aside to rise for at least 45 mins

- with the second bit of dough you can either gently knead the ingredients in and then form into a loaf or, as I did with the remaining ingredients, pat out into the oval shape, drizzle liberally with honey, sprinkle with fresh thyme and then roll up into a loaf

- bake on 190C for 30-40 mins or until golden and gorgeous

- once cooled, paint with a little honey and sprinkle with poppy seeds


i'm entering this loaf into the Herbs on a Saturday challenge hosted by Karen from Lavender and Lovage which is a great challenge, encouraging us all to use our herbs more creatively... and I thought i'd take this chance to show you my little 'herb garden' which is essentially 7 pots sitting outside my back door so that, should the weather be chucking it down, I can literally lean out and grab a handfull... I have all the classics including rosemary, thyme, lemon thyme, marjoram, chives and mint as well as a large strawberry plant and a curry plant... it does me very well and I love the incredible aroma it gives off as I brush past it in the mornings...


eat and of course, enjoy!

26 comments:

  1. I don't know how you get bread to look like this, mine is always so solid and tight. I'll try this recipe, it looks amazing!

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    1. I promise you, if you follow this recipe and the method exactly you will have a loaf like this... I didn't believe it either before I tried it! x

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  2. Gorgeous loaf, in fact, I'd say a perfect loaf! Love the poppy seeds and your herb garden is very inspirational, too. A lovely post, Dom x

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  3. What a loaf! I like the idea of one plain, one fancy, why didn't I think of that?

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  4. Yum looks sooo good... I am going to have make it like, now! Well done. Ivan

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  5. Oh that loaf looks wonderful...and I can just imagine how it smelled while baking!! YUM!!
    Good luck in the contest...not that you'll really need it with this recipe!!

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  6. Oh Dom! I am such a sucker for a pretty loaf of bread! AND ... this is such a different way of treating a loaf! Kneading on oil ... hmmm! Must try this! Your finished loaf is just beautiful!

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  7. Nothing is more droolworthy than a lovely loaf baking in the oven. The fragrances coming from the kitchen do me in every time.

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  8. Thyme and honey sound like perfect additions to homemade bread!

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  9. Love the Herb garden, Dom. And Thyme is undoubtedly my favourite herb!

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  10. I am a bread making addict so of course I will be making this. I normally don't do the little knead and repeat technique but seeing your loaf, I may have to try it out again! Just wonderful x

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  11. What a lovely open texture your bread has and I can imagine what a great taste with the honey and thyme.

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  12. Your bread looks incredibly professional and delicious! As someone else has commented, my bread never has such a lovely open texture. And it looks crusty on top too which is exactly how I like it. I will certainly try your recipe thank you!

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  13. I think when you set a day aside each week to bake or in your case,to make bread it becomes a way of relaxing. I think it so wonderful that on most Fridays you are in your lovely kitchen baking bread. This bread looks delicious. I can only imagine the smell while it was baking.

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  14. What a delicious sounding bread! I'll bet it tasted fabulous! I like the idea of adding honey! I can't imagine how wonderful your home smelled!

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  15. Beautiful looking bread, so perfect. I also love honey and use it to make my caramels, the flavor and smell are amazing, way better than corn syrup in my opinion..

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  16. This is my achilles heel. Beautiful fresh bread, lashings of butter and then drizzled with honey - who could resist! Love those herb pots too perfectly placed outside the back door.

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  17. I LOVE your herb garden and I LOVE this post and the amazing loaf of bread you baked for the Herbs on Saturday event too...beautiful bread and LOVELY ingredients, and I agree that honey in bread is magical! C'est parfait darlink! Karen xxx

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  18. PS: LOVE herbs in pots, something VERY lovely about the terracotta and green together....XX

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  19. Oh my goodness, this loaf looks heavenly. Thyme and honey together sounds wonderful!

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  20. Wow this sounds like a delicious loaf - I love honey! I think it would go well with some Wensleydale cheese :) You could also enter this to AlphaBakes for a chance to win those gorgeous measuring cups that would look perfect in your cottage :) http://themorethanoccasionalbaker.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/another-alphabakes-giveaway.html

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  21. That is an awesome looking loaf of bread and the thought of thyme honey and fresh thyme together have my mouth watering. Great recipe.

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  22. This bread does look so good, the picture of the sliced view makes me drool and I would gobble this bread up pretty quickly!! That is always a problem with me and freshly baked bread... I love poppy seeds and a slab of melted cheddar cheese slightly melted would be divine.

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  23. This bread looks delicious but sounds even better with the fresh thyme - I've seen a number of bloggers add fresh herbs to their bread, but I've never tried it myself. I have no idea what's holding me back... I'm featuring this post in today's Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections...

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  24. This bread looks utterly scrumptious! I'm not a big bread-baker, but I've also never tried honey in bread and I'm intrigued, so I might just have to try this out.

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  25. right...thats it....im breaking my diet and making this bread tonight!!!! :-)

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