This month, the ingredients for our Crazy Ingredient Challenge are lemon and basil. I really wanted to try a lemon and basil dessert. I have seen so many basil desserts and have been itching to try. Alas, I ran out of time. You see, I decided to give up refined sugar for Lent (failing miserably, by the way). It didn't make sense to make too many desserts that I couldn't eat.
So I decided to make a lemon basil bread. Buuuut, when I went to the supermarket, all their coolers were down (WEIRD) and everything that could be kept in a cooler was... I have no idea really. The sign said that one should talk to an associate. But I was not in the mood to wait so I grabbed a bottle of Italian seasoning mix. It has basil, marjoram, oregano and other herbs. I figured that I would make an herb-y bread instead of just basil.
It's a delicious bread. I think I could even increase the herbs. Maybe add in some garlic too. The crumb is relatively tight but still very light like a sandwich bread. Don't forget to check out what the other bloggers made today!
Lemon Herb Braided Loaf
120 grams flour
75 grams water
1/8 teaspoon yeast
180 grams all purpose flour
60 grams whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
115 grams milk
25 grams water
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Combine the ingredients for the biga. Knead to form a firm dough. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight. I left mine for 12 hours.
For the final dough, combine the biga and all the final dough ingredients. Knead until it forms a smooth dough and gluten is almost developed.
Cover and bulk ferment for approximately 1-2 hours or until dough has doubled.
Divide the dough into three equal pieces. Loosely form into logs and let rest for 10 minutes.
Roll each log into 12" - 14" ropes. Braid. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let proof until risen and puffy. This could take about an hour depending on your room's temperature.
About 20 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 425 F.
Bake loaf for 30 minutes or until the loaf is golden and has reached an internal temperature of ~ 200 F.