homemade bread at the farm

by Michelle

It’s summer and that means it’s bread making season. You would think that the winter would inspire me to bake lovely homey loaves of hot steaming bread to warm up our frozen spirits. But no; I make bread in the summer. When our farmhouse is sweltering, I have my oven cranking hot and I’m baking bread!

There is something very grounding about homemade bread cooling on my countertop. My grandmother Chase and my mom have made bread all of my life. The time and care required to produce a perfect loaf of bread is an expression of love and honoured by all of my family.

With my herbs over flowing, I was dying to try an herbed monkey bread. Monkey bread is usually sweet bread dough laced with cinnamon, cherries and pecans. My girls love pulling the sticky soft bread apart for a breakfast treat at Christmas. I changed the dough recipe and used fresh chives and oregano instead of the fruit and nuts. With the help of a cast iron skillet and all of the butter coating the dough balls, I was able to produce a really crispy bottom crust.

You can use any herb combination that you like. My family loves it when I experiment. It means more homemade bread!

Herbed Monkey Bread in a Skillet

3 1/2  cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

3 teaspoons active dry yeast

¼ cup warm water

1 1/4  cups warm water

3 tablespoon fresh chives, snipped

2 tablespoons oregano, leaves picked

1/4 cup butter, melted

Soften yeast in warm water for 10 minutes

Place flour and salt in bowl of stand mixer…stir to combine

Add softened yeast mixture and warm water to flour and salt

Stir to blend…increase speed and knead for 5 minutes til smooth

Place dough in a bowl covered with cling wrap til doubled in volume

Add herbs to melted butter

Grease an 8″ cast iron skillet

Shape all of the bread dough into small balls then roll them in the melted butter mixture

Place butter coated balls in skillet – once the bottom layer is full start the next layer until all of the balls are used

Allow bread to raise until double in bulk

Bake in a preheated oven 400*F…check at 35 minutes

Bread should be golden

Thanks for reading.