This is one of my treats for myself, I like to bake it on a Sunday and eat it with my Sunday roast. The flavour of the sage is very strong so it is reminiscent of stuffing. That loaf in this picture ended up being a gift to good friend Kevan Manwearing the hardworking bardic poet and storyteller, he loved it!
- Three quarters of a tablespoon of dried yeast
- 260 ml (half a pint) of lukewarm water
- 450 grams (1 pound, or roughly 25 tablespoons) Flour – I use wholemeal, but white will do.
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 teaspoons of chopped fresh Sage
- half teaspoon of Rosemary
- 1 tablespoon of shelled pumpkin seeds
- 1 table spoon of shelled sunflower seeds
- A handful of sesame seeds and a beaten egg (optional)
Dissolve the yeast in half of the lukewarm water (one part boiling water, to two parts cold water) and leave to stand for 20 mins, ideally in a warm place. If it is a sunny day I normally stick it by a closed window.
Stir together the all of the other ingredients add the foamy yeast mixture along with the rest of the water. Mix this until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl with a spatula, add more water if you have to so that the dough is nice and sticky. Thoroughly mix this .
Put loads of flour all over your work surface and kneed for 10 mins, I buy some cheap economy flour for this. Now leave this for about an hour to rise, it should double in bulk.
When the dough has risen give it a good punch and either divide it into two loaves or keep as one . Knead it for 5 mins, then leave to rise again for 1 hour. Placing it in either your loaf tin(s) or as I did in a bowl read to throw onto a backing tray. After about 30 mins you mat want to turn your oven on to 240 oC (gas mark 7, 475 o F).
After rising stick it in the oven for 10 mins, lower the heat and bake for 30 mins or until golden brown on top and giving a hollow sound when knocked. You may also want to brush a beaten egg onto the top of your dough and cover in sesame seeds, this makes any loaf look much better.
Serve with a Sunday roast.
You may want to experiment with this type of herby bread as I did. Sage is a strong flavour and not to everyone’s tastes so why not try with dill, marjoram or thyme?