I’m back! Thank you for noticing I was gone and sticking around. Not having a computer really puts a damper on my blog game. I’m thrilled to be back at it.
Thanksgiving time is, in all honesty, not one of my favorite holidays. I love that it marks the beginning of the holiday season and my very favorite holiday in the world, Christmas! Ultimately, Thanksgiving food doesn’t really entice me all that much. Over the years I’ve moved from wanting less traditional food (we even had duck instead of turkey for a few years) to instead optimizing the traditional recipes and making sure they are the most delicious they can possibly be. Heritage turkey, fluffy butter Yukon gold mashed potatoes and this year, a sourdough and cornbread classic style stuffing. In my quest to showcase Thanksgivings flavors in their highest form, I’ve started using classic herbs to amp up the flavor without adding butter and fat to everything. Obviously butter and fat are sure fire ways to make food taste even better but I can only use so many sticks of butter on Thanksgiving day.
November is really the perfect month to have Thanksgiving in. Things are deep in fall at this point, it may be snowy or definitely rainy in Seattle and hole-ing up and cooking all day while listening to vinyl is probably one of my favorite fall activities. It doesn’t even need to be Thanksgiving. On most Sundays in fall, I spend the day cooking and prepping for a quality Sunday dinner. Simon and Garfunkel may not have known it (or perhaps they did, the album was released October 24th, 1966) but Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme is a great fall, soups on the stove, type of album. It is cozy and begs for slow cooked food. The pairing might have been a little obvious with this one but not many albums spell out ingredients that are delicious so I’m going to give myself a pass. Let me know if you don’t agree, after you’ve tried this bread of course!
Simon and Garfunkel was the first group I ever owned a CD from, so I have a special fondness for them. Some critics feel that on this Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme album, the duo owned their own sound and became true artists while producing it. Many of the songs have their own sound and a variety of different instruments contribute to each song standing on its own. Personally, I feel like this album is extremely representative of its time, especially the final song, 7 o’clock News/Silent Night. This is a nice herald of the upcoming holiday season and a timely reminder that while we are celebrating our holidays, let us not forget our current political climate (not that the news will let us).
Herb Dutch Oven Bread
Makes 6-8 servings
- 1 tsp of honey
- 1.5 C of warm water
- 2 3/4 tsp of active dry yeast
- 2 C of unbleached bread flour
- 1 C of whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
- In a large bowl, mix the warm water and honey. Add yeast and let this mixture sit until the yeast has started to bubble and foam.
- Mix the dry ingredients and fresh herbs together. Add this to the yeast mixture until moderately incorporated. The dough will still look fairly shaggy, sort of like Art’s hair on the cover.
- Cover the dough ball with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in as warm of place as possible in mid to late November for four hours.
- On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth, 10-15 times, adding flour as needed.
- Let the dough rise in the bowl again for 40 minutes. Turn on the oven to 430 degrees with your dutch oven inside, uncovered.
- Reshape the dough ball into a ball and place in the dutch oven. Cover the soon to be bread and bake for 30 minutes.
- Take the cover off the bread and let it bake for another 10-15 minutes, until a golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing (this part is crucial!)
- In order to make sure all four herbs are represented, serve this with a parsley butter. See recipe below.
Parsley Butter: Take 1/2 cup of parsley, 1 tsp of kosher salt, 3 peeled garlic cloves and 1 stick of butter. Combine all in a food processor and mix until smooth and the parsley is completely incorporated. You may either serve this as is or using a piece of saran wrap, place all the butter in the center and using your hands create a log about 1 inch in diameter. Place in the fridge, slice into even discs before use.
You may opt to use all white flour if you would like. I prefer to use one third wheat flour for the texture and slight improvement in nutritional quality.
This recipe was inspired by the Lean Green Bean’s dutch oven bread.
Check out my LicoricePizzaPie instagram for a couple of process shots.