Sometimes it just takes an image to convince me to try a recipe. This time around, it was a grilled cheese sandwich I saw on someone’s blog.
It wasn’t just any grilled cheese sandwich, mind you. This sandwich was made with mozzarella cheese between two slices of Italian herb bread. I craved that sandwich to the point that I made a loaf of bread just to recreate it. Sounds like I have way too much time on my hands, but trust me, I don’t!
I had never baked a loaf of bread made with Italian herbs, but I’ve made herb dinner rolls many times. That recipe is a family favorite.
So I decided to try my luck with the Italian herb bread.
First I looked around the Internet for a recipe. I found plenty but decided to make my own. Just a few days before, I had baked a loaf of one of our favorite breads. It’s a recipe I have made plenty of times, so I decided to adapt it for this herb bread. I looked at the herb ingredients on several bread recipes online and also compared the herbs in the dinner rolls we like so much to come up with a combination of herbs — oregano, thyme and sweet basil — that had a wonderful aroma. I added Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
As usual, I used my bread machine to mix the dough for the first rising. Then I removed the dough from the machine and formed a loaf to rise and bake in a glass loaf pan.
The house smelled so good as my loaf of herb bread baked. I made the bread one day, and had my sandwich the next. I grilled it on the stove with butter, just as I do any other grilled cheese, but I used two slices of mozzarella instead of American cheese.
I must say the sandwich was delicious and worth the effort.
My husband ate the bread with a meal and really enjoyed it. He said it would be delicious dipped in pizza sauce. Last week, I made the bread again, and we all enjoyed the bread with a plateful of spaghetti.
If you have any leftover bread, make croutons.
Herb Bread for Bread Machine
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk (I use skim milk)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon bread machine yeast or active dry yeast
- 1 3/4 cups bread flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sweet basil
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Add milk mixture and other ingredients to bread machine in order suggested by manufacturer. Use dough setting. Might need to add extra flour; keep an eye on it.
When dough is complete, form in shape of a loaf and place in greased loaf pan. Let rise for about 30-45 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-28 minutes.
*When I make this bread without herbs, I follow the same recipe but use 2 tablespoons butter instead of olive oil, and omit the oregano, thyme, basil and Parmesan cheese. You can also use 2 cups of bread flour and omit the wheat flour. My husband and I love this recipe for breakfast as toast with jelly or cinnamon toast. We also enjoy it as sandwich bread, especially for toasted pimento cheese.