Gary Chorost, a friend and professional baker, created this wonderful bread. Any herb can replace the dried basil. If your mixer is not large enough to accommodate all the ingredients, knead the dough in two batches or by hand.
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian
Taste and Texturebuttery, herby
Type of Dishbread, yeast bread
- 6 cups bread flour
- 2 cups dried basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons yeast
- ½ pound unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 5 cups water
- 8 cups all-purpose flour
- Butter, shortening, or oil for the pans
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, basil, yeast, butter, and salt with the paddle attachment at medium speed until the mixture is the texture of coarse meal.
In a large bowl or measuring cup, dissolve the sugar in the water and slowly add to the dry ingredients with the machine still running. Slowly add the all-purpose flour 1 cup at a time. After the fourth cup, remove the paddle and replace with the dough hook. Keep adding the flour until the dough is no longer sticky. The amount of flour you continue to add will vary depending on the weather and the humidity. Knead with the hook until the dough is pliable, smooth, and elastic, 7 to 10 minutes.
Remove to a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Put in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled. Punch down and remove to a floured surface.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Have ready 3 greased 12×5-inch loaf pans.
Cut the dough into 3 equal-size pieces and roll each into a ball. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes, then roll each ball out into a rectangular shape not exceeding the length of the bread pan, about 2½ inches thick. Roll each piece up into a cylinder, pinch the ends to close, and place, seam side down, into the pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the bread is pale golden and sounds hollow when tapped with your knuckles. Let the bread cool a few minutes in the pan before removing to a rack to cool completely.
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