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Healthy Italian rye herb bread with seeds, grains and a twist

Updated on June 16, 2013

Healthy Italian herb bread with grains and rye flour

Cast your vote for Twisty Italian herb bread

Healthy Italian herb bread with seeds,grains and a twist

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: 2 loaves of bread

Healthy Italian herb bread with seeds, grains and a twist

Yes, it's very hard to wait until it cools but bread really doesn't reach it's full taste potential until it's cool.
Yes, it's very hard to wait until it cools but bread really doesn't reach it's full taste potential until it's cool. | Source
The ingredients are few and the effort is low. The payoff is huge!
The ingredients are few and the effort is low. The payoff is huge! | Source
Remember to scoop your flour out of the bag with a spoon. Don't scoop out the flour using the measuring cup. It packs it down and you will use way too much flour.
Remember to scoop your flour out of the bag with a spoon. Don't scoop out the flour using the measuring cup. It packs it down and you will use way too much flour. | Source
The dough hook does all the work while I chop the herbs fresh from my garden!
The dough hook does all the work while I chop the herbs fresh from my garden! | Source
If you break this up into 2 days, you will just put the bread right into the refrigerator right now.
If you break this up into 2 days, you will just put the bread right into the refrigerator right now. | Source
Okay, here we are the next morning and it's doubled in size and ready to be shaped.
Okay, here we are the next morning and it's doubled in size and ready to be shaped. | Source
I use my Silpat for rolling out the dough and then I use parchment paper on the baking sheet for the dough to both rise and bake on.
I use my Silpat for rolling out the dough and then I use parchment paper on the baking sheet for the dough to both rise and bake on. | Source
Cut the dough in half. Place one half aside. Cut the half in front of you into 3 even pieces.
Cut the dough in half. Place one half aside. Cut the half in front of you into 3 even pieces. | Source
The dough will be cold but will soon warm up as you start to roll out 3 long logs. Roll them out into 1 inch or 1 1/2 inch in diameter rolls.
The dough will be cold but will soon warm up as you start to roll out 3 long logs. Roll them out into 1 inch or 1 1/2 inch in diameter rolls. | Source
Press at the 3 ends together at one end and braid the bread.
Press at the 3 ends together at one end and braid the bread. | Source
Tuck the two ends together for a clean looking loaf. Repeat on the other half of the dough.
Tuck the two ends together for a clean looking loaf. Repeat on the other half of the dough. | Source
Two gorgeous loaves of bread!
Two gorgeous loaves of bread! | Source
Take note of the size right now.
Take note of the size right now. | Source
I dusted the inside of this tea towel with flour so it would not stick to the rising dough.
I dusted the inside of this tea towel with flour so it would not stick to the rising dough. | Source
3 hours later and they are more beautiful than before!
3 hours later and they are more beautiful than before! | Source
You can compare the two pictures so you have an idea of the goal!
You can compare the two pictures so you have an idea of the goal! | Source
Oh, if you could only smell my house!!
Oh, if you could only smell my house!! | Source
Did you notice they don't rise very much once in the oven? All the rising happens before it goes in the oven.
Did you notice they don't rise very much once in the oven? All the rising happens before it goes in the oven. | Source
The bread has cooled and is ready to cut.
The bread has cooled and is ready to cut. | Source
One loaf goes to the party and the other will be sliced and frozen!
One loaf goes to the party and the other will be sliced and frozen! | Source

Healthy Italian herb bread with seeds, grains and a twist

  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 cups white bread flour, King Arthur's is very good!
  • 2 1/2 cups rye flour
  • 3 cups water, between 90-100 degrees
  • 1 scant tablespoon yeast
  • 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 cup King Arthur's grain mix, You can skip this or substitute oatmeal
  • 3 teaspoons salt

healthy Italian herb bread with seeds, grains and a twist

  1. Chop up then combine all the herbs in a bowl and set side. Measure out the water and heat to temperature. Stir in the yeast and set aside.
  2. Take a large mixing bowl or the largest bowl of your stand mixer and measure in the flours, grains, vital wheat gluten, herbs and salt. Mix all the ingredients.
  3. At this point your yeast water should be foamy and "yeasty" smelling. Start the stand mixer on low and gradually add the water. When the dough forms a ball crank the mixer up to a higher setting and mix for about 8 to 10 minutes. If mixing by hand, stir all the ingredients together and turn the dough out onto a floured surface and mix by hand. If the dough is sticky you can add small amounts of flour, but be frugal with this step. The dough should turn out smooth and ever so slightly tacky.
  4. Place the dough into a large oiled mixing bowl and cover it with a plastic wrap or a tea towel. If you are going to bake the bread the next day, which is my favorite method, place the bowl in to the refrigerator and store up to 12 hours. If you are going to bake it that day, sit the bowl in warm place and let it double in size. That can take up to two hours. You can use a piece of tape or a china marker on the outside of the bowl to mark the starting point of the dough if you are unsure or will forget what double the size would be.
  5. If baking the dough that day, after it has doubled in size, place the dough onto a floured surface and cut in half. Set one half aside and cut the other half into 3's. If using the overnight method just take the dough out of the refrigerator two hours before baking and follow these same steps. The dough will be cold but will soon warm up under your hands. Take one of the thirds and roll out a foot long log. Do the same with the other two pieces of dough. Once that is complete, line the dough in 3 strands next to each other. Take the tops of all three and press them together and then tuck the ends under. At this point you can begin your braid, finishing the dough with a pinch and tuck. Repeat with the other half of dough. Try not to pull or stretch the dough-- you are just gently placing one strand over the other-- but don't leave any gaps in the strands.
  6. Take both loaves and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can bake your bread on the parchment paper. Let the dough rise for another hour if baking the same day. If you had it in the refrigerator overnight it will take two hours for the dough to double in size again.
  7. About 45 minutes before you are going to bake your bread, turn the oven on to 425 degrees.
  8. Once the dough is ready you can keep the bread on the baking tray and parchment paper and simply place it into your pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. If you have a baking stone (which I highly recommend), just slide both the loaves and parchment right onto the baking stone.
  9. Once the loaves are done take them out of the oven, parchment paper and all. A pizza peel works great if you are baking on a stone. Let them cool for 5 minutes and then peel them off of the parchment paper (or stone) and place on a cooling rack.
  10. Once cool, slice and try not to eat the whole loaf!! I slice all of mine and then store the rest in the freezer. It makes great sandwiches and toast!

Healthy Italian herb bread with rye flour and a twist

I love to make bread. There just isn't anything else that is so satisfying to make and eat. Bread has taken a bad rap over the years--remember the Atkin's Diet?. It's been demonized in one "diet plan" or the other for years now. Yes, Americans do eat too much wheat, but usually the "processed" kind of wheat. There are tons of bread products that state they are "whole grain" or made with wheat, but unless you are buying something that says" whole grain" and not just wheat you are getting a "processed wheat". Be sure to look at the ingredients. I figure the best way to avoid that situation is to make your own!

I have had so many co-workers, friends and family complaining they are having digestive, weight and skin issues and have blamed wheat. Hence the growing popularity of "gluten free". In 99% of these cases, it's not whole grain wheat but the "processed wheat" product that is prevasive in your grocery story. The only people who really have a serious medical issue with a whole grain wheat product is someone who has been diagnosed with Celiac's disease. If you are experiencing unexplained weight gain, digestive problems, and skin disorders, your entire diet needs to be analyzed. Do you eat out a lot? Do you eat things that come from box? Is ketchup your idea of vegetables in your diet? Do you think the over-sugary "goo" in a protein bar you were bought for its "fruit" content is really fruit? You may want to start there first. Also off the subject but in a related matter, if you are avoiding fruit because you think it has too much sugar, be careful about reducing or eliminating a food group that is so healthful. My eating philosophy is eat as close to the earth is possible. All fresh fruits and vegetables are free foods in my diet, including nuts and avocados. If you eat as close to non-processed as possible you will not have a weight problem. If you do eat processed food keep it to a mimimum and always eat small portions.


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    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very nicely presented and illustrated hub. The pictures say it all. Looks yummy and with your easy to follow instructions, can't wait to try it.

      Thanks for sharing!

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