Continuing the issue of my love affair with bread, I should probably mention that I really could not give a darn about the carbo in it, and how fattening it has been sold as being - bread is a basic food, filled with goodness, and anytime I see someone advising against the intake of bread, that person has no credibility whatsoever for me. I love bread that much.
Thus said, I confess I do not go around filling my gob with bread all day long. On weekdays, I have bread only for breakfast. As I have mentioned before, my usual choice for breakfast is a simple bread and butter coffee and milk one, which I hardly ever divert from, as it is what makes me feel good in the morning and gets me going for the day ahead, though sometimes, in the rarest of ocasions, I do like to go for other treats. But this makes the breakfast bread my only bread during weekdays. On weekends it is another story...
On weekends I love to partake of different types of bread for our dinner. Herb breads, cheese breads, breads that have olives or sundried tomato in them, breads filled with good old portuguese "enchidos", bread spiced with dried chilly flakes, you name it. It is a thing of ours to usually start up a saturday dinner with one of these breads, and spread some cheese, some chorizo, a good wine to make for an otherwise rustic entrée. It makes the weekend feel and taste of weekends, days you get to rest and indulge and have fun and try out new things as a family. Of course, the kid does not get the wine, that's mommy daddy stuff!
So this herb bread. It can be used as part of an entrée, if you add some homemade chicken liver paté - or any other paté you might like, be it homemade or store bought! - some ham, prosciutto, jambóm, a few olives, a nice cheese, chorizo, whatever you fancy. Cut it in slices and let people make their own nibbles, with a good choicy spread. It can also be served as a side dish, with a roast. A chicken roast will be great if served with this herby bread and some veggies, especially if there are juices from the chicken to be soaked up by a warm piece of bread! It will go well with mostly any roast, because you can make it with whatever herbs you are using on said roast, and it will complement the meat perfectly! But if you happen to have any leftover bread on the next day, you can use it for sandwiches, use some lettuce, tomato slices, eggs, whatever you have, the herbs in the bread will enhance any flavours.
So how do you go about it? Pick up our basic white bread recipe, and just add whatever herbs you'd like at the mixing stage of the recipe, right before you start kneading. You can use dried herbs such as thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, herbes de provence, or you can go for fresh herbs and cut up some parsley or cilantro, dill or chives. Just consider what you're serving your bread with, and tender your herbs to complement the rest of the food. If for instance you're serving some pork sausages with it, go for sage, as it is a herb that goes so well with this type of meat. If there's olives at the table, I vouch for oregano, to me it's a perfect combination of flavours. Just go for those that make the most sense for you, and you can even mix herbs together, we once did a parsley and oregano bread that was to die for, the combination of dried and fresh herbs just took that dough to a whole new level!! Point is, don't be afraid of experimenting, and mostly, don't be afraid of eating bread!! Especially if it's been made by you.