Lemon Basil Bread

What is Lemon Basil?

Good question. Lemon Basil is a lemon-scented cross between regular basil and African basil. Lemon Basil also happens to be the herb (as we discovered the other day) that is taking over half of our garden.

Apparently, the animals of our backyard do not find the taste of lemon basil quite as much to their liking as the countless vegetables we’ve fruitlessly planted in other years. Trust me, any plant that manages to survive our backyard 100% deserves to be baked into some delicious bread.

So, when life gives you lemon basil, you make Lemon Basil Bread. It’s light, fluffy, and lemony. Delish!

Also, for this recipe, you need a scale to measure most of the ingredients. However, if you’re me and you don’t happen to have a real scale, then I can assure you that a postage scale works just fine 🙂

To start, take one medium sized potato (it should weigh 8 ounces or more). Peel and dice it up and place it in a saucepan. Add enough water to the pan so that it covers the potato. Boil until it’s soft, then let the potato cool.

Once it’s boiled, weigh out 8 ounces of potato and place in a bowl. Add 3 1/2 ounces of the potato water (the water you used to boil the potato) and mash until combined. Personally, I think its easier to use a blender to mash it, but if you choose to use a fork instead, be my guest. In a separate bowl, combine 1 egg yolk (yolks=yellow), 2 oz. of sugar, 2 ounces of half and half, and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract.

Add the potato mash and 2 teaspoons of dry yeast. Mix to combine, then switch to the paddle attachment. Then, add 15 oz. of flour and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix for a few minutes. Add in 1 oz. of butter, 1 teaspoon of chopped lemon basil leaves, and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Continue mixing until the mixture is evenly combined.

Lay out a piece of parchment paper dusted with flour. Place the dough on top. Roll the dough to coat with flour and knead slightly to create a ball. Oil the bowl and add the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it doubles- about 40-45 minutes.

Divide the dough in half and place them in two greased bread pans. Dust the tops with flour. Let the dough rise until it’s about even with the edge of the pan. Once the dough has almost risen, preheat the oven to 350 F. Before placing the dough in the oven, carefully remove the plastic wrap. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy your freshly baked lemon basil bread!

Lemon Basil Bread

Adapted from Noshings

1 medium sized potato (weighing at least 8 oz)

1 lg. egg yolk

2 oz. white sugar

2 oz. half and half

1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract

2 teaspoons of dry yeast

15 oz. all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon. salt

1 oz. butter

1 teaspoon chopped lemon basil leaves

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Peel and dice up the potato. Place it in a saucepan and cover it with at least a cup of water. Boil until it’s soft. Once its soft, remove the potato from the water, weigh out 8 ounces of boiled potato and place in a bowl. Add 3 1/2 ounces of potato water. Let cool slightly. Mash the potato in the blender (or with a fork) until the mixture is smooth.
In a separate bowl, combine 1 egg yolk, 2 ounces of white sugar, 2 ounces of half and half, and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract. Add in the potato mixture and 2 teaspoons of dry yeast, and stir to combine. Switch to a paddle attachment, adding 15 ounces of all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon of salt. Combine in the mixer, then add 1 ounce of butter, 1 teaspoon of chopped lemon basil leaves, and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Let the mixer go for a few minutes, then remove the dough.
Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper dusted in flour. Roll the dough and knead slightly, creating a ball and covering it with flour. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 40-45 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. Then, divide the dough in half and place the halves in two greased bread pans. Dust the tops with flour, and cover each pan loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it’s even with the edges of the pan, about 45 minutes, but up to 1 hour. 10 minutes before the dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the plastic wrap and place the bread in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
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