French Bread with Thyme and Yerba Mate Olive Oil

Have an electric stand mixer?  Try this:  pair thyme and yerba mate-infused olive oil with a simple French bread recipe.

2 packages active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 cup thyme*
yerba mate-infused olive oil*
7 cups gluten-free bread flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add salt, butter, thyme, and flour. Drizzle olive oil.  Put dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise for at least an hour.  Punch dough and divide into quarters.  Roll and place on prepared baking sheets.  Let dough rest then bake at 450°F for 25 minutes.  Remove and cool.

*Yerba mate-infused olive oil is something that I make.  Mate is a wonder herb with a strong nutty flavor, a perfect complement to olive oil.  Mate is a native plant of South America but is also very popular in Lebanon.  Thyme, often used in Lebanese cooking, made the duo a smart idea!

Note:  This is only the second time I’ve officially made bread on my own.  I’m not an expert by any means.  I am super curious about how the basic combination of yeast, flour, and water can yield so many results.  My mom gave me two sets of perforated french bread pans made of heavy-gauge metal.  Each pan holds two loaves and boasts crunchier crusts.  There’s a trick involving a water pan that I’ll try next and report the results.

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