oregano "pain de champagne"

this week weekend herb blogging is hosted by one of my all time favourite blogs in the whole wide world: cook almost anything at least once from australia. it will only take you a second to realize what i mean, once you see all those lovely pictures haalo from melbourne takes. and she has this killer recipe for lime curd . oh - it makes you wanna lick your screen, it looks so good!

this week i bought a big bunch of oregano on the market. fresh oregano is something i barely use, since i always find that oregano only develops its full flavour, once its dried. you can dry your own oregano by simply lining a baking sheet, then spread oregano (destem first!) across. put baking tray into a 120c° hot oven for about 4 minutes and ready is your home-dried oregano. oregano adds spice to your tomato-sauce, grilled veggies & meat or your homemade pizza margarita. you can also use it as a herb for tea. it's very good for an upset stomach and a sore throat.

i used fresh oregano in a simple recipe for the traditional french "pain de champagne". i love it because it's such a simple but delicious bread with a very soft & moist texture. this oregano pain de champagne is a wonderful combination with parmaham or a creamy cheese. or just go for the simplest and best: slather some fresh butter across. it's delicious!


270g white bread flour
80g rye flour
1 tablespoon salt
30g fresh yeast
110g butter, at room temperature
1 generous hand full of fresh oregano, destemmed and finely chopped
about 250ml water

mix all the dried ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer with dough hook attached. slowly add the water, while the machine is running. knead for about 10 minutes until everything has come together to a smooth dough, add some more flour if dough is too moist.
put in a clean bowl, cover with clingfilm and let rise on a warm place for about 1,5 hour.
flour a willow banneton (french dough rising basket) or line & dust a baking sheet. tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a ball. dust with flour and put into the banneton (or onto the prepared baking sheet). cover & let rise for about 1 hour.

heat the oven to 220c°.
when using a banneton, tip risen dough onto a lined and lightly floured baking sheet. this will look as if the dough is deflating somewhat, but it will rise again in the hot steaming oven.
using a spray bottle filled with water, quickly spray both sides of the oven and close oven asap. then bake the bread in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown and crisp. transfer to a rack to cool.

keeps for about 2 days - altough tastes best fresh out of the oven.