TGIFOOD

SAGE ADVICE

What’s cooking today: Sage-infused braai bread

What’s cooking today: Sage-infused braai bread
Tony Jackman’s sage-infused braai bread. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

This incarnation of my standard potbrood (braai bread) recipe is suffused with sage, picked fresh from my Karoo garden.

Sage is arguably the least subtle of herbs, though conversely it is among the most striking, along with rosemary, so it is best to use it with a light hand. Like thyme, it’s best used as the only herb in the mix, so as not to lose its distinctive flavour. You can use plenty, if you’re happy to turn out a very herby loaf. There’s nothing wrong with that either.

Ingredients

1 kg white bread wheat flour

10 g instant yeast

4 scant tsp sugar

1 scant tsp salt

2 Tbsp picked fresh sage leaves

2 cups lukewarm water, plus a little more if needed

2 Tbsp olive oil

Olive oil for the pot

Method

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and sugar and stir well with a wooden spoon. Only stir in the salt after this so that it does not neutralise the yeast. Stir in the sage leaves.

Add lukewarm water a little at a time, while kneading the dough, until it is all combined. Now add the 2 Tbsp olive oil and continue kneading until it is a nice plump ball of dough and no longer sticky. Knead again for a few minutes, turning and push-pulling with your hands/fists.

Leave the ball of dough in the bowl, cover with a slightly damp tea towel, and put it in a warm spot outside for 20 minutes, or inside if the weather is not playing ball. Another option is to put it in a slightly pre-warmed oven, but turned off.

Check that your braai coals are ready. Oil the inside of your heavy-bottomed pot well. Carefully ease the dough into it; you may need to use a silicone spatula to scrape the edges downwards. Put the lid on the braai pot. Place in the braai and immediately place hot coals all around the base, and a few more on top. Keep replenishing the coals at the base and on the lid for a full hour. The pot bread should be ready in an hour. Remove the lid; it should turn out perfectly. DM/TGIFood

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