RaeDi at Hummingbird Hollow

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Tag: Fresh Sage

Herbfarm’s Fresh Sage and Sunflower Seed Bread



Herbfarm’s Fresh Sage and Sunflower Seed Bread


I have been looking through and taking notes at Dancing in the Kitchens’ Blog ; Pat is very gifted in the art of food.  I have visited her blog on several occasions and each time I found so many recipes that I wanted to try. This bread was one of those recipes I knew I would be baking.  I did just that this weekend.  It was perfect timing.

It started snowing yesterday eve and has been snowing off and on since.  I had decided to make chicken broth from all the chicken backs, necks and bones I had been collecting for several months in the freezer.  I knew I would be making a huge pot of chicken soup and this bread would be a perfect fit.  I altered the recipe just a little, I love sage, fresh sage, and I wanted to use sunflower seeds instead of the olives.  It was the perfect mix.

Pat mentioned in her blog that she got the recipe from Herbfarm near Fall City (http://www.herbfarm.com) right here in my stomping grounds.  Kind of, it is across the water from me, the Seattle side, but I do know it well.   I know of what she speaks when she writes of the satisfaction in making her own bread and filling the house with the wonderful fragrance of baking bread.   I would love it if she shared her favorite (fresh) herb butter, I love compound butters.  I enjoy trying new versions too, Pat.  Maybe I could get her recipe while I still have some fresh bread left!

I had the pleasure of having two fragrances drifting from my kitchen.  One the chicken stock I was making while the bread was baking.  I was reading a book by the fire, and taking time to watch the snow coming down.  It always mesmerizes me so.  Between being mesmerized, the aromas from my kitchen and the warmth of the fire I felt like I was in heaven.  It was utter faultlessness, I could not have asked for anything more.  Maybe, Pat’s herb butter recipe, but in time, I hope.


Herbfarm’s Fresh Sage and Olive Sunflower Seed Bread

  • 1 T dry yeast
  • 2 c water, 115 degrees
  • 3 – 3 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ c white whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup Kalamata Olives ~ I used ¾ cup of Sunflower Seeds, crushed just a little, leave most whole I suppose you could add both
  •  2 T of fresh sage, destemed and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of dry sage (my add on to recipe)


Combine yeast and ½ cup white whole wheat flour and 1 cup unbleached flour, add pinch of sugar.  Stir well to blend and add water.  Beat well to combine, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour or longer.  It can be held overnight.

Stir down well and add:

Mix well 1 cup unbleached flour and salt and add to yeast mix.

Add the olives the sunflower seeds and chopped sage.  You could use both olives and sunflower seeds if you wanted.  Add remaining flour ½ cup or so at a time until soft dough is ready for kneading.  Knead 8-10 minutes using only 1 T four at a time to prevent sticking.  This should be a very soft dough.  Place in large bowl or plastic container, cover and let rise to double.  It took mine about an hour.  Flatten gently and divide into 1 loaf or 2 smaller one.  Before I floured the dough, I put whole sunflower seeds and a little cornmeal on the baking mat to cover the bottom of the bread and laid the dough on top, I then floured the top and sides well with the mix of 1 teaspoon of the dried sage with 1 tablespoon of flour and a few sunflower seeds (I mixed before to use.)

Bake 30-35 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  Here too I added a pan of water on the bottom shelf before preheating.  When baking time is up turn the oven off and keep the door closed.  Leave bread in for another 8-10 minutes.  Cool bread at least 1 or 2 hours before slicing.  This was the hardest part, waiting to eat this bread.  It is a keeper; I will be making this bread often.  Thanks Pat!

It was perfect with a bowl of hot homemade chicken soup, and a side of Fruited Coleslaw.  I ate mine by the fire and watched the snow fall…. 

Chicken Soup


Chicken Soup

  • 4 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 pre-cooked Chicken Breast torn into large pieces and dark meat (I pulled the dark meat from chicken backs and necks I had put into stock pot) (I had several chicken breasts in freezer from leftover roasted chickens, used 1 )
  • 1-2 Cloves of Garlic diced small
  • 1 carrot trimmed, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 Parsnip trimmed, peeled and cut across into thin slices
  • ½  cup frozen Peas
  • ¾ cup frozen Pearl Onions
  • 1 Tablespoon Diced Fresh Sage
  • 1-1 ½  cups of flat wheat Pasta ~ depends on how much pasta you want in your soup
  • Or: you could use a couple of potato’s diced small
  • Sea Salt to Taste
  • Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste

I boiled my flat wheat noodles per package instructions. I drain and reserve them for the soup (covered.) 

I put the stock and the diced garlic into covered pan big enough to cook all the veggie and put on medium heat until simmering.  I readied my veggies while the stock was heating.  Once the stock comes to a boil I added the carrots and parsnips (add potatoes now if using.)  Cook covered, about five minutes, just until carrots are fork tender but firm. Add the chicken, sage, frozen peas and pearl onions.  Heat until everything is warm throughout.  Now I add the pasta and the sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  Serve Hot.

I had this with my Fresh Sage and Sunflower Seed Bread and a side of Fruity Coleslaw.  It was a wonderful combination.  Enough soup to eat on for several days, with the snow and cold weather it is perfect.  I think tomorrow I will make a Panini with Ham and Cheese; I think it would be perfect made with the Sage and Sunflower Seed Bread and taste good with a small cup of chicken soup….  

Basic Chicken Stock



I made the stock using up all the back, necks, bones and carcass bits that I had been saving in the freezer.  It made for a large pot of stock.  It made more than enough for several chicken soups, and then with a couple of quarts leftover.  I froze them in batches and some in cubes for future use.  My stock recipe is:

In large stock pot:

  • Chicken back and necks from about 8 chickens
  • Bones and carcass bits from the same
  • 4 Crushed Garlic Cloves
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 Large Carrots
  • 4 Parsnips
  • 4 stalks of Celery
  • 6 or so quarts of cold water enough to cover by an inch
  • Sea Salt (not much, just a smidgen)
  • Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup or so sage leaves
  • Couple of bay leaves
  • I have been known to throw into the stock pot anything that ‘needs’ to be used from the veggie drawers in the refrig: mushrooms and such.

You can brown this in a pan with a little oil before putting in stock pot.  Sometimes I do, but this time I wanted to boil it down a little to concentrate the flavor.  While it is simmering (light boil) partially covered, I skimmed off the scum once in awhile.  I strained twice and then degreased it the best I could and let it cool down before I put it in refrig to solidify the fat.  

Once I got all fat off the top, I kept out what I would be using for a pot of chicken soup I would be making today and froze the rest in several batches and cubes for future use.  I freeze it in small bowls and once frozen I then put in Food Saver bags and vacuum steal before putting back in freezer for future use.  It makes all the difference in the world, in flavor, freshness and no problem with freezer burn….

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