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bay leaf infused oil... YOUR ANSWERS WILL HELP.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have a question about infused oils. I've made many in the past, but never made one out of bay leaf. Which is better, fresh or dried? I need a really prevalent bay leaf aroma in the oil for the re-creation that I'm developing. 

 

Lastly, directions on how it would be done if using dried leafs would be awesome too. 

 

from: Scratching my head in bewilderment.....

post #2 of 8

I'd be interested in the knowing the answer about whether or not to use dry or fresh bay leaves.

Thank you to who ever can provide an answer.

post #3 of 8

I love the flavor and aroma of bay leaves~ this makes me want to try it! I think I would throw a bunch of leaves in a saute pan with a good amount of oil, bring the heat up rather slowly and let it simmer til it was really smelling up the house nicely- then add it all back to the rest of the oil. Or maybe heat it all? Hmmm...... I would definitely use turkish  bay leaves, they have a much stronger flavor than the california leaves. I don't even know if you can get them fresh in the US. I get mine from Penzeys. I look forward to hearing the process and outcome. What are you using it for?

post #4 of 8

dried leaves are stronger than fresh, California are stronger than Turkish

 

put leaves and oil in canning jars, seal, place in water bath almost to top of jar, simmer 2 hours, repeat process with same oil but new leaves

 

I use California fresh for a few reasons, right outside my door being one

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #5 of 8

Oh geez! I had that totally backwards! Thank you for the correction cheflayne. I had to grab a penzys catalog and double check, i was sure I had read they were stronger. What they do have to say is that they are not as strong but have an unmatched depth of flavor and that they are the best in the world! So~my bad... I am ashamed to be a soupwench today!Haha!

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post

dried leaves are stronger than fresh, California are stronger than Turkish

 

put leaves and oil in canning jars, seal, place in water bath almost to top of jar, simmer 2 hours, repeat process with same oil but new leaves

 

I use California fresh for a few reasons, right outside my door being one

 

Really? That's interesting.

In my experience, the dried leaves are bland (probably old).

I use Washington fresh, stolen from my neighbor's yard.

I wonder if it's a regional thing why the dried leaves are flavorless razorblades here abouts.
 

 

post #7 of 8

Generally dried foods have more concentrated intense flavor than fresh, think beef jerky or sun dried tomatoes; however they still have a taste shelf life like anything else. Sadly most dried herbs and spices available in the marketplace are way past their prime.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #8 of 8

I agree with ChefLayne, dried herbs can be much stronger than fresh ones. Absolutely true for bayleaves, thyme, oregano, savory etc.

I have a laureltree (my personal bay leaf producer) in a large pot since decades. I use fresh leaves, but the tree gets shaped every year, so I dry some. After the drying process they taste and smell so much stronger than the fresh ones.

 

Also, I make a lot of flavored vinegars instead of oils. I had bad experiences with oil. Vinegars can be used in so many dishes and sauces, and... these vinegar only get better and less acidic, even after many years aging, especially true for tarragon vinegar which is used for béarnaises etc.

I now have (white) vinegars in which I macerated rose petals (to be used in couscous etc.), elderflower (totally delicious in  vinaigrette but also in hot sauces), tarragon (to make béarnaise etc.), red basil, rosemary, etc. 

You could certainly macerate bayleaves in vinegar. In this case I would use fresh ones. They will give a color to the vinegar and have a less pronounced taste.

On the other hand, if I had to make bayleaf flavored oil, I would use dried bayleaves to avoid mold etc.

 

My last experiment is white vinegar macerated with fresh normal basil. Unusually, I changed the leaves a few times to get more flavor into the vinegar. (Red basil works better!)

Mostly I filter after 2-3 months of macerating. Except for tarragon where the herb stays in, no matter how many years you keep it.

 

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