These are not just any bay leaves…


As well as trimming the box hedges, Rob trimmed the large bay tree for the first time, I think, since we were given it 6 years ago! I took the branches that were trimmed and stripped the best leaves from them.

I usually use bay fresh from the bush, as we have 2 bay trees, but it seemed a shame to just throw these leaves away. After a little research, I decided to try drying them in the oven, using this method .

“Removed the best leaves from the stems. Lay the leaves on a paper towel, without allowing leaves to touch. Cover with another towel and layer of leaves. Five layers may be dried at one time using this method. Dry in a very cool oven. The oven light of an electric range or the pilot light of a gas range furnishes enough heat for overnight drying. Leaves dry flat and retain a good color.

When the leaves are crispy dry and crumple easily between the fingers, they are ready to be packaged and stored. Dried leaves may be left whole and crumpled as used, or coarsely crumpled before storage.”
with thanks to the University of Georgia.

I have weighed them down on a baking sheet with a cake cooling rack, and set the oven to the lowest setting.
I left the oven for about 7 hours-all day really. And when they emerged they were crisp and flat and had kept the colour quite well. I have packed them all into a small jam jar I sterilised and have put the top on. I think I may try to find some pretty jars and give them to unsuspecting people as presents!

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2 thoughts on “These are not just any bay leaves…

  1. Judith — I just found your blog today and enjoyed reading it. I have a couple of questions on your bay leaf tree. How large does this grow? And, do you know an on-line supplier where I could buy one?

    Mary
    Albuquerque

  2. Thank you for your kind comments, I’m glad you are enjoying it. My larger bay tree is in a pot about 18 inches square now. After its “haircut” it is about 5 feet high from the ground-so the body of the tree is about 3 feet 6 inches. Its clipped roughly into a pyramid shape. I have a smaller one about 2 feet high, but both started life a little specimens. I try to re-pot annually, but when they get big, just take out the top layer of compost and replace it with fresh. I feed them too with a handful of granular fertiliser.
    You can keep them to the size you want them with light trimming.I will post a picture of the clipped one.
    As for suppliers-I really don’t know. I think a quick Google search would be the answer.

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