Begin by selecting the herbs your brush will be made of. This can depend on your personal preferences, as well as on the dish you wish to use the basting brush for. You can also choose to either make a brush with just one type of herb, or mix and match varieties as per your preferences and the dish. Make a large brush for basting meats like turkey, beef, or chicken, and for this, select herbs like thyme, rosemary, and sage. For lamb, make a basting brush with mint. Use a lavender brush to spread honey onto pastries, or a small rosemary brush to spread olive oil onto freshly baked focaccia bread. Other herbs that work great in herbal basting brushes include oregano, parsley, basil, dill and winter savoury.
Now, once you have decided on the herbs you will use to make the basting brush, go shopping and purchase the freshest sprigs of herbs you can find. The green grocer’s or a farmer’s market are both great places to look for fresh herb sprigs. Once you bring them home, prepare the sprigs for the brush – first, use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the sprigs until they are all roughly 6-inch-long stems. Then, proceed to wash them under running water, to get rid of any dirt or soil.
Once they have been washed, shake the herbs to get rid of excess water, and then proceed to arrange them in a bundle, in the shape of a rough brush. Once you have arranged the bundle as per your liking, tie it all together with a piece of twine, to secure it completely. Your herbal basting or pastry brush is now ready – use it at will, and discard it once you are done with it.