Finally I am at a stage where breads don’t resemble bricks anymore!
So, when I saw a post in Facebook from Aparna Balasubramanian about baking breads together as a group, I joined. 12 breads for 2013, a new bread each month - ‘We Knead to Bake’ (such an apt name!) was born.
This month’s recipe was Herb & Cheese Pull Apart Bread.
I started baking the bread when some friends were there. In my excitement, I took the bread out before it was fully baked and served everyone. Luckily the bread tasted so fine that we didn’t pay much attention to the underbaked part.
The spice was just perfect for the Indian palette and a bit of cheese and pesto took the bread to a whole new level. Wish I had paid more attention to the baking time, though!
So I made up my mind to try this recipe once again, this time with a sweet filling. I had tried making the tutti frutti filling for a Russian rose bread before, so I tried the same filling. This was meant for kids at a pot luck party, so to be on the safe side, I added a handful of chocolate chips as well. A sweet bread with colorful tutti frutti and chocolate chips – that’s happiness in a nut shell ( for me at least! :) )
For the dough:
- Warm Milk : 1/2 cup + 3/4 cup (approx)
- Yeast : 2 tsp
- Sugar : 1 tsp
- AP Flour : 2 3/4 cups ( + 1/4 cup, if required)
- Butter : 25 gms, ,softened (Or oil)
- Salt : 1 tsp
- Garlic : 1 tsp, crushed (omit for sweet bread)
(**Sugar: 1/4 cup, if you are making sweet bread)
- Butter : 2 tbsp, melted
- Mint Coriander Pesto : 1/4 cup
- Grated Cheese : 1/4 cup
- Chilli Flakes : 1 -2 tsps (per taste)
- Jeera : 1 tsp
- Tutti Frutti : 1/2 cup
- Chocolate Chips : 1/4 cup
- Butter : 2 tbsp, softened
- Mix warm milk and the dry yeast. Add sugar, mix and leave aside for 10 minutes to bubble. If the yeast doesn’t foam up, then discard it and start again.
- In a big wide bowl (or food processor), add the flour, salt, crushed garlic(if using), butter and whisk once. Pour in the yeast mix and another 1/2 cup of milk to form a smooth dough. You might have to adjust the milk quantity a bit to get a smooth elastic dough.
- Knead in a floured surface till you get a smooth, non sticky elastic dough.Set aside in an oiled bowl for about 1.5 hours or until the dough doubles in size.
- Punch the air out once the dough has risen and knead for a minute. Roll it out into a 12X12 inch square. Brush the melted butter on top and spread the pesto on top. If you are using tutti frutti filling you will have to mix it with softened butter and then spread it on top.
- For savory filling, sprinkle the grated cheese uniformly across the dough. For sweet bread, its the chocolate chips that gets sprinkled. Press the filling lightly with a rolling pin so that it doesnt fall off.
- Cut the dough into 6 equal strips using a pizza cutter. Keep the strips on top of each other so that you have a single stack with 6 pieces.
- Measure the width of the loaf pan. Slice this stack into pieces, again using a pizza cutter, with each piece equal to the width of the pan.
- In a loaf pan, stack the pieces. Cover with an aluminium foil and set aside to raise till the dough reaches the top of the pan, about 1 hour.
- Pre heat an oven at 200C for 15 minutes. Bake this bread for 30 to 40 minutes until it is done. Brush with melted butter and serve.