The aromas, the yeast, the waiting in anticipation for the dough to rise.......... all of these are what make baking bread fun. I have learnt and experimented various breads over the past couple of years. And I am still learning and experimenting.
Today morning I wake up and check Facebook and what do I see.......... loaves and loaves of pull apart breads. I was wondering how is it that everyone I know is baking a pull-apart bread. Well, the answer was in all the blog posts.......... it was for a project We Knead to Bake. I instantly wanted to be a part of this group and joined in the fun.
Aparna who authors at My Diverse Kitchen is the brains behind this project. Each month, Aparna chooses a bread recipe for the group to bake within that month and on the 24th the breads are posted on the various blogs and a link added to her post. I for one have never participated in any blog event or project ever. However, this is one project I would love to be part of and would love to participate.
For the Dough
1/2 cup warm milk
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons butter, soft at room temperature
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried rosemary - crushed
3/4 cup milk (+ a couple of tbsp to brush over the bread)
For the Filling
1 tablespoon melted butter
3 to 4 tablespoons of long hot pepper and cilantro spread
recipe for the spread is here
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
You may use a food processor or a stand mixer - but you must knead the dough by hand to enjoy the aroma and to get some therapy too ;)
In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the 1/2 cup of warm milk. Keep aside for about 5 minutes till the yeast mixture bubbles up. This is called proofing of yeast.
Put 2 3/4 cup of flour, salt, softened butter, crushed rosemary and garlic powder in the food processor and pulse a couple of times to mix. Remove this into a large bowl and add the yeast mixture and the 3/4 cup of warmed milk and knead till you have a soft, smooth and elastic/ pliable dough which is not sticky. Add a little extra flour if your dough is sticking - 1 tablespoon at a time to get the right pliable feel.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat it completely with oil. Cover and let it rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until almost double in volume.
Dust your work surface lightly with flour. Deflate the dough, shape it into a square and roll the dough out into a larger square that is about 12’ by 12”. Brush the surface of the square with the melted butter. Evenly spread the hot pepper and cilantro spread and sprinkle the grated mozzarella cheese on top. Use a rolling pin to very lightly press the topping into the dough to ensure the topping doesn’t fall off when you are stacking the strips.
Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough from top to bottom into 6 long and even strips – they do not have to be perfect. Lay each strip on top of the next, with the topping facing upwards, until you have a stack of the strips. You can put the 2 strips cut from the sides in the middle of the stack so it looks neater. Using a pastry scraper or a sharp knife, cut straight down through the stack dividing it into 6 equal pieces (6 square stacks).
Grease and lightly flour a 9” by 5" loaf tin. Layer the square slices, cut sides down into the loaf tin
Cover the loaf tin dough with a towel and allow the dough to rise for an hour. Lightly brush some milk over the top of the loaf. Bake the dough at 180C (350F) for about 30 to 40 minutes until it is done and the top is golden brown.
The steps for cutting the dough and layering them is very well illustrated here
|Click to see a collection the various pull-apart breads |
created for this project