I consider the blogosphere as my extended family. For two reasons. One, i have wonderful friends around the block. And two, its only here that all people are bonded by food and love for it. The whole while, you make some friends and you pick up new recipes, new techniques and it s also a sure fire ticket to a joy ride.
When Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen who bakes everything and also makes it look beautiful, asked if food bloggers around the world would be interested in baking bread with her, i think she triggered off a chain of events that was loaded with excitement and passion. The beginning of such an event happens to be this bread, a pull apart loaf which she chose for January.
The prospect of acquainting with yeast can drive a few people up the wall. Unless your daily horoscope prediction says that anything beginning with Y can be easy on you today and the weather is bright and sunny, the Yeast INC is not a crowd favorite. Luckily for me, he has been kind and merciful and i have had swell times baking bread. But a pull apart bread was a first for me. And you know what anything first means in my life. Excitement. With a capital E.
I thoroughly enjoyed making the bread and it looks as though it s technically challenging et al. But oh! believe me, it s actually a breeze to make and my loaf was gone in less than 12 hours. I totally totally loved this bread because one, its egg free and two, it has the best thing on the planet, cheese. Come and see how i made that beautiful loaf. I m sure inspiration will follow automatically.
Recipe For Minty Herb Pull Apart Bread
( Pull apart loaf with a cheesy mint and herb filling)
Prep Time: 15 mins to knead
1 hour for the first rise
45 mins for the second rise
Cook Time: 30 mins
Makes one 9"X5" loaf
For The Dough:
Flour 2.75 cups to 3 cups
Instant yeast or active dry yeast 2 tsp
Sugar 1 tbsp
Warm milk 3/4 cup
Warm milk 1/2 cup to mix the sugar
Salt 1.5 tsp
Softened Butter at room temperature 30 g
Garlic paste 1 tsp
For The Filling:
Cheddar cheese 1/8 cup grated
Gouda cheese 1/8 cup grated
Dried mint 2 tbsp
Chili flakes 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds 2 tbsp
Sesame seeds 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves 2 tbsp chopped finely
Oregano 1/2 tsp
Butter 2 to 3 tbsp
Milk to brush 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds to top
How To Make It?
In a large mixing bowl, proof the yeast by adding sugar, 1/2 cup warm milk and yeast. Mix well. Set aside until frothy.
Once the yeast has proofed, take the flour in another mixing bowl and add salt to it.
Combine well using a whisk.
Add the butter to the flour and mix well until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
Make a well in the middle and add the proofed yeast mixture and the garlic paste.
Now slowly add the 3/4 cup of milk gradually and knead the dough to get a soft non sticky dough.
You may not need all the 3 cups of flour. Begin with 2.75 cups.In case you feel the dough is too sticky, add the remaining flour too.
Once you get a soft non sticky dough, grease a large bowl generously and place the dough and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Leave it in a warm place to rise until double in volume.
Once the dough has risen, punch back the dough.
Mix all the herbs and chili flakes and set aside. Keep ready the cheese.
On a well floured surface, place the dough and shape into a square.
Roll out dough into 12" X 12" square.
Now, sprinkle the grated cheese evenly on the rolled out dough.
Sprinkle the mixed herbs on to the dough now evenly.
Gently roll a rolling pin over to make sure that filling sticks to the surface.
Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 5 equal strips.
Place the strips one over the other making sure the filling side faces up.
You can add the strips cut from the edge in the middle.
Now, after assembling all the strips, cut the strips into 6 square pieces cutting through the stack.
Now stack the square pieces one over the other.
Grease a 9" X 5" loaf tin with butter.
And place these stacks layer wise in the tin.
Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let it rise until double in volume.
Takes about 45 mins depending on how warm or cold your weather is.
Towards the end of the second rise, preheat your oven to 180 C.
Once the dough has risen, brush with milk on top and sprinkle sesame seeds.
Bake for 30 to 40 mins until the bread turns golden brown. Mine got done in 30 mins precisely.
In case you find the bread browning, cover with a tin foil and continue baking.
Once done, let it cool in the tin for 10 mins.
Then invert the loaf and let it cool further.
P.S You can use any filling you want. Try some tomato dip or even cottage cheese.
Or make a sweet one with cinnamon and sugar.