Yeast bakes and deep fried goodies are my personal cooking waterloos...in simpler terms, they scare the daylights out of me since I rarely get them right :-) This is one of the main reasons I jumped into the 'We Knead to Bake' group on Facebook, started by fellow foodblogger and ace baker, Aparna. I rarely retract once I give someone my solemn word and so joining the group ensured that I will have to compulsively face my yeast fear and cannot afford to get cold feet :-D what a yarn to introduce a bread, please excuse the verbiage, I blame it on my excitement in having got a tolerable, edible bread made. All thanks to Aparna's fool proof recipe to which I added minor tweaks.
The theme chosen for the month was a Herbs and Cheese pull apart bread. The original recipe was given by Aparna to which I have made personal modifications. I will write down the original dough recipe and my minor modifications will be provided alongside within brackets. The filling I chose is different to that of the original and it is my version that I give here. The method followed is identical to original.
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 (I used 1:1 propotion of whole wheat flour and APF)
1 tsp salt 25gm butter, soft at room temperature (I used 40 ml of sesame oil, instead)
3/4 to 1 tsp garlic paste
3/4 cup milk (+ a couple of tbsp to brush over the bread)
(2 teaspoons red rice flour for dusting)
For the Filling:
Sesame oil - 1 tablespoon
Finely shredded purple cabbage and carrots - 1/2 cup
Steamed fresh corn kernels - 1/2 cup
Sunflower seeds - 1 tablespoon
Sesame seeds - 1/4 cup
Dill leaves, finely chopped - 1/4 cup
Fresh Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 teaspoon
Zaatar spice mix - 2 teaspoons + 1/2 teaspoon to sprinkle above
Salt to taste (Zaatar is salty and so use salt sparingly)
Saute the ginger garlic paste. Dry roast the sunflower and sesame seeds seperately. Mix all ingredients together.
In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the 1/2 cup of warm milk. Keep aside forabout 5 minutes till the yeast mixture bubbles up. Put 2 3/4 cup of flour, salt, oil, and garlic paste in a large bowl. Then add the yeast mixture and the 3/4 cup of milk and knead till you have a soft, smooth and elastic/ pliabledough which is not sticky. Add a little extra flour (I used red rice flour for this)if your dough is sticking,but only just as much as is necessary. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat itcompletely with oil. Cover and let it rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or untilalmost 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 surfaceof the square with oil. Evenly sprinkle the filling, topped with Zaatar. 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 nothave to be perfect. Lay each strip on top of the next, with the topping facingupwards, 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 dividingit into 6 equal pieces (6 square stacks). Grease and lightly flour a 9” by 4” (or 5”) loaf tin. Butter and lightly flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan. 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. I topped this with a little of the filling mixture and some zaatar. Then, 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 goldenbrown. This recipe bakes one 9” by 5” loaf.
9 hours ago