HERB & CHEESE PULL-APART BREAD

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A few days back I came to know about a new Bread Baking Group – WE KNEAD TO BAKE!! –  formed by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen. The idea is to bake a bread each month and post it by the end of the month . Baking is something I love to do ( which must be obvious from my blog posts ), but i have yet to master the art of bread baking..

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January’s bread is HERB & CHEESE PULL-APART BREAD . ( Joined in the group late and so got a bit late in posting !! )  Since I am a novice in bread baking, decided to stick with the original recipe by Aparna… Her detailed recipe instruction was really helpful for a beginner like me..

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The dough was easy to work on. The only variation I did from the original recipe is the shape of the bread… Instead of stacking each layer of dough, I rolled them up and let them to rise …  While baking the bread , kids were asking me what is smelling so good in the oven?? :) Needless to say, hubby and kids loved this one..

There are a whole lot of variations done by the other members of the group, like adding veggies or going to the sweeter version with chocolate and cinnamon..  Will experiment with the fillings soon.. !!

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INGREDIENTS

 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
  • 25gm butter, soft at room temperature
  • 3/4 to 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 3/4 cup milk (+ a couple of tbsp to brush over the bread)

For the Filling:

  • 15 to 20gm melted butter
  • 2 tsp dried Provencal or mixed herbs*
  • 1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
  • Crushed pepper/ red chilli flakes to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

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Method:

  1. 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.
  2. Put 2 3/4 cup of flour, salt, softened butter, and garlic paste in a large bowl and knead together. Then add the yeast mixture and the 3/4 cup of 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,but only just as much as is necessary.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat itc ompletely with oil. Cover and let it rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until almost double in volume.
  4. 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.
  5. Evenly sprinkle the herbs, pepper/ chilliflakes and the cumin seeds and then the grated cheese. 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.
  6. Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough from top to bottom into 6 long and even strips – they do not have to be perfect.
  7. Butter and lightly flour a round cake tin.
  8. Roll each strip from one end to the other. Place the 6 rolls in a round pan , leaving space between them to rise.
  9. Cover the loaf tin dough with a towel and allow the dough to rise for an hour.
  10. Lightly brush some milk over the top of the loaf
  11. Bake the dough at 180C (350F) for about 30 to 40 minutes until it is done and the top is golden brown.

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