We Knead to Bake #1 Pull Apart Bread
It’s been so long since a post appeared here on My Foodcourt. I have my hands full with many many different things and somehow the posts took a backseat. As far as the cooking is concerned, it has been exactly the opposite. The family has been relishing food from all over the globe! A pasta machine has been bought and we imagined ourselves sitting in a quaint little town in Italy while enjoying and savouring every bite of it :)
One of the things I had decided (no resolution ) was to bake as many breads as possible.I even spent one evening showing one of my friends how to make basic bread rolls. Then I saw Aparna’s post on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to bake a bread-a-month with her. Baking is good..but baking together is best . I needed the motivation to post here as well as bake and Baking bread together with so many bread bakers seemed the perfect opportunity.
It has been almost freezing cold here for the past many days. So the yeast needed lots of coaxing to get to work . I preheated my oven to 40 deg and left the yeasted dough to rise in it which seemed to help.
The first bread that Aparna chose was an egg free Pull apart bread.I followed the basic recipe that she had mailed everyone ; I went with some middle eastern flavours- Olives,Feta and Zaatar
Here’s the recipe for the Pull apart bread:
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, I used powder
3/4 cup milk (+ a couple of tbsp to brush over the bread)
For the Filling:
15 to 20gm melted butter
3 tsp Zaatar
1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
Red chilli flakes to taste
1/2 cup crumbled Feta
Handful of Chopped black olives
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.
Put 2 3/4 cup of flour, salt, softened butter, and garlic powder in the food processor bowl (or a large bowl) and pulse a couple of times to mix. 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.
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 unti lalmost 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 sprinkle the zaatar mix, chilliflakes and the cumin seeds and then the crumbled Feta cheese.Sprinkle the chopped olives. 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 . 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 4” (or 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 (mine took around 45 mins) minutes until it is done and the top is golden brown.
You can see all the many different flavours for this Pull apart bread on Aparna’s post here.
Once again thank you Aparna for the initiative and motivation as you always do.
(There seems to be some issue with the server on the new blog my-foodcourt.com. Since the posting deadline is today I am posting here and update on the new blog later.)
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