When Aparna put up a message on facebook calling bread baking enthusiasts together for a bread baking group,I was excited.As you may know,Aparna is someone whom I adore for her baking skills.Simple,no-frill recipes and delicious,gorgeous looking breads are her forte.I knew I was in safe hands.
We Knead to Bake is a group of enthusiastic bakers who,under the guidance of Aparna are planning to bake a bread a month.For January,the chosen recipe is Herb & Cheese Pull-apart Loaf.I've seen and got intimidated by similar looking breads before so I was a bit wary before I went through the recipe.But believe me when I say this one's a really easy recipe which looks as good as it tastes.
Herb & Cheese(Paneer) Pull-apart Loaf Bread
For the dough
Warm milk - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 tsp
Active dry yeast - 2 tsp(I used Mauripan Yeast)
All purpose flour - 2 3/4 cups to 3 cups
Salt - 1 tsp
Butter - 25 gms,soft at room temperature
Garlic - 2 cloves,minced(or 1 tsp garlic paste)
Milk - 3/4 cup + a couple of tbsp to brush over the bread
For the filling
Melted butter - 15-20 gms
Mixed Italian herbs - 2 tsp
Chilli flakes - 1 tsp
Paneer - 1/2 cup,grated(or any cheese of your choice)
Put 2 3/4 cup of flour, salt, softened butter, and garlic paste 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.
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 herbs, pepper/ chilli flakes 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.
- The filling can be of your choice-pesto,mint or butter-garlic or even sun-dried tomato,olives,caramelized onions-choices are aplenty.
- This versatile bread can be made into a sweet loaf too-just add 1/4 cup of sugar to the dough and proceed with the filling.Think Cinnamon-sugar,Orange marmalade-raisins,Chocolate chips and many more!