Yay I finally made it on time . It has been ages that I completed a Daring Baker’s Challenge on the revealing day. The name says it all - Beautiful Bread.
Beauty surrounded the Daring Bakers this month as our host, Sawsan, of Chef in Disguise, challenged us to make beautiful, filled breads. Who knew breads could look as great as they taste?
As Sawsan mentioned this challenge seems complicated and intimidating but trust me it is not, its very easy. The original recipe was a sweet bread with cinnamon and sugar filling. We were allowed to make any kind of filling, I decided to use cheese( Italian cheese blend), seasoning and chili flakes. The bread tasted good but lacked little salt. The next time I would add more salt to the bread and also add some to the filling.
You can come up with any kind of filling – just plain cheese, nutella,coco powder, dry coconut etc. The possibilities are endless. It takes less than ten minutes to prepare the dough and about fifteen minutes to shape them. So its definitely an easy one to try:)
After shaping the bread I was left with some dough, so I decided to make rolls. I rolled the dough into a rectangle, sprinkled the filling on one half side ; folded the dough; cut into strips;twisted them and finally baked it until golden brown.
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3-1/4 cups plain (all-purpose) flour, approximately
- 2 teaspoons dry yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, optional
- For topping
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Between the layers
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
- ½ cup cheese,herbs( I used Italian cheese blend and a teaspoon of Italian seasoning and little chili flakes)
- In a bowl whisk the egg with milk, water, sugar, butter and yeast. Set aside . In another bowl sift the flour with the salt and the optional cardamom. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and knead until you get a smooth dough.
- Place it in a bowl you have brushed with some oil and cover it with a wet cloth and leave it in a warm place to double (If you are tight on time you can heat your oven to 390°F then turn it off and place your dough in a glass bowl and place it in the warm oven with the wet cloth covering the bowl).
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.Divide the dough into 4 parts.
- Roll each part into a circle at least 20 cm (8 inch) in diameter.
- Brush the first layer with butter then sprinkle with cheese,herbs and chili flakes. Place the second layer on the first layer repeat the brushing and sprinkling and then do the same with the third layer. Top with the fourth layer, this time only brush it with butter.
- Using a knife make cuts that divide the dough circles into 8 triangles.Make cuts that go 2/3 of the way in the middle of each triangle.The cuts should not reach the base of the triangle nor the tip.
- Take the tip of each triangle and insert it into the cut you made and pull it from the underside. Arrange the triangles on your baking sheet.Pinch the two angles at the base of the triangle together Note: If you would like to add the little bread coil in the center simply roll a piece of dough into a rope then form it into a little coil and place it in the center where the heads of the triangles meet .
- Brush the dough with milk. Allow to rest for 15 minutes during which you would heat your oven to very hot 500°F (rack in the middle). (Go for the hottest your oven will do). Bake for 5 minutes on very hot 500°F, then lower the temperature to moderately hot 400°F and bake for 15-20 more minutes (ovens do differ greatly, so the time may differ…..what you want is to bake it until the under side is golden brown).
- If you have a broiler (grill) in your oven. Turn on the broiler (grill) for a couple of minutes until the bread is golden brown on top(I did not do this). Take it out of the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
If you plan the sweet one, instead of herbs and cheese use cinnamon(4 tablespoon) and sugar(1/2 cup) also after baking just drizzle condensed milk (1 can) on top when warm. Also, I must say it would be alot easier to shape the bread if you are using simple sugar and cinnamon as filling. With the cheese filling, I felt it was slightly tricky to shape them.