Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cheese n herb bread...

Whenever I want to unwind or relax, I bake. Measuring all the ingredients, mixing them and finally when the aroma of the freshly baked bread or cake or cookies fills the room it feels magical. Research says baking satisfies our creative needs as well as all the processes involved in baking soothes our senses and releases some of our tension. For me baking a loaf of bread is the best cure for my blues.

Many are intimidated by baking bread at home. But in fact baking bread at home is much cheaper and very easy. Like anything you haven't tried before baking bread may sound daunting. But once you overcome the first barrier there is no looking back. I started 5 years ago and I bake at least one bread a week.

This time I made a cheese and herb bread. I used mild cheddar, mixed herbs and also chili flakes to flavor the bread. 

Things needed to make cheese and herb bread:

  • All purpose flour: 3 cups
  • Active dry yeast: 2 and 1/4 tsp
  • Sugar: 1 tsp
  • Water: 1 cup + 1/4 cup
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Cheddar cheese (grated): 1 cup
  • Mixed dried herbs: 2 tbsp
  • Chili flakes: 1 tbsp
  • Garlic powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Olive oil: 3-4 tbsp

Steps of making cheese and herb bread:

1. Proof yeast. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of the stand mixer, mix yeast, 1/4 cup warm water and sugar, cover and wait for 10 min, till the yeast bubbles up. Do not use hot water, the water should be just warm to touch (110 F/43 C). 

2. Add two cups of flour to the proofed yeast, rest of the water, salt, herb, chili flakes, oil and mix with a spatula. If you are using a stand mixer, use the dough hook and mix the dough on low speed (3-4). Gradually add rest of the flour and the grated cheese, keep mixing.

3. If using stand mixer, knead the dough over high speed (6) for 5-6 min. If kneading with hand, dust the working surface with flour and knead the dough for 10 min, stretch the dough away from you, fold, turn and repeat the steps. For reference you can check my other bread recipes, focaccia, braided bread 

4. Grease a large bowl with oil, put the dough in it, cover and keep in a warm place. Let the dough rise for 1-2 hours.

5. Lightly dust the working surface with flour, plop the dough on it. With a gentle hand make a rough rectangle of 9 by 12 inches. Now fold the bottom third up, just like we fold a letter, then fold the top third down so it overlaps the other part, now pinch to seal the top and bottom layers and also the sides, now it should be a rectangle of 9 by 4 inches. Don't worry if the shape is not perfect, make sure you pinch all the sides to seal them properly. Before folding the dough I also added little more grated cheese, this is optional.

6. Put the dough in a greased 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. Cover, and let the dough rise for 30 min. When you put the dough in the pan it may look uneven but after the rise it will fill the pan.

7. While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 200 C (400 F). Place the pan on the middle rack of the preheated and bake for 25-30 min. You can sprinkle more cheese on top just before putting the dough into the oven.

8. Take out the dough from the pan carefully and let it cool down on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy your bread.

If you like to get regular updates from me go to my Facebook page and click on the Like button. You can also follow my blog on NetworkBlogs. Thank you..!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment