Monday, December 21, 2020

Savoury star shaped bread...

I personally like savouries over sweets. But any festival calls for loads of sugary stuff and Christmas is no different. Cakes, cookies, pies, sweet breads everything is delicious but too much of sweetness is not something I prefer. So today I prepared a savoury bread and keeping the festive mood of the Christmas I have chosen a star shaped bread. So here is my Christmas savoury star shaped bread filled with roasted red bell pepper and tomato sauce and lots of cheese.
The star shaped bread may look intimidating to make, but actually it’s not that complicated. The base of the star shaped bread is same as a pizza base. You need a little patience and a steady hand while layering and cutting the dough. This was the first time I made this bread, so wasn't sure about the result. But it came out really good. Next I will try to take a video of the steps.

I used active dry yeast for making the bread. While using yeast always proof the yeast before adding it to the flour. Proofing means to check the whether the yeast is alive or not. Or else the dough will not rise. To prrof yeast add a little warm water and sugar in a bowl or glass and mix the yeast in the water, cover and wait till bubbles appear.

While dividing the dough I used the weighing scale for precision, but you can always eyeball the amount of dough.

I prepared a special homemade sauce to layer the bread. I like to incorporate red bell peppers in my cooking and we get plenty of fresh red bell peppers during this time. So I roasted the bell pepper directly on fire, and added that to the tomato based sauce for the bread. 

I used a mix of grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese for the filling along with the sauce.

Place the small bowl at the centre before cutting the bread.

The star shaped bread looked like this before baking.

This bread can be done with various different fillings, from sweet fruit jams to savoury pestos, whichever is the choice.

Ingredients to make the star shaped bread:

For the dough:

  • Flour: 3 and 1/2 cup
  • Active dry yeast: 2 and 1/4 tsp
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Sugar 3 tbsp
  • Olive oil: 1/4 cup
  • Garlic powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Oregano: 1 tsp
  • Red chili flakes: 1-2 tsp
  • Warm water: 1 and 1/4 cup

For the sauce:

  • Red bell pepper; 1
  • Tomatoes: 4-5
  • Onion: 1 
  • Garlic: 5-6 cloves
  • Oregano: 1/2 tsp
  • Thyme: 1/2 tsp
  • Basil: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper powder 1 tsp
  • Sugar to taste
  • Paprika powder: 1 tsp
  • Olive oil: 1/4 cup

To assemble

  • Pizza dough
  • Red bell pepper tomato sauce
  • Cheese
  • Olive oil
Fresh herbs to garnish

Steps of making star shaped bread:

  1. In a bowl add the yeast, a teaspoon of sugar and 1/4 cup of water, give it a good stir. Cover and let it sit for 5-6 mins or till bubbles appear.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 2 cups of flour, olive oil, salt, oregano, red chili flakes and mix at  low speed for 2-3 mins.
  3. Add the bubbled yeast to the flour and mix at low speed. Add rest of the warm water and keep mixing. Add rest of the flour and mix till the dough comes together. Increase the speed and knead the dough for 10 mins. Grease the bowl with olive oil, cover and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or till the dough rises to double.
  4. While the dough is rising, roast the red bell pepper on fire. Let it cool down, remove the charred part and cut and clean the bell pepper and make small pieces. Grill the tomato and other ingredients (except the olive oil) for the sauce on a pan. Cool down and make a smooth paste along with the olive oil. The savoury sauce is ready.
  5. Take the dough and divide into 4 equal parts. I used the weighing scale for exact measurements.
  6. Take each dough ball and make a round flat base of 20-22 cm diameter.
  7. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the round base. Brush it with olive oil, spread a the red bell pepper tomato sauce, grated cheese. Place the next rolled dough. Keep repeating with all the dough.
  8. After finishing stacking all the 4 rolled with the filling, place a 6 cm round small bowl or cookie cutter at the centre. This is the centre of the star shaped bread. Using a pizza cutter cut 16 even strips, from the edge of the stacked dough to the edge of the bowl at the centre . The centre  will be intact.
  9. Grab two adjacent strips and twist away from each other and press the ends together to form a pointed end. The star bread will have 8 pointed ends.
  10. Pre heat the oven 350 F (175 C).
  11. Brush the dough with olive oil and bake for 30 mins. Take out the bread and let it cool down for 10 mins on wire rack.
  12. Serve hot.

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