I love the smell and taste of fresh baked bread. So much so that I can never wait until it has cooled done enough, I simply must have a small taste soon after it comes out of the oven. In case you are wondering, yes I’ve burned my mouth many times. And no I will never learn my lesson. It’s the aromas and sweetness. Sometimes the hint of fruit. Other times the cocoa or even the herbs and spices, I just can’t resist the scent and warmth. I find the process of baking breads relaxing and comforting. When I’m baking I daydream about how people have been baking breads throughout history. I reminisce about walking home from the boulangerie with my warm baguette when I lived in Paris, or about the warm dark breads in Prague. Sometimes I even wonder what kinds of breads were baked in the ancient buildings that surround me. I just love everything about bread.
Some months ago I was reading Roxana’s blog, A Little Bit of Everything, and she shared a recipe for a delicious looking bread. If you read Roxana’s blog you know that she often shares delicious breads or baked goodies, her Pull Apart Cheesy Herb bread was no exception. I have never seen or heard of pull-apart bread before, I promise I don’t live in a cave, but knew that it was something I needed to try. The method of preparing and rising the dough is different from ordinary breads and that was something that also intrigued me. I kept the mental imagine of her bread in the back of my head all these months until finally I got the extra push I needed. A few weeks ago I signed up to help Sarah-Jane shoot some photos of her silicone moulds for her booth at The Ideal Home Show in Scotland. One of the moulds she sent me was a large bread mould, she knows what I like. The large 3 lb mould was perfect for this bread and for all the baking in it’s near future. If you guys don’t know Sarah-Jane I recommend you stop by her blog and if you are in need of good silicone moulds then visit her company’s website. She comes up with the cutest treats like this flower bouquet I can’t get enough of. So stop by and say hi.
My First Pull-Apart Bread
Recipe based on Pull Apart Cheesy Herb by Roxana
1 pack fresh yeast 40 g
1 tsp sugar
11/2 cups whole milk ( 1 cup milk + 1/2 water)
3 cups or 360 g AP flour
1 cup or 120 g whole wheat flour
1 tbsp each, granulated garlic, dried oregano, dried basil,
melted or knobs of butter for filling
1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
Proofing the yeast:
1. In a large bowl combine the sugar, milk and crumble the yeast. Allow to sit until the yeast foams, about 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile sift together the A.P. flour and whole wheat flour. One the yeast has foamed, make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour in the yeast and stir until well combined. Kneed the dough on a floured surface into an elastic dough. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled in size.
2. In a small bowl combine the spices you will be using and set aside. If using a standard baking dish then lightly grease, if using a silicone mould no greasing is needed. Set bread mould/baking mould aside. Lightly punch the dough down, and divide into equal sized balls, I had 12. Roll the balls out into even sized disks. Brush the disks with melted butter, and sprinkle some of the spice mixture. Fold the disks in half into pockets and use a fork to firmly seal the pockets. Place the pockets inside the bread mould/baking mould as in the image below, stacking them side by side until all pockets are inside. Allow to rise again for 20 minutes.
3. After 10 minutes of the second rising, preheat the oven to 200c or 375f . After 20 minutes brush the bread with the lightly beaten egg. Bake in center of oven for 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool on wire rack before serving.