I consider myself a home baker because I love baking sweets and treats for family and friends. But one thing I’ve never made is bread.
Oh sure I eat plenty of it but I have never attempted to make it on my own.
So when I saw in an email from King Arthur Flour that they were having a #bakealong challenge in August, I immediately bookmarked their blog.
Their site has easy to follow instructions with photos and tips for making this beautiful bread.
Of course I had to mix it up a bit by using a Mexican cheese blend and some roasted red peppers. Oh the smells emanating from my oven when I opened the door were scrumptious.
The gals at the office were the lucky recipients of my first experiment.
I think it turned out mighty fine if I do say so myself. Don’t be afraid to try it and be sure and visit the King Arthur Flour blog for step-by-step pictures.
3 cups Unbleached Bread Flour
2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 c lukewarm milk
1/3 c lukewarm water
3 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 c Mexican cheese blend, shredded
1/2 c roasted red peppers, drained and cut in 1 inch pieces
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 c fresh basil, roughly chopped
Combine the first seven ingredients in a mixing bowl. Knead dough by hand or mixer until dough is soft and combined.
If using a stand mixer, the dough will stick a little bit to the bottom of the bowl.
Place dough in a bowl that has been lightly greased. Cover the dough and let it rise for 46-60 minutes or until it is doubled in size.
Once dough had risen, gently punch it to deflate the dough. Flatten the dough into a large 22″ x 8 1/2″ rectangle.
Sprinkle on the cheese, minced garlic, red peppers and basil on the dough.
Starting with the long edge, roll dough into a long log. Pinch edges to seal all the way around.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the log seam side down.
Take kitchen shears and cut log from 1/2” from the end to 1/2″ to other end lengthwise. Cut 1″ deep.
Keep cut side up and shape dough into a S shape. Tuck ends of the log under the center of S to form a figure 8. Pinch ends together to seal.
Once again cover dough and let rise in a warm place for 45 to 6p minutes, until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees while dough rises.
Uncover bread and bake for 25 minutes. Cover bread with foil to prevent over browning and continue to bake for additional 15 minutes.
Remove bread from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Enjoy warm or at room-temperature.
Serve with olive oil and Italian seasoning mixed in olive oil.
*Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.