Thursday, June 4, 2009
Basil and Cheddar Bread
I think I have discovered the best bread ever. At least for my little family's taste :) To veer away from our regular whole wheat bread, I added chopped fresh basil leaves and grated cheddar to our bread and the result was delicious!
This adventure all started when our German missionary friend, A, gave me a bottle of homemade salsa. (see the picture above?) She said this salsa would be delicious as dips or spread over tortillas or bread. I got her recipe, by the way, for the delicious spicy salsa, but have yet to make it :)
Anyway, I thought bread with basil would go well with the tomato salsa. And it does! I just thought of adding cheese because I have some left-over from the fridge. :)
Here's what I did:
2 and 1/2 C whole wheat flour
2 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C grated cheddar cheese
2 T chopped fresh basil leaves
1 and 1/2 t salt
1 and 1/2 t instant dried yeast
3 T olive oil
1 T honey
1 and 1/4 C warm water
grated parmesan cheese, for dusting
1. Put all the flours in a large bowl. Add in the cheese, basil, salt and yeast. Add the oil and honey. Gradually mix in enough water to make a smooth, soft, dough.
2. Knead well on a floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. For some techniques on kneading bread, please click here.
3. Put the dough back into the bowl. Cover with oiled clingfilm or a clean towel and leave in a warm place to rise for one to one and a half hour, until doubled in size.
4. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface, knead well then cut into 3 pieces. Roll each piece into a 12 inch length and transfer to a large greased baking sheet (I used olive oil in greasing the baking sheet.) Leave some space in between the dough rolls, to allow them to rise.
5. Make diagonal cuts along the top of each loaf, at intervals. Cover again with the oiled clingfilm and allow to rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
6. Sprinkle the loaves with parmesan cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 400 F. Bake for 15 minutes until golden and the bread sounds hollow when tapped with fingertips. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
These are the loaves fresh out of the oven. They smell really heavenly. I could not resist a bite. :)
This is a whole loaf, ready to be wrapped in foil. Sent this to A, whose delicious salsa was the inspiration for this bread. Guess what? She said their family liked this bread so much. (Maybe you think she is just being polite. No, ma'am. Our friendship is quite close enough to tell each other whether we like our food or not; and we do criticize each other's cooking and baking.) Even her little girl, who is a picky eater, loved it. And she asked me for the recipe. Here's the recipe, A. Enjoy! :)
Sharing this deliciously fragrant bread with the BYOB Bake Your Own Bread community, headed by Sandy at the Baker's Bench.