Cheesy Garlic Bread
It was raining incessantly all day only to give a slight repose in the late afternoon. The weather was cold and still. We had had a mighty lunch and no one was in a mood for a very elaborate dinner. All we wanted was some warm and comforting food. I already had a rice dish in my mind for the mains. But as the weather called for it, I wanted to make a soothing carrot, tomato and lentil soup. Now, what is soup without some warm bread to go with it. So, I just tweaked my usual bread recipe a little, added the fun of cheese and herbs and we had this beautiful monkey-bread or pull apart crown, each carrying the hint of garlic, aroma of herbs and oozing cheese at the centre. It is safe to say that we ended up having mostly bread and soup for dinner and most of the rice dish remained untouched!
For the bread dough:
2.5-3 cups plain flour
0.5 teaspoon salt
1 heaped spoon dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder optional
A knob of butter
For the garlic herb coating -
1/4th cup melted butter
2 teaspoons mixed herbs
1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
1 teaspoon chilly flakes
Cheese of your choice - cut into 16-20 bite size cubes
Mix sugar in luke-warm water
Gently add yeast to the water and wait for 10 mins for the yeast to bloom
In a mixing bowl, mix flour, garlic powder and salt. Pour yeast mix and knead into a soft sticky dough using more water as required
Knead for at least 10 minutes, adding olive oil towards the end.
Once the dough comes together, keep in a bowl, dab with more olive oil, cover with a damp towel and keep aside for first proofing for up to 1.5 hours.
When the dough has doubled in size, knock down the dough and shape into 16-20 balls.
Prepare the herb coating by mixing herbs, minced garlic, chilly flakes in butter
Take each dough ball in the centre of your palm, press in a cheese cube to the centre and roll the ball again so the cheese cube is well hidden inside.
Dip each ball in the herby-garlic butter
Arrange the dough balls in a baking pan (I used a bundt pan)
After you have arranged all dough balls, pour rest of the herby-garlic butter on top.
Cover with damp cloth and keep aside for about 30 mins for a final proofing
Bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degrees for 25-30 mins depending on over standards.
Let the bread cool down in the pan for 10 mins before removing from tin, brush generously with butter. Keep covered with soft cloth to keep the crust soft
Serve with soup or as an appetizer