Stuffed braided bread
Intricate looking breads lined up in the bakeries or proudly displayed on the dinner tables have always fascinated me. I thought i will start from the easiest one. At the same time, with bread renowned to be so time consuming, I only wanted to bake one dish and serve a whole meal. This inspired the recipe for this veggie-paneer (Indian cottage cheese) stuffed braided bread. It is not as difficult as it looks, and if i can make it, i consider it a beginners recipe. So here it goes..
Ingredients: Filling: 1 tbsp cooking oil 1 onion, finely chopped 1 tomato, finely chopped green peas, a handful 1 green capsicum, finely chopped 1/2 cup chopped cabbage 125 gm cottage cheese, cubed spices - 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp as per taste - salt, cumin seeds, garam masala, tumeric, red chilli powder Bread: 1 and 1/2 tsp dry yeast 1 tsp sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup warm milk 2 cups flour (plain and whole wheat, half and half) water Seeds mix - lightly toasted pumpkin, sunflower, poppy and sesame seeds 1 egg white 1 tsp olive oil Method: I made the bread dough and while i set it aside for the first proofing, I worked on getting the filling done. Filling:
Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seedsAdd onion and saute till golden brownAdd tomato, peas, cabbage, capsicum cover and saute till almost doneAdd cottage cheese cubes and add the spice mixCover and cook for another couple of minutes Bread:
Add 1 and 1/2 tsp yeast to half a cup of lukewarm water, add 1 tsp sugar to this and give a little stir. Set aside for 10 mins till the yeast work on the sugar and form a frothy mixtureMix salt to the flourGradually add yeast mix to the flour, careful not to hit the yeast with saltKnead to a soft dough, adding milk as requiredKnead for 8-10 minutesTuck the dough in and apply olive oilCover and leave the dough to rise until double in size (about 1 to 1 and 1/2 hour) Assembly:
Once the dough has proofed, flatten it out on a dusted surfaceRoll it into a rectangleThis recipe can make uptos 2 portion, I saved half of the dough for another recipe (see twisted jammy bread)Leaving a roughly 2 inch strip running down vertically in the centre of the rectangle, cut horizontal strips fanning out on both sides of the rectangleIn the centre spread the filling evenlyStart folding in the strips over the filling, neatly tucking down on alternate sidesLightly egg wash the loaf and sprinkle the seed mix generously on top.Apply another layer of egg wash to get the seeds embedded in placeCarefully transfer the loaf onto a lined baking tinCover and let it stand again for 10 minsBake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 25 to 30 mins.If the loaf starts browning more than you would like, cover with a tin foil and continue cooking