I learned the joy of eating home made bread from my daughter. It started with the butternut Squash rolls that I made in a bread baking session with a friend and brought some home. After having tasted those, each fall she would merrily point to the butternut squash and look at me with a twinkle in her eyes and ask me if we could buy it. Despite knowing why she wanted it, I would still ask her, “ Hmm! I wonder what we can make with that!” And she would always reply with a gleeful smile and a dimple on her cheek, “The best squash rolls in the world.” That those were the only squash rolls she had ever had was besides the point. So we made those squash rolls a part of our Autumn tradition and we whipped up a batch or two every fall. She would patiently wait for them to slightly cool down, then ask me to slice a couple of buns in two, add in some jam, hand me one of those and then sit on the floor cross legged and ask me to sit with her. Then she would take her first bite of the bread and close her eyes and enjoy it in silence.
The delight in that silent eating, the blissful satisfaction of having made something so nurturing and nourishing seeped deep inside. In that one moment, bread baking became soul satisfying.
Time flew and she grew up And she discovered other kinds of breads ( read – enjoyed eating them) and wondered if her mom could make some at home. It looked an innocent request at the time, but with the amount of bread baking I have done this past year, she might have just woken up a bread monster in me. How else would you describe the fact that I have decided to bake along with some blogger friends for the next 12 months as part of the project “We Knead to Bake”.
This first bread, as part of the project “We Knead to Bake” is a pull apart bread. Aparna, who writes the beautiful blog My Diverse Kitchen is the Mastermind of the project. She plans a recipe, sends in instructions and we bake anytime during the month and post on the 24th of each month. For this month’s bread, we could use a filling of our choice and shape it any way we liked as long as we used the same basic recipe. I chose to make the sun dried tomatoes with Gruyere pull apart bread with a hint of garlic and chilli flakes.
This Bread has also been submitted to Yeast Spotting
Sun Dried Tomato and Gruyere Pull Apart Bread
For the Dough:
- 1/2 cup warm milk
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 25 gm butter soft at room temperature
- 1 tbs garlic minced
- 3/4 cup milk + a couple of tbsp to brush over the bread
For the Filling:
- 15 to 20 gm melted butter
- 2 Tbs sun dried tomatoes
- Crushed pepper/ red chilli flakes to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyere
- In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the 1/2 cup of warm milk. Wait 5 minutes till the yeast bubbles up.
- Put 2 3/4 cups of flour, salt, softened butter, and garlic paste in the bowl of your stand mixer and with the paddle attachment, mix it all in.
- Then add the yeast mixture andthe 3/4 cup of milk and stir till everything is mixed.
- Switch to the dough hook and knead until you have a soft, smooth and elastic/ pliable dough which is not sticky. Add a little extra flour if your dough is sticking,but only just as much as is necessary.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat itcompletely with oil. Cover and let it rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or untilalmost double in volume.
- Dust your work surface lightly with flour. Deflate the dough, add in the tomatoes, cheese, garlic and chili flakes.
- Make 30 walnut size balls out of the dough, leaving a bit extra for the stem and leaves.
- Place the dough balls in the shape of a grape bunch, cover with a cloth and let rise until doubled.
- bake on 350* F for 25- 30 minutes.