Top | Bread
(recipe, Anna Conley)
- ½ cup warm water
- ¼ cup sugar
- 4 tsp. instant yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm low-fat milk
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp. salt
- 6 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
- 8½ -ounce jar of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- ⅔ cup chopped basil (about ½ ounce)
- 1½ cups of shredded Italian cheese blend
- ¾ tsp. of granulated garlic or garlic powder
- Beat on medium speed of an electric mixer for a minute or so, until the dough starts to come together. Dianna’s original recipe called for 5 to 5½ cups of flour, but we found that made a very sticky dough, so we added a bit more flour…
- …to make a more cohesive dough that looked like something we could make bread with.
- Switch to a dough hook, and knead for about 5 to 7 minutes, till you’ve made a soft, smooth dough.
- Grease a bowl with olive oil. Place your dough into the bowl, and turn it over to grease the top. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until double, about 45 minutes.
- First, drain the oil from an 8.5-ounce jar of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes; lay the drained tomatoes on some paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
- Using kitchen shears, make ⅔ cup chopped basil (about ½ ounce). Chop the sun-dried tomatoes the same way. Measure out 1½ cups of shredded Italian cheese blend, and ¾ teaspoon of granulated garlic or garlic powder.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment.
- Once the dough has doubled…
- …deflate it and divide it in two. You’ll make two lovely loaves with this recipe.
- Roll one piece of the dough out…
- …until you have a rectangle approximately 8½” by 22”. A kneading/rolling mat makes the measuring (and cleanup!) easy.
- Sprinkle on half of the garlic…
- …and half of the tomatoes…
- …and half of the basil and cheese.
- Now roll the whole thing into a log the long way.
- Pinch the edge to seal, and place the log seam-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Here’s the part that looks tricky, but really isn’t: shaping.
- Get those kitchen shears out again, and cut lengthwise down the center of the log, about 1” deep, leaving about ½” uncut at each end to hold everything together.
- It’ll start to fall apart a little bit; don’t worry, just keep on going.
- Keeping the cut side up, take the ends of the log and form an “S” shape.
- Tuck the ends under the middle of the “S” to form a figure 8; pinch the ends together.
- Cover the loaf and let it rise in a warm place until double, about 45 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile, fill and shape the second loaf, and preheat your oven to 350°.
- When the first loaf has risen, place it in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting with foil after 15 to 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. The kitchen will begin to smell wonderfully of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and cheese.
- When the first loaf is golden brown, pull it out, set it on a rack to cool, and bake the second loaf.
- Mmmmm. Enjoy your gorgeous loaf – preferably with a crowd of family and friends who’ll be so impressed by its unique shape!