So, how warm is warm enough, asked my friend. She meant the water’s temperature for proofing the yeast. When I started out with yeast, even I used to wonder the same as I did not have a thermometer to check on the temperature and still do not have one. To get the perfect raised dough, the proofing of yeast is very important and if the water is not hot enough the dough will not rise or if the water is very hot it will kill the yeast. Luckily for me during the initial days itself, I chanced upon a fool proof way to proof the yeast which has never let me down so far.
Baking a pull apart bread had been on my wish list for a long time now and got a perfect chance when I joined a group of bloggers avid on taking up baking breads every month and this pull apart rolls were chosen to be baked for the first month. I baked my first bread into a monkey bread due to shortage of time and followed the recipe to the T without changing any. The next day early morning around 3 in the morning I found myself wide awake and decided to bake this bread once again as the kids loved the earlier one very much. This time though I decided to bake it as a pull apart and the kids woke up to freshly baked bread aroma.
This time though as I had already used up all the paneer/cottage cheese I had, I decided to use Garlic and smoked tomato chutney/dip that I had in the fridge as we all love that one very much and it was a super duper hit. The bread tasted so garlicky, hot and spicy as the kids got to enjoy it with some soup that I made. Read on to proof your yeast the best way without worrying about the temperature of the water being perfect or not.
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Garlic Smoked Tomato Pull Apart Bread
Prep time: 30 mins | Rest time: 2-1/2 hours | Bake time: 40 mins | Makes: 1 loaf
For the Bread:
- All Purpose Flour – 3-1/2 cups
- Active Dry Yeast – 2-1/4 tsp / 1 sachet
- Sugar – 1 tbsp
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Garlic Powder – 1 tsp
- Water – 1/4 cup
- Milk – 1 cup
- Butter – 3 tbsp
- Vegetable oil – 3 tsp (for greasing)
For the filling:
- Garlic cheese spread – 3 tbsp
- Garlic & Smoked Tomato Chutney/Dip – 1/4 cup
- Mixed Dry herbs – 2 tsp
- Cheese, grated – 1/4 cup
1. Mix together flour, salt, garlic powder and keep aside.
2. In a mixing bowl add yeast. In a microwave safe bowl heat water for 30 secs. Pour it over the yeast. Sprinkle sugar on top and stir twice and leave it for 10 minutes without disturbing. You can also keep the mixing bowl in the microwave (with the power off).
3. Meanwhile, bring the milk to a boil, add the butter and switch off stove. Let it melt in the heat of the milk.
4. After 10 minutes, you can see a thick foamy layer on top with few tiny bubbles here and there. If you take a sniff, you can smell the aroma of bread. If you can see and feel all this then your yeast if good enough and continue to bake. Else start with new pack of yeast.
5. Add 1/2 cup of flour mixture and mix with a spatula. Now add the buttery milk mixture and start adding flour in batches while mixing with the spatula.
6. Switch to your hand and form a smooth dough. Now start to knead by pushing the dough with your palm and bringing in the edges to the middle and once again knocking it in the middle with your fist. The dough will once again spread. Repeat for 5 minutes and you can feel the dough becoming springy to your touch.
7. Grease another bowl with oil and place the dough in it and smear the top with oil to prevent it from drying out. Cover with a damp multi folded thick cloth or towel and let it rest for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or till it doubles in volume.
8. After the resting time punch the dough to release the air and knead again for a couple of times.
9. Dust a clean working surface with some flour and with the help of a rolling pin make a big square of the dough. It is okay if it is not a perfect square.
10. Brush the top with garlic cheese spread first, dump the garlic smoked tomato chutney/dip and spread that too all over the dough square. Sprinkle mixed herbs on top of it and top it with grated cheese.
11. Now cut the square with the help of a sharp knife or pizza cutter into 6 equal strips. Stack the strips one above the other with the filling facing upwards.
12. Once again cut the stacked strips into 5 equal slices starting from the top and cutting straight down to the bottom layer.
13. Grease a loaf tin with oil and arrange all the cut slices into the pan with the cut (inside) side facing the inside of the pan.
14. Brush the top with either butter or milk. Drop dollops of the dip here and there and sprinkle some herbs on top of it. Finally top with grated cheese if preferred.
15. Cover the tin with a damp cloth and let it rest once again for 1 hour for the second rise.
16. Preheat the oven at 180 C/350 F degrees and bake for 40 minutes or till browned on top.
17. Let it cool on a rack before you can enjoy it warm with your favorite cuppa.
1. The filling can be of your choice.
2. You can add an egg while you add the milk before kneading the dough.
3. Instead of cutting into strips you can make small balls of the dough and bake as a monkey bread.
4. Oven timings will vary accordingly.
You can check all the other bakers pull apart breads by visiting this link to draw some inspiration. I’m sure that if you are an avid baker, this will inspire you to bake one in case if you have not already so and in case if you are just starting out, you can definitely feel confident to bake one yourself.