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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Braided Cheese and Roasted Pepper Bread

Hi!   One of my goals this Autumn is to try a new bread recipe each week.   The bread I made yesterday turned out so good I want to share this with you.   My inspiration for this recipe comes from a Better Homes and Gardens book which is a part of a set of cookbooks shipped monthly to me in the early 80’s.  The cookbook is titled “All-Time Favorite Bread Recipes”.  

This is my adaptation for Cheese Braid….

Ingredients:     Yield is two braided loaves

3 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour – plus more for dusting and kneading
½ cup water
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons honey
1 cup milk
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 egg
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
½  cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped roasted peppers
One extra egg for brushing the braids
¼  cup  grated parmesan cheese to sprinkle over the tops of each braid


To a 1 cup container add the honey and then cover with warm water.   Stir to combine.  When the temperature from the stirring has reduced the temperature of the water to lukewarm, add the yeast and stir to combine.   Set aside for 10 – 15 minutes to proof.

Meanwhile, to a large mixing bowl add the flours and the salt.   Dry whisk to combine.   Set aside.

 Now, to the bowl of a large food processor add the milk, and egg.   Run the processor on low until well combined.

 Then, to the egg mixture add the yeast and run again on low until well combined.

Next, gently top the wet mixture with the dry mixture and run on low until well combined and you have a smooth wet dough.

Now, to a lightly dusted work surface (with whole wheat flour) place the dough and sprinkle a little of the flour over the top.   Knead for a few minutes until the dough is smooth.

Next, pat and push the dough until it is thin and flat.

Top the dough with the chopped roasted peppers.

Top the roasted peppers with the shredded cheese.

 Fold the dough over, and then fold again.  

Add more flour if needed and knead the peppers and cheese into the dough.   

Then, make a ball of the dough and place it in an oiled bowl, cover top of bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot ( I use the interior of my microwave oven).   It should double in size in one hour or so.

When doubled in size, punch it down and divide in two.

Then divide the two halves into thirds, and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Then, roll each small ball into a 14 - 15 inch rope.

Then, pinch three ropes together at one end and braid the dough.   Pinch the other end and then fold each end under.   Repeat the process for the other three ropes.

Next, place the braids on an oiled stone or parchment lined tin.   Pat and shape.   

Allow the braids to rest and raise again for about 45 minutes to double in size.    About 15 minutes before you are ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

When the braids are ready to bake, whisk one egg with a ½ teaspoon of water.   Then brush each braid with the egg mixture.

Then, sprinkle the top of each braid with some grated parmesan cheese. 

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until done.   If tapped, the bread should sound hollow.    If during the baking process the braids are getting too brown, tent with foil.

Remove stone from oven when done and place on a wire rack to cool.    Remove the braids from the stone after 10 minutes and place them on the wire rack to continue to cool.


Note:   This is a lovely bread to give as a gift.   The nice thing about a double yield is you can keep one to enjoy with your family too.

Link for the referenced cookbook:
All-Time Favorite Bread Recipes 

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