This bread would be great served with a nice bowl of soup but I love it on its own, warm from the oven. I dare you to try not to eat half a loaf of this bread in the first sitting! I filled it with things I had in my cupboards, next time I will make a 2nd one filled with homemade basil pesto.
You will need-
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1 7g pouch of dry yeast
- 2 + 1/2 cups plain flour plus extra for kneeding and rolling
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp softened butter
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 to 1/8 cup pecorino or other hard cheese
- 1/8 cup sundried tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic
- Olive oil
Start by combining the water and yeast in a large bowl and then set aside for around 5 minutes. While you're waiting mix together 1 cup of flour, the sugar, salt and butter in a separate bowl.
When the 5 minutes are up add the flour mixture to the yeast and mix until it is all incorporated. I used dough hooks on my hand mixer but you could use a wooden spoon or if you're lucky enough to own one, a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Next add the egg and mix for a few more minutes.
Then slowly start adding the remaining flour whilst constantly mixing until a soft dough is formed. It should pull apart from the sides. You may need to use a little more or a little less flour. Overall you should have a slightly wet dough so don't add too much flour.
Place the dough in a floured bowl in a warm place covered with a tea towel for at least an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Whilst the dough is rising place all your filling ingredients into a little electric food chopper (sorry my mind has gone blank on the proper name!) and mix. Then add olive oil a little at a time till you have a nice paste consistency similar to pesto. Season with salt and pepper and then put to one side.
When the dough has risen knock all the air out and roll out flat onto a floured surface. Get it nice and thin then spread the filling all over the dough.
Oil and flour a bread tin.
Firstly cut the dough into 10cm or so strips and place them on top of one another then cut those strips into squares and stack them into the bread tin. Place back in a warm place with a tea towel over for 30-45 minutes till it has nearly doubled in size. During this time pre-heat your oven to 170C.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top. In the last few minutes of baking grate a little of the cheese on top and then return to the oven. Leave it to cool in the tin for around 20 minutes and then invert onto a plate. It may help to use a knife to go around the edges of the pan if it catches.
I am looking forward to trying out different combinations in the future including some sweet fillings. What is your favourite filling?