Another leap in my resolution of making as many bread recipes as I can this year. This one was a winner, a big thank you goes out to Chelle for suggesting the recipe to me today. The bread itself had the perfect flavor and texture. The recipe only took a few hours from the mixing bowl to the dinner table and was well worth every second. The best thing about this recipe is that it only makes one loaf so I do not have to worry about throwing away extra bread because my husband and I could not eat it in time.
The original recipe itself was for a fast white bread. And although that sounded wonderful I was looking for a way to tie the bread flavors into my baked ziti. Chelle had a great suggestion and I decided to give it a shot. I cut into the bread and saw the swirls that I had been waiting to see for hours. I was so excited to see those swirls that I started jumping up and down with excitement. :) The final swirl bread product tasted awesome although there was a lot of the raw garlic taste. I think that next time I will roast a head of garlic and mix that into the butter mixture instead of the minced garlic. I think that will give the bread a much deeper and satisfactory flavor.
Garlic Herb Swirl Bread
(Adapted from "Fast White Bread" The Joy of Cooking)
Yield: One 9x5-inch loaf
3 1/4 cups bread flour, divided
1 T sugar
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) active dry or quick-rise yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup very warm water (115-125 degrees F)
2 T butter or margarine, softened or melted
4 T butter, softened
1 T garlic, minced
2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
In a large bowl or the bowl of a heavy duty mixer combine 2 cups bread flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add in water and butter/margarine and mix by hand or on low speed for 1 minute. Add in remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough is moist but not sticky.
Knead dough for about 10 minutes by hand or with the dough hook on low to medium speed, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn it over to coat with oil. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (75-85F) until doubled in bulk, 40 to 45 minutes.
Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Punch down the dough and place onto lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangular no more than 9" wide. Combine butter, garlic, parsley and oregano and spread evenly over top of dough, leaving 1/2" at end to help seal loaf. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top of butter mixture. Tightly roll dough up into cylinder shape, pinching and tucking ends to form a tight seal and pinching seam to seal. Place seem side down into prepared pan. Oil the surface of the loaf and cover loosely with a clean cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 20 to 45 minutes. (If desired you can top the lof with parmesan cheese)
Preheat the oven to 450. Bake the loaf for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 and bake about 30 minutes more. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Remove the loaf from the pan to a rack and let cool completely before slicing.