We have a picture here! And it only took a minute (or two). Oh my!! Zorra it's here finally! My belated entry for Bread Baking Day no.1, featuring herbs which is hosted by Kochtopf at 1x umrühren bitte ("Stir once please"). For the round-up please click here at Kochtopf. Check it out, bread bakers are showing their fantasy loaves! Becke, of Columbus Foodie will be hosting the second Bread Baking Day, theme will be announced on July 6th.
This bread has gone through a lot of trouble... or I as I should say, the baker has. Apart from the trouble I've had to post any pictures at all there was more. First, I prepared the filling and accidently left it out on the counter instead of in the fridge....not good! Postponed making the bread, disappointed as I was..
Yesterday life got in the way....big time.
Today I started dinner early by cooking the last steaks from this cow I had in the freezer (so sorry vegetarians but it was very organic if that helps?), my pepper mill broke in half, shooting all the peppercorns into the steak pan, over the stove and onto the floor! Sweeped the floor, crushed some pepper doing that and tipped the meat into another pan trying to save as much as possible (beef that is, not pepper!). Meanwhile making the stuffing for the bread and preparing the dough, making notes (yes I did).
Dashed out in the pouring rain to get my fresh herbs from the garden and back inside, slipping on little balls of pepper, banging my head against the door, twisted my ankle and dropped the herbs... Made dinner, had desert, baked the loaf, vacuumed the floor, cleaned the kitchen, missed the deadline.
Finally a herb flavoured bread:
400 gr frozen peas
handful fresh mint leaves
small amount of basil leaves
1 onion, minced
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
dash of lemon juice
Cook peas in boiling water, only a couple of minutes, enough to soften them and drain. In a sauce pan heat butter and olive oil and cook onions on medium heat, let them soften and glaze. Add fresh herbs and stew for 2 minutes. Add peas, lemon juice and stir, let cook for a couple of minutes more. Mash the peas (or use a food processor) but make sure there still is some texture, don't puree, season to taste. Set aside.
Little detour to explain this particular filling; on our first day in London we enjoyed some traditional pubfare. As mentioned on the menu: fish & chips with mushy peas.... Not exactly a winner name don't you think? But this vivid green stuff was actually quite tasty, I was surprised, so much so that I tried to recreate our meal in the first week home, adding a salad. From there the idea was born to use the peas as a stuffing in bread....
For the bread itself I used a basic dough consisting of:
500 gr white bread flour
150 gr organic whole wheat flour
1.1/4 ts instant yeast
1.1/2 ts salt
1 ts herbs de provence
2 tbs olive oil
approx. 380 gr water
Dough will be very smooth, very supple and easy to work with. First -bulk-rise one hour (or until doubled in size). Deflate gently and shape.
I divided the dough in half and used a kind of fake-braid for one half of the loaf, rolling the dough out to a rectangle and spreading half the filling in the middle of it, making sure that I had 4 cm of bare dough left on each side. Proceed to cut strips at each side, cuts pointing downwards and fold each strip over the filling, alternating between the sides. Let rise, covered for 45 minutes.
The other half of the dough was used to make butterflies. Again, roll the dough out in a rectangle spread the filling over the dough, this time only leaving a border of 1 cm all around. Roll up from each long side towards the middle, so the rolls will touch each other in the middle of the dough. Pinch both rolls together to make sure they won't unfold again. Cut into 2 cm wide strips and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Let rise, covered for 45 minutes.
Bake for 40 minutes in a preheated oven (200 C). Check the butterflies for doneness around 25 minutes into baking time.