I have been having a bit of a bread baking frenzy. It started after the fete de Geneve, when a friend gave me a big bag of rehydrated dried mushrooms. I couldn't use them all so I froze it in bags. I also made a batch of bread dough for a dinner, which completely failed to rise. I am a persistent sort of girl though, so I put the bread dough in the fridge, and the next morning, when I looked in the fridge there was risen dough! Hmmm... what to do with it? I took it to work and at morning tea time, used some of the mushroom mix to make a loaf of cheese and mushroom pull apart bread. My colleagues devoured it and that just got me started...
Next thing I know, I am making cinnamon scrolls, fruit bread, and today, bacon onion and cheese pull apart bread.
Pull apart bread is great fun both to make and eat. Kneading bread is always satisfying, as is seeing the wonderful dough double, and then the pleasure of forming the lovely savoury bites. The scent of baking bread fills my apartment and I am only surprised that my neighbours haven't been knocking on the door demanding a bite!
This recipe is pretty flexible and you can put whatever filling inspires you into the centre, sweet or savoury.
Pull apart bread
1 package instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup warm milk
1 large egg
8 tablespoons melted butter or oil
1 onion finely chopped
150g bacon, finely chopped
200g cheese grated
Combine the dry ingredients. In another bowl put all the liquid ingredients, egg, milk & oil. Add a cup of the dry ingredients and stir well. Gradually add the other dry ingredients until you get a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured work surface for about 6 minutes until the dough is smooth and springy to the touch.
Place dry ingredients in bowl of electric mixer (not food processor). Use the mixing blade and add the wet ingredients. Once combined, change to dough hooks and knead for 4-6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and springy to the touch.
Oil a large bowl. Put the dough into the bowl and then turn it over so that the surface is oiled. Cover with plastic wrap. Place somewhere warmish (funnily enough, beside my laptop seems to work well for me, so that the warm air from the fan circulates around it) for about an hour and a half until the dough doubles in size.
Fry the onion gently it starts going transparent, then add the bacon. Fry just for a minute. Allow to cool while you grate the cheese.
Once the dough has risen, deflate and then grab pinches of dough (about the size of a walnut. Form into a ball, then flatten it out into a disk. Put a little of the onion and bacon and grated cheese onto the centre of the disk and then pinch it closed to make a little ball. Layer into a lightly oiled loaf tin.
Allow to rise about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Once the bread has risen, bake for about 30 minutes until the bread is a dark golden brown and when turned out of the tin the bottom of the loaf sound hollow when tapped.
Eat, ideally while still warm!