379. feta olive and basil bread
Since mid January, I have been having some teeth problems. Can I blame my 50+ age, approaching menopause or genes? Since childhood I have been pretty regular with brushing, flossing, mouth washes etc. By the way after all these years of bombarding people with adverts of the benefits of mouth washes, some health gurus claim that mouth washes are actually bad for our teeth. Whatever, its just given me an excuse to stop buying those expensive, coloured, gum burning liquids and go back to the salted water gargle. So during my umpteen visit to the dentist, I came across a recipe of bread with feta,olives and basil in a home living magazine. Mentally noted what the filling was all about and went to sit on the dental chair. Yesterday, I thought I must bake the bread before I forget about it. In spite of the extremely hot weather, I kneaded the dough for 12 minutes non stop…. yes good workout for the arms (though my arms still appear as though I am a sumo wrestler!). After the task of kneading the bread was over, I looked as though I have just come out of the shower… dripping wet! So here’s the recipe of my hard workout and by the way I am less on tooth today 🙁 Yes it seems old age is catching up fast and my siblings are teasing me that I pretty soon may have dentures. Dentures can wait but not the baking bug.
FETA OLIVE AND BASIL BREAD
1 big loaf
3½ cups plain flour/ all purpose flour/ bread flour
2¼ tsp dry active instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1-1¼ cups warm water
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup sliced olives
1 tsp dried basil or ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
1 tsp garlic paste
extra oil for greasing and brushing
- Put the 3 cups of flour in a big bowl.
- Add sugar, salt and yeast to it and mix it.
- Rub in the olive oil.
- Add the warm water and form a dough.
- Sprinkle some flour onto a worktop or a big board.
- Put the dough onto it and knead it using the heel of your palm for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Make the dough into a huge round shape.
- Rub oil all over the bowl and the dough.
- Place the dough in the bowl and cover it with a cling film.
- Put it in a suitable warm place for the dough to rise till its double the size. I usually leave the dough for 2 to 3 hours.
- Punch the dough down gently. Sprinkle more flour over the worktop or board. Divide it into 9 equal parts and roll into a ball.
- Mix all the ingredients for the filling.
- Take one ball and using your thumb and fingers make it into a bowl shape.
- Add 1 tsp of the filling and close up the edges.
- Roll the dough into a round shape and place it in a greased tray with the sealed part at the bottom.
- Repeat steps 13 to 15 using the remaining dough and filling. Place the balls near to each other.
- Place the tray in a warm place and let the dough rise again till its nearly double the size. I let it rest for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Brush olive oil over the tops of the buns and sprinkle some basil over it.
- Place the risen dough in the oven to bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till the tops are golden brown.
- Remove the bread from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for a bit. Its tastes really good while it is still warm.
- You can add the filling to the dough and mix it in after the first proofing.
- Shape the dough as you like, into a log shape, buns or as a loaf.
- Use any tray or tin you like, square, round, loaf tin etc.
- Check out the kneading technique.
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