Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mustard and Cheese Bread

This is a must-try bread. Just take my word for it. Even if you've never baked another bread in your life, do try this. Its delicious, easy and very forgiving. I received this recipe from a friend many years ago. I've made it many many times since then, but have only just realized I haven't posted this on my blog.

It's from Martha Rose Shulman, who is a columnist for the New York Times and an author of several cookbooks. After the great success of this bread, I ran out and bought her book. It's just amazing. Buy a copy. 

Cheese and Mustard Bread

(From Great Breads by Martha Rose Shulman)

2 1/2 tsps Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm Water
1/2 cup lukewarm Milk
1 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Oil
1 large Egg, lightly beaten (about 1/4 cup)
1/4-1/2 cup Mustard (the recipe recommends Dijon but I used an Indian mustard, Kasundi. Also I used a little more than 1/2 cup, as I love the spiciness of Kasundi).
1 tbsp Shallots/ Onions, finely chopped (I used 2 tbsp)
1 cup Sharp Cheese like Gruyere, grated (I used Pecorino, because I love it)
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/4 tsp Salt
1 beaten egg, for egg wash (optional. I didn't use it).

Dissolve the yeast in warm water and let stand for five minutes until frothy.

Mix all the ingredients together including the yeast, in a bowl. (You can add several other options to this dough like cumin seeds, black pepper or any other herbs or spices, maybe even some nuts would be lovely). Keep mixing until they come together as dough. If too sticky, add a little bit of flour, but please go easy on the flour. Of course, you can add some water if the dough is too dry.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a well-oiled bowl and cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the warmth of the room.

Preheat oven to 180 deg C.

Punch down and shape the dough into a loaf. (Or any shape you desire). Place in a loaf pan and cover with a cloth. Leave again in a warm place and allow to double in size.

Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until down. (Adjust timings if you are making anything smaller than a regular loaf). To test if a loaf is done, knock on it gently and you'll get a hollow sound. Let it cool slightly and then remove from pan. Allow to cool for a further 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serve warm.

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