Spring Comes Early in Phoenix
This picture was the end result of a day of baking that happened just before the heat began to strike in Phoenix. Isn't this a pretty loaf of bread? I shall blog of the story of its creation. :)
It all began with the purchase of some mozzarella bread sticks from the grocery freezer section. They were delicious and I thought to myself, "Surely, I can make these myself at a much lower price!" I decided that my recipe for braided bread,that I have had for years, would be a good choice of dough. My friend, who I have not seen or had contact with in almost as many years gave me this recipe. I think of her every time I use it. So, Jeanne Mealy, if you are out there, I think of you, and thank you for this delicious recipe. Here it is.
So, I decided string cheese sticks would be good to use and wrap in the dough. Here is what I did:
First, I made the dough:
In a sauce pane, heat the following to lukewarm (until the butter just begins to melt.) 1/4 c. water, 2 c. milk, 1/4 c. butter.
Add, using a mixer: 2 pkg. dry yeast, 3 T. sugar, 2 eggs,
3 1/2 c. flour, 1 T. salt. Beat until well blended.
You can see that I proofed the yeast first, before blending.
I blended it in a bread machine. Here is a similar one. It you are blending by hand, use a spoon to mix in the rest of the flour, or just leave it in your dough mixer. Add: 3 1/2 to 4 c. more flour and then let it rest if by hand. In the machine, I let it blend for 10 min. By hand, you should let it rest for 10 min. and then knead for 10 min. It should look like this when it is finished:
I divided the dough into two parts. This recipe usually makes 2-3 loaves of bread depending on the size you want the loaf to be. So, here is a picture gallery of what I did with my mozzarella stick experiment:
So, I didn't think I would need an entire cheese stick in each bread stick, so I broke them up. In retrospect, now I wish I used more like a half or whole after all. I rolled out a ball of dough into a strip flat and placed the cheese in the middle and sealed it inside. Next, I made another snake of dough and twisted it around the cheese filled snake. I placed them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Then, I melted some butter and added garlic to it and brushed the sticks with the butter. I let them rise a little while and when they looked about right, I baked them in a 350 degree oven for about 25 min.
As you can see, some of the cheese leaked out, and much of it was absorbed into the bread. They still tasted delicious, but I need to work out a few bugs.
With the rest of the dough, I made a loaf of braided bread. Divide your dough into 3 snakes, pinch them together and one end and then braid them. Pinch and tuck the bottom end. Let the loaf rise until it is double in size, then bake in a 350 degree oven until it is golden brown, about 35-40 min. This is a great loaf to give as a gift and really nice for Easter, too.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know if you have any tips on improving the cheese sticks!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!