I am doing a terrible job of using my basil plant to its full capacity. I constantly forget that it’s hanging out on our balcony, growing away for us. But when I remember to us it, it is always awesome. Fresh basil on pizza with some sliced tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella, perfection. Fresh basil in a loaf of bread, awesome. I’ve gotten so much better at making bread, thanks largely to my birthday mixer. I am a terrible kneader, as I am sure my family will attest, so having a mixer that can do so much of the work for me has allowed me to make fluffy, stretchy, beautifully consistant loaves. I am in heaven, as is my husband. So here is my latest loaf, a cheesy, basily loaf that according to Gen is reminiscent of pizza… It makes great bread for a sandwich, oh my it would be heaven for grilled cheese! It is also awesome when sliced open, slathered with some garlic butter and chives and broiled for garlic bread. Make it: moral of the story.
Also, thanks for your patience with my very-brief hiatus. I needed that time.
Mozzarella & Basil Bread
Adapted from here.
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tsp white sugar
- 2 tsps active dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, more as needed
- 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsps milk
- handfull of fresh basil, about 1/4 cup (or 2 tbsp dried basil) *technique time: layer all your leaves of basil together and lightly roll lengthwise. Cut this roll into thin strips, BAM you’ve cut all your basil in one shot.
- 1 egg, beaten for eggwash
- Combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a cup, stir lightly and allow to sit for 10 minutes, until creamy.
- In a large bowl combine the creamy yeast mixture with 1 cup of bread flour to form a loose batter.
- Stir in 1 more cup of flour and the salt.
- Add in the third cup of flour with the shredded mozzarella, milk, and roughly chopped basil. Mix in additional flour if needed, until a soft dough forms and pulls away from bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface, and knead until the dough is thoroughly mixed, but still sticky, 5 to 8 minutes. Add flour into the dough as you knead, if necessary. Form the dough into a ball, and place into an oiled bowl, lightly oil the dough to keep it moist. Cover, and allow to rise until double, about 1 hour.
- After it has doubled, punch it down in the bowl, to deflate. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface, and knead for about 3 minutes. Form into a football, tucking the seam at the bottom. Place on a parchment-lined (or greased) cooking sheet. With a sharp knife, slash the loaf in your desired pattern… nothing elaborate. Cover again and allow to rise for 25 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Uncover the loaf, brush lightly with your beaten egg.
- Bake until browned, about 25 minutes. Allow it to cool for about 25 minutes before slicing. Seriously, try.