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Upset at having overlooked the time of my Tuesday fitness class, I settled on making bread to occupy my time. A quick check on the available ingredients in my refrigerator and i knew exactly what would please everyone – Cheesy Garlic & Herb Loaf for tomorrow’s breakfast!

While the loaves were in the oven, the smell of cheese-garlic-butter-herb in the air turned my otherwise bored afternoon into a exciting and happy one. Who cares that I should be burning calories and not loading it up? Nothing is more delightful than to savour a slice of freshly baked herb bread over a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Agree?

M.F.K. Fisher, author of The Art of Eating wrote, “No yoga exercise, no meditation in a chapel filled with music will rid you of your blues better than the humble task of making your own bread.”  How true he is!

Now, excuse me while I unmould my heavenly bread…..

CHEESY GARLIC & HERB LOAF
(For two L-22cm x W-12cm x H-8cm loaf pans)

Ingredients

(A)
320gm bread flour
80gm plain flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast

(B) Whisk lightly together in a jar :
220ml fresh milk
1 egg (60gm)

(C)
30gm butter, softened at room temperature

(D) Filling for two loaves :
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2 tablespoons garlic-herb butter spread (available at supermarkets)
5 slices of cheddar cheese, tear or cut into smaller pieces
1 teaspoon mixed herbs

(E)
1 egg, beaten (this is the eggwash)

(F)
3 slices of cheddar cheese, tear or cut into smaller pieces
30gm almond flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs

METHOD

1) In a mixing bowl, put ingredients in (A) as follow :

- put the sugar & salt in separate corners - the yeast goes into the well in the center

put the sugar & salt in separate corners and the yeast goes into the well in the center

2) Pour all of (B) onto the yeast, and combine well with a wooden spoon to form a rough dough.

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3) Add (C) and knead with hands until well incorporated. Turn dough onto a flat surface and continue to knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 mins).
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4) Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover it with cling wrap and leave in a warm place to prove for 45mins. After that, divide the dough into two equal parts, mould into balls and leave them to rest for 10 mins.

5) Roll the rested dough flat into rectangles. Divide the ingredients in (D) into halves. Spread the dough with garlic-herb butter spread, and then top with cheddar cheese pieces and sprinkle with mixed herbs. Roll it up like a swiss roll and cut it into 4 pieces.  Repeat the same with the other dough.

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6) Line loaf pans with baking parchment and place four pieces in each pan with the cut side up. Cover with cling wrap and leave to prove in a warm place for another 45mins until double in size.
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7) Brush with (E). Sprinkle (F) evenly over the top.
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8) Bake in a preheated 190ºC oven for 25mins. Unmould immediately and leave to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm.
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Cheesy Garlic & Herb Loaf - so soft & bursting with flavours !

Cheesy Garlic & Herb Loaf – so soft & bursting with flavours !

~~~~~~~~~~~

John 6:35
New International Version (NIV)
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

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