I am a DARING BAKER!
Can you imagine?
I used to admire all the Daring Bakers’ posts that I encountered, doing what I love most, hunting for blogs to charm me. And I thought: “How nice for these people, they are part of a community, and there is a secret/surprise post that they are all posting on the same day, and they probably get together and laugh, and drink tea while sharing their experience, and…” I can go on with my chaotic thinking process but it is really not relevant to the story.
I used to dare myself to do stuff, and I actually still do (all the time), but it was not the same… There was no sharing with other people who did the same thing, and no secret post for me to prepare… It was kind of lonely.
The moment I started Baking After Dark, I signed in. It was December, 31. People would think that I had better things to do on this day, like celebrate and chill, and drink wine. I would think so either, but the fact is that on 31.12.2013, I registered to be a Daring Baker. And then… it turned out that I could not participate in the January challenge, I had to wait some more. Bumped. That is how I felt.
But now… this is all behind me and without further ado I present you my first Daring Bakers recipe.
Beauty surrounded the Daring Bakers this month as our host, Sawsan, of chef in disguise, challenged us to make beautiful, filled breads. Who knew breads could look as great as they taste?
For the breads I decided to use the recipes provided. I adapted them a little, and made a savory bread using the first one and sweet bread using the second one, which included sweetened condensed milk in the dough. I had never made such dough, but it turned out great. As fillings I used Gouda and white cow cheese (similar to Feta) for the savory and cinnamon and sugar for the sweet. I made bought breads by hand, but you can use a mixer if you like. And here they are:
Savory Beautiful Bread
- 60 ml. (1/4 cup) warm water
- 300 ml. (1 and 1/4 cup) warm milk
- 12 gr. (3 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- 100 gr. (1/2 scant cup) butter, soften at room temperature
- 80 gr. (¼ cup + 2 tablespoons) sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 675 gr. all (5 cups + 2 tablespoons) purpose flour
- 150 gr. white cheese (feta)
- 100 gr. Gouda cheese
- 60 gr. (1/4 cup) butter, melted
- 1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon milk
- Dissolve the yeast and sugar into a few tablespoons of the warm water and milk. Add the remaining milk, cover and let sit at room temperature to activate the yeast.
- Wisk the eggs and add to the milk, mix well.
- Set aside a couple of tablespoons of flour to use while kneading and rolling the dough.
- Place the flour on a large, clean surface and make a well.
- Pour the liquid ingredients in the well, add the butter and slowly start mixing in the flour. After incorporating all the flour you should have a soft, non-sticky ball of dough.
- Knead for 10 minutes and place the dough in a large, greased bowl, turning once to coat all sides. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place to rise, approximately for one hour, or until doubled in volume.
- While waiting, grease generously the sides and bottom of a 32 cm. (12 inch) round baking pan using neutral oil.
- Prepare the filling, you can use any filling you like. I used fine grated cheese.
- Prepare the egg wash: lightly beat the egg yolk with two tablespoons of milk.
- Preheat the oven to 240°C (500°F).
- After the dough has risen, turn it over a lightly floured surface, and divide it, trying to make one small ball and four larger equal in size balls.
- Set aside the small, to use at the end for forming the center.
- Roll out the first of the remaining balls in a round shape with the size of you pan. Brush with the melted butter and spread 1/3 of the filling. Roll out the next ball trying to make it the same shape and size as the first. Place it on top of it, brush with butter and add the filling. Repeat with the third and the forth balls, the only difference being that no filling and butter is spread over the last one.
- Using a sharp knife cut the bread through the center into four equal parts. Then cut each quarter into three equal triangles, resulting in 12 small triangles. Make a cut lengthwise into the centre of each triangle, but without reaching the sides (the tip and the backside of the triangle).
- Gently take the tip of the triangle and pull it through the cut.
- Pinch the tips of the base of the triangle together.
- Repeat with all the triangles and place them into the prepared pan.
- Place the pan in the oven and decrease the temperature to 200°C (400°F).
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Sweet Beautiful Bread
- 200 gr. (7 oz.) sweetened condensed milk;
- 3 eggs
- 180 ml. (3/4 cup) sunflower oil
- 180 ml. (3/4 cup) warm water
- 8 gr. (2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 750 gr. (5 ½ cups) all purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 25 gr. (4 tablespoons) cinnamon
- 100 gr. (½ cup) sugar
For brushing the top:
- 80 ml. (1/3 cup) milk
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon instant coffee
- I followed the instructions provided. You can find the very detailed explanation here. The only difference is that I adapted the quantities and used a 32 cm. (12 inch) round baking pan, and instead of making 4 layers, I made 6.