Saturday, April 02, 2005

Parmesan Pepper Breath Wreath 

from Vince

1 1/4 cups warm water (105 - 115 F)
2 packages dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons medium grind black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 - 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 egg
1 cup grated parmesan cheese (Asiago works very nicely)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Additional black pepper (optional)

Place 1/2 cup warm water in a large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast: stir until dissolved. Add remaining water, sugar, pepper, salt, and 1 cup flour; blend well. Stir in whole egg, parmesan cheese, and enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 to 6 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Punch down dough. Remove dough to lightly floured surface; divide into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece to 28 inch rope; braid ropes. Place on greased baking sheet. Form braid into circle; pinch ends together to seal. Cover, let rise in warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 20 to 40 minutes.

Brush loaf with egg white. Sprinkle with additional pepper, if desired. Bake at 375F for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Remove from sheet; let cool on wire rack.

When I make bread, I use the dough hook on my Professional series Kitchen Aid mixer and it works wonderfully. What? You don't have a Kitchen Aid mixer? Well if you don't I highly recommend getting one. Best investment I ever made for the kitchen.