Friday, December 12, 2008

Cheese, Garlic and Herb Bread

Liven up everyday sandwiches with this tasty loaf, inspired by the flavors of Italy. Recipe makes 1 loaf.


4 cups strong all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sachets rapid-rise dried yeast
4 ounces (125 g) cottage cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4-6 sun-died tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast. Make a well in the center; gradually stir in 1/4 pint (150 ml) lukewarm water, or enough to form a dough. Add the cottage cheese, egg, basil, oil, garlic, tomatoes and Parmesan. Beat well, until dough leaves sides of the bowl clean.
2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
3. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with clear plastic wrap and a tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a baking tray.
5. Knead the dough gently on a floured surface for 2-3 minutes. Shape into an oval and transfer to the baking tray.
6. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.

Cooks Tip: If the dough seems slightly sticky when kneading, add a little flour, then knead until a smooth dough forms.

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