I spent yesterday happily working on a new quilt and with my hands buried in dough. Nothing makes me happier than to grab some ingredients and mix up a batch of dough and see what happens. For moments such as these, I don’t use a recipe. I’m just immersed in the experience.
Sometimes, it’s fabulous. Sometimes it’s chicken food. I could avoid this. I am perfectly capable of writing a new bread recipe based off of the standard math calculations for dough (I know, I know, it’s math, and I don’t do math, but with bread it’s second nature) but I didn’t learn to bake that way and sometimes it’s just fun to play.
Then there’s the add ins. This is where it can get tricky, as they can effect the dough moisture wise, or over power it, or just be a terrible combination. A lot depends on my mood.
Yesterday, I went and cut some rosemary out of the garden. I have so much of it and it is a toss up between it and basil which is my favorite. Then I roasted a head of garlic.
I squeezed all of the garlic out into the dough while I was mixing it. Hmm… that’s a lot of garlic. And I forgot to add the seasonings to the dough that I had intended.
The dough got divided into six portions that I rolled out, spread with butter, and topped with rosemary and parmesan cheese.
I rolled the sections up, pinched the seams, and placed them on a cookie sheet with a Silpat in them, parchment paper works fine as well. I tend to only use parchment paper when I need a specialty shape, like to line a pan, otherwise Silpat lasts for years and years and can be simply wiped off after using.
The six braid loaf is one of the easiest to make. Lay them out like I have above, weaving the center, which is most uncomplicated.
Then it’s a simple matter of braiding the four sections, and tucking them under. Make sure you pinch the edges of each section after braiding it.
See how easy that is? I like to brush these loaves with a beaten egg before baking. I topped it with a bit of parmesan cheese the last five minutes or so of baking. By shaping the braid directly on the cookie sheet, there’s no lifting it or trying to move it after you’ve shaped it.
Now, will it tasted good? That remains to be seen… or tasted anyway. :). So yeah, there’s no recipe at the moment. If you think you’d like a bread of this variety, try my pesto bread (which was created the same way; I liked it well enough to created a recipe for it).