This is my savoury version of the classic Fiore di pan brioche, this time using a standard bread dough into which roasted puréed garlic and olive oil are added prior to kneading. Packed with flavour, it is great fun to make and is excellent as a tear and share bread.
I had red peppers in the freezer from last summer’s allotment harvest that I am slowly working through and this bread makes excellent use of them.
As with many of the breads I made, I make the dough the day before I want to bake it, chilling the dough overnight for a slow rise to get maximum flavour. I also make the filling the day before so all that is needed is the easy assembly of the bread, a final prove and the baking.
A versatile filling:
This roasted red pepper and garlic mixture is one I make a lot and can be used for many things:
- as a base-topping for pizza
- mixed with eggs and cream as a filling for quiche.
- spread on puff pastry and topped with goats cheese before baking for a simple tart
- Mixed with a little white sauce and whisked egg whites for a roasted red pepper souffle
I sometimes make up a larger batch of the filling and freeze in small portions for quick meals such as these.
Roasted garlic, red pepper & parmesan bread “flower”: makes one
- 3 large garlic bulbs, separated into cloves but not peeled (when roasted, some will be used in the dough, the rest in the filling)
- 400g strong plain flour
- 8g fine sea salt
- 5g easy-blend dried yeast
- 200-250ml cold water
- about 2/3 of the roasted garlic
- 30ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large red peppers, halved and de-seeded
- a couple of medium tomatoes, halved
- small handful fresh basil
- about a tablespoon of freshly grated Parmesan
- a tablespoon toasted pine nuts
- salt and freshly milled black pepper
- the rest of the roasted garlic
- a few pine nuts, untoasted, optional
- beaten egg to glaze
(1) Make the filling: place the peppers and tomatoes in a roasting tray, and put the unpeeled garlic cloves towards one end of the tray. Roast for about 30 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 170C, or until the garlic is very soft. Remove the garlic from the roasting tray and return the tray to the oven for a further 30 minutes or so, until the peppers and tomatoes are slightly charred along the edges. Leave to cool and then puree the peppers and the tomatoes.
(2) Pass the peppers and tomatoes through a fine sieve into a bowl. Peel the garlic and add about a third of it to the pepper and tomato purée. Add the basil, Parmesan and seasoning and puree again (or leave the mixture fairly coarse). Cover with clingfilm and chill until needed.
(3) Make the dough: mix the flour, salt and yeast together in a bowl. Add the remaining peeled garlic, the oil and most of the water, mixing until you get a soft dough, adding more water if necessary. Knead for about 10 minutes and return to the bowl, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight.
(4) Cut the dough into 4 equal portions and roll each out thinly on a floured surface. Cut around a circular plates to give 4 circles of dough. I use large dinner plates.
(5) Take one of the dough circles and place it on a sheet of greaseproof. Spread a little of the filling over it: just enough to give a thin layer of filling. Place the next circle of dough on top and spread fillling over this. Repeat, ending with the final circle of dough.
(6) Make 16 cuts straight through the dough and down to the greaseproof, making sure you don’t cut straight across the diameter of the dough, as in the diagram below – I place a small circukar cutter in the centre as a guide:
(7) Take 2 adjacent pieces and twist them from thinnest bit near centre of circle a couple of times (either twist towards the cut edges in middle of the two pieces or away from the cut edges). Pinch the ends together or tuck them underneath.
(8) Repeat with the next pair of sections, until you have gone all the way round: you will get a multiple star rippling effect:
(9) Cover loosely with clingfilm and leave at room temperature to prove for an hour or two, until well risen. Brush with the beaten egg and place a few pine nuts around the outer edge.
(10) Bake in an oven preheated to 200C (fan) for 10 minutes, before covering loosely with greaseproof (to protect the pine nuts from getting too dark, if using them) and continue to bake for a further 10-15 minutes until a rich golden colour.