Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bacon, Spinach and Garlic Pull-apart Bread

Aaaand so it's December! Things have been very quiet around here lately as I attempt to overhaul my blog. After lots of messing around I have ended up with 2 sites that aren't linked up and there's a whole lot of work to get things ready to go. I will keep you posted but I hope to launch in the New Year.

I haven't been doing much cooking of note lately. I've been sick for the past 3 weeks with a throat and chest infection so quite apart from not having enough energy to cook, I also haven't felt like eating. Tragic I know!

But even I can't resist the aroma of freshly baked bread. We've massively cut back on the amount of bread we buy so I've been baking more. Usually just sandwich loaves (recipe to come!) or a quick focaccia but sometimes you just want something a little fancy.

This bacon, spinach and garlic pull-apart was amazing. AMAZING. These sorts of bread are normally dripping with butter and cheese but I needed a dairy-free version and this worked perfectly. It is so packed with flavour from the bacon, garlic and olive oil that you don't miss the cheese, or in fact even notice that you were expecting some.

I made the dough and filling in the thermomix but you absolutely don't need to. Making the dough by hand (or breadmaker or however you normally make dough) and the filling on the stovetop will work just fine, it may just take a bit longer.

Bacon, Spinach and Garlic Pull-apart Bread

450g water, room temperature
1 tbs instant dried yeast
1 ts salt
750g baker's flour
100g extra virgin olive oil

50g extra virgin olive oil
4 rashers bacon, roughly chopped
1 big handful baby spinach or 2 large leaves silverbeet, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed

Grease a 9 inch cake pan and set aside.

TMX instructions to make the dough - place the water and yeast in the mixing bowl and heat for 2 minutes / 37 degrees / SP 2. Add the salt, flour and oil and mix for 6 seconds / SP 6, then knead for 2 minutes / interval setting.

Remove the dough, shape into a bowl and leave to prove in a covered and greased bowl for around 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile make the filling - in the thermomix add the garlic and chop for 2 seconds / SP 7. Scrape down the bowl, add the bacon and chop for 3 seconds / SP 6. Scrape down the bowl, add the oil and cook for 3 minutes / varoma / SP 2. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes / 100 degrees / SP 2. (To prepare filling on the stovetop just chop all ingredients and fry together in the oil for 5 minutes or so until softened and fragrant). Tip the mixture into a heat proof bowl and leave to cool until required.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F.

To prepare the bread - knock down the dough and tip it out onto a floured surface. Roll out into a large even rectangle, about 1cm thick. Spread over the cooled filling evenly to the edges.

Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into 4cm wide strips. Fold each piece into a concertina and place into the prepared tin, cut side up. Repeat with remaining dough until the tin is full. Leave to prove for another 15 minutes.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes. It will be risen, golden brown and smelling delicious. Leave in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

It's ready to eat as soon as it is cool enough to handle.

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