Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rustic Rosemary Twist

Last night was our last baking club meeting for the semester. We had a lot of fun, I will miss baking with everybody this summer. I arrived early to prepare several batches of cornmeal pizza dough, which everyone then decorated and baked. Our pizzas turned out really delicious and I also ended up with extra dough!
Building off the dough recipe from Martha Stewart, I decided to make a cheesy, rosemary braid as an afternoon snack to share with my hall. The dough is rolled out into ropes which are in turn stuffed with cheese. The rolls are then braided together and sprinkled with crunchy salt. Although the dough recipe is not my own, I have provided it here for your convenience in making the rosemary twist.

Rustic Rosemary Twist

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
2/3 cups warm water
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 cup cornmeal, plus more for pizza peel or baking sheet
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
2 tbs dried rosemary
1 tsp coarse salt
Oil for the pan
In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the warm water. Let stand until yeast is dissolved and mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.Combine flour, cornmeal, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and add the yeast mixture and oil. Mix the ingredients just until the dough starts to come together. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured work surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, 7 to 10 minutes. Place the dough in a shallow oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Knead the rosemary into your dough until incorporated. Cut the dough into three balls and roll each into a rope. Spread each rope flat onto the work surface and make a line of cheese down the center. Carefully pinch the sides up around the cheese filling and roll the rope out a little longer. 
Once all three ropes are prepared, braid them on your prepared pan, pinching the ends together. Sprinkle your twist with coarse salt and bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden.
The twist turned out amazingly soft, with a crunchy exterior and cheesy center; I'm so glad I decided to try experimenting with it. Enjoy!

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