Friday, April 25, 2014

Sesame-Studded Italian Bread Ring

I'm always scavenging for new recipes....It's a hobby, of sorts. I've definitely had to discipline myself to keep my collection of cookbooks to a manageable size. My technique now is to make a copy of the recipe(s) I like, or I think I'd like to try, and then say "adios" to the book as a whole. It's worked well that way, as I can make notes about "do's" and "don't's" without messing up the cookbook,  or I can  just throw the piece of paper in the recycling bin if the recipe is a real loser. Of course, as anyone could guess, most of my recipes are yeast-related  ( my hubby would LOVE it if I started getting into cooking prime rib or invention......"EZ STEAK"), so it's particularly interesting to visit older cookbooks and investigate their "bread" sections. Sometimes there are some very unique techniques and recipes, which can be interesting to experiment with.

The Pillsbury Bake-Off recipes can be a real treat to check out. Old and new, their participants seem to always be folks with a real creative "bent". The recipe I'm sharing today is from the 1984 Bake-Off, with some "EZ-revisions".  A picture of this bread was featured on one of the pages of a cookbook I was leafing through and it caught my eye. (To me, if I'm going to bake or cook something, I want it to be as appealing to the eye as it is to the palate! I want "pretty" bread, cookies, casseroles, etc.) This pic certainly hit the eye appeal mark for me. Now I had to try the recipe out to see if I could reproduce this beauty......and to see if it hit the palate appeal mark, too! Well, it hit BOTH marks - BULLSEYE!! Very tasty and very beautiful, I'll use this recipe again in the future. If you try it, I think you'll agree with me. Give it a shot!  
Sesame-Studded Italian Bread Ring
 1 ½ Tbsp/packets Red Star Platinum yeast 
1 Cup warm water
1 Cup warm milk
4 ½-5 ½ Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ Cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
¼ Cup sugar

For Pan:
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Filling Ingredients:
1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ tsp. dried Italian seasoning
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ Cup butter or margarine, softened
Bottom of Form
Generously grease/spray 12-cup fluted bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan; sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Place yeast and water in EZ DOH bucket. Let sit  1 minute, then add 1 cup of flour , remaining ingredients, then another 3 ½ Cups of flour. EZ DOH-it until all ingredients are incorporated, adding enough flour till  dough is stiff. In small bowl, combine all filling ingredients; mix well. Spoon half of batter in greased pan. Spoon filling mixture by dropfuls evenly over batter to within 1/2 inch of sides of pan. Spoon remaining batter over filling. Cover loosely. Let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 375. Uncover dough. Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Remove from pan immediately; cool on wire racks. Serve warm or cool. 


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