I think we’ve come to the conclusion by now that one of my baking loves is yeast bread, be they Sweet or Savory or Let’s do sweet again. I just love homemade yeasty, soft, fluffy breads or baked goods. Store bought ones rarely are as good, though I admit to trying them to find out when I need a ‘fix”. Wal-Mart carries a pepperoni cheese bread that is sufficient when I am craving that type, but I always just KNEW I could do better. Theirs isn’t suitable for sandwiches because it’s fairly flat and it always had this slightly off sourish taste, like it was a confused sourdough bread with an attitude problem. I had made filled breads in the past but usually more in a calzone sort of a way, as a meal not as a sandwich bread with a filling. SO I had to try. Of course. And I am pretty pleased with it. I needed to roll it a bit tighter, but otherwise, it’s really yummy. Somehow, I doubt it’s going to make it to sandwiches though. Between two teen boys, my husband and our five year old, both loaves are almost gone. But that’s ok; it gives me an excuse to make more.
This is easy as can be if you’ve made yeast bread even a couple of times before. If not, this is still a recipe that’s easy enough for a beginner. I just took my basic honey white bread recipe and changed it enough to make it more savory. The main tip? Make sure you roll TIGHTLY or you will end up with loaves that have a hole going through them as you see in mine. Still tasty as all git out, but not as pretty or as useful for sandwiches. Also, if these filling ideas don’t work for you, play around. Just don’t use anything too wet and don’t fill with too much or it will burst as it bakes. And if you don’t have a stand mixer, you can always do the mixing and kneading by hand. It can be fun to do it the old fashioned way. 🙂 And have your ingredients ready to go. I have been known to have an overflowing cup of blooming yeast because I am waiting on the milk I forgot to heat up to finish cooling.
You know the drill… 🙂
Savory Filled Breads- (Pepperoni Cheese & Sun Dried Tomato/Basil)
- 1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees or so; up to 115 is fine)
- 2 packages dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 cups milk (NOT skim), heated and then cooled down to between 110 and 115 degrees
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 egg yolks
- 5 to 6 cups all purpose or bread flour (amount needed will vary- I used 5 cups for this recipe in a hot, humid house)
- 2 tablespoons dried Italian Seasoning, crushed in your hand to release the flavors
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- For the pepperoni cheese-
- 4 ounces sliced pepperoni
- 4 ounces shredded Mozzarella or Fontina cheese
- 2 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese
- For the Sun Dried Tomato/Basil-
- 1 cup of julienned fresh basil
- 4 ounces of dry sun dried tomatoes (if you use the kind packed in oil, dry them thoroughly)
- 4 ounces Fontina cheese
- 3 ounces shredded Parmesan
- To top both breads-
- Shredded Parmesan and/or Fontina
- Grease 2 9×5 inch loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the yeast and sugar to the 1/2 cup of warm water. Stir and allow it to sit for about five minutes to activate the yeast.
- To the bowl of your stand mixer, with the paddle attachment on, add the milk, honey, butter and yeast. Mix on low speed just until blended.Change over to the dough hook. Add 2 cups of the flour, the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and egg yolks. Mix on low speed for five minutes.
- Keeping the mixer on low, add two more cups of flour. Turn the mixer off and scrape the sides of the bowl down. Raise the mixer speed to 3 and let the hook work it until the dough comes away form the side of the bowl. Feel the dough and if it’s still sticky, add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time. You do NOT want a stiff, hard dough.
- Knead on the speed of 2 for 6 to 8 minutes, until you have a nice glossy, just slightly tacky dough.
- Dump the dough into an oiled bowl, turn it to make sure both sides of the dough have oil on them, then cover with a towel or loose plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to an hour.
- When doubled, punch the dough down and divide into two equal pieces. Take one out and leave the other covered until you are done with the first. Dump the one onto a very lightly floured board and knead just to get it into a ball.
- Roll the dough out into a rectangle, approximately 8×12 inches. Sprinkle your fillings (for whichever you’re doing first) evenly over the top of the dough. For the pepperoni, lay it out on the dough, don’t just toss it on there 😛 .
- From the short end of the dough, roll it up, slowly and tightly. Pinch the seams shut with your fingers, using a LITTLE bit of water to help seal them if you need to. Fold the ends of the bread under lightly, seal them also and place in one of the prepared pans.
- Now do the same with the other half, also sprinkling on the fillings and rolling tightly.
- Let the dough rise until about an inch over the top of the pan, which should take about 45 minutes. Brush each loaf with olive oil or butter and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
- Bake at 350 until the loaves are golden brown and firm on top, about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Turn the bread out onto a rack and let cool completely, or as long as you can handle it until you just have to cut one of them 😛
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