Stuffed Braided Bread with Mozzarella and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Stuffed Braided Bread with Mozzarella and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Do you like to bake your own homemade bread? Maybe you do, and maybe you don't, and maybe you just appreciate the art of doing so with the thought of someday becoming a bread artisan yourself. Whatever the case, I hope you can enjoy this Stuffed Braided Bread with Mozzarella Cheese and Sun Dried Tomatoes that I'm sharing with you today. This is my submission to this month's Bread Baking Babes and and Buddies, and even though it looks fancy and difficult, it really couldn't be easier.

Stuffed Twisted Braided Bread / Kudos Kitchen by Renee

I've always loved baking homemade bread. From the time I was a teenager and I made my first loaf in my mom's kitchen, I was hooked. Then for many years after, I'd make my mom and dad homemade bread every year for their anniversary. It was an inexpensive gift, but one that came from directly my heart and one that, to me, said "I love you very much!"

To this day, homemade bread means exactly that to me...I love you very much!


Assemble the ingredients. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and milk. Stir in the honey and allow the yeast to get foamy. Add the olive oil to the foamy yeast mixture.




Add the flour, salt and garlic powder into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, incorporate the foamy yeast mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer and then mix in the eggs and the yolks. Knead the dough with the dough hook until it forms a ball and comes away from the sides of the bowl.



Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand approximately 5-7 minutes until smooth and elastic but still slightly sticky. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and allow the dough to rise until doubled.



Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and use your hands to pat it into a rectangle shape. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the rectangle into an approximate 14" x 12" rectangle. Use the rolling pin to transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking sheet.



Spread the mozzarella cheese down the center of the dough, leaving an approximate 3" border down both sides of the dough. Spread the sun dried tomatoes on top of the mozzarella.



Use a paring knife to make diagonal cuts into both sides of the border dough and then fold them alternately over the filling to form a braided effect.




I decided to take it a step further by twisting the dough on top of the filling to make it look just a tad more interesting.


Allow the bread to rise again (about an hour) and then brush the loaf with the reserved egg whites and sprinkle with dried basil and oregano. Use a fork, if desired, to decorate the ends of the dough strips.
Bake in a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.




STUFFED BRAIDED BREAD WITH MOZZARELLA AND SUN DRIED TOMATOES
Yield: 1 loaf      Prep Time: 120 minutes (rise time included)     Bake Time: 45-50 minutes
{PRINT THIS RECIPE}

1/2 cup lukewarm water (110 degrees)
1/4 cup lukewarm milk (110 degrees)
2 1/4 teaspoon (1 package) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature (set the whites aside for use later)
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
3 ½ cups flour, plus more for kneading
2 teaspoons garlic powder
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
2 ounces sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
olive oil spray, for the bowl

-In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and milk. Stir in the honey and set aside until the mixture gets foamy. Add the olive oil to the yeast mixture.
-Add the 2 large eggs and 2 egg yolks in a small bowl. Set aside the 2 egg whites to use later.
-In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour and salt. Use the dough hook to knead in the foamy yeast mixture and the eggs and yolks.
-Knead until the dough forms a ball and comes away from the sides of the bowl, Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic and still a bit sticky. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover and allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled in bulk (approximately 1 hour).
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and using hands, press the dough out to form a rectangle. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the dough out into an approximate 14" x 12" rectangle. Use the rolling pin to carefully roll the dough on the pin to transfer it to a parchment lined baking sheet.
-Place the mozzarella cheese down the center of the dough, leaving a 3" boarder on both sides. Top the cheese with the sun dried tomatoes.
-Use a paring knife to cut diagonal strips into the dough on either sides of the filling and bring them alternately up and over the filling to form a braided look. OR, bring the strips up and over and then gently twist them on top of the loaf to add extra interest.
-Cover the loaf and allow the bread to rise again, in a warm draft free place, until doubled in size (approximately 50-60 minutes).
-Mix the egg whites with a teaspoon of water and brush over the entire loaf.
-Sprinkle the bread with the dried basil and oregano and then use a fork (if desired) to add a decorative edge to each strip of twisted dough.
-Bake in a preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until the bread is deeply golden brown.
-Allow to cool slightly on a baking rack. Serve warm for best flavor.

Stuffed Braided Bread with Mozzarella and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Stuffed Braided Bread / Kudos Kitchen by Renee
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Thank you to our bread baking babe host for this month, Katie of Thyme for Cooking for selecting this month's stuffed bread selection. It was a wonderful recipe Katie and one that I'm sure I'll have fun playing with for many, many years to come.

Want to peek in on the Bread Baking Babes to see how they played with and enjoyed this stuffed bread recipe? Of course you do...Check them out:

The Bread Baking Babes
Bake My Day – Karen
blog from OUR kitchen – Elizabeth
Bread Experience – Cathy
Feeding My Enthusiasms – Elle
girlichef – Heather
Life’s a Feast – Jamie
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies – Natashya
Lucullian Delights – Ilva
My Diverse Kitchen — Aparna
My Kitchen In Half Cups – Tanna
Notitie Van Lien – Lien
Thyme for Cooking – Katie 
If you'd like to join in on the bread baking fun, simply make the stuffed bread recipe (with your choice of filling) and then send your photo and  recipe link to Katie (our host of the month) with the words Bread Baking Babes in the subject line, by October 29th for your BBB badge. It's just that simple :)

Until we bake again,








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