3/4 cup shredded Italian-blend cheese or the cheese of your choice
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes or your own oven-roasted tomatoes. I used homegrown tomato. I was worried it would be too juicy, but no worries there.
3 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients in a bowl (or the bucket of your bread machine), and mix and knead — by hand, using a mixer, or in your bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a smooth, very soft dough. The dough should stick a bit to the bottom of the bowl if you're using a stand mixer.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 45 to 60 minutes, or until it's doubled in size.
Meanwhile, thoroughly drain the tomatoes, patting them dry. Use kitchen shears to cut them into smaller bits.
Gently deflate the dough. Flatten and pat it into a 22" x 8 1/2" rectangle. Spread with the cheese, tomatoes, garlic, and basil.
Starting with one long edge, roll the dough into a log the long way. Pinch the edges to seal. Place the log seam-side down on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
Start 1/2" from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1" deep, to within 1/2" of the other end. I used a paring knife but original recipe suggested using kitchen shears.
Keeping the cut side up, form an "S" shape. Tuck both ends under the center of the "S" to form a "figure 8;" pinch the ends together to seal.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, 45 to 60 minutes.
While the loaf is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Uncover the bread, and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it with foil after 20 to 25 minutes to prevent over-browning. Don't understand this. Our bread didn't brown at all.
Remove the bread from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool. Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for a couple of days; freeze for longer storage. However, you probably will not have any left. We didn't
Substitute all-purpose flour 1:1 for the bread flour in the recipe. Reduce the water to 1/4 cup. Maybe introduce some wholewheat flour as well.
Chop your basil with kitchen shears, just as you do the sun-dried tomatoes. (I used a living Basil so I hope I will have more tastiness from the plant as well. Maybe would make this again soon.)
Currently, I am Program Chair for Disability Support Programs and Services for San Diego Continuing Education. I have several blogs that I have tried to work on. The one I use the most is the recipe blog. The second is my garden.
Right now my goal is to create a learning strategies blog and add to it every day until I can think of no more strategies. This will be a great test of my stick-to-it-ness. Not my greatest suit.