Hi guys! I’m happy to tell you that I’ve joined a new baking group :) Sourdough Surprises!
I know you must be thinking, ‘don’t you have to do sourdough to join that?’; well, I do now. I started my own starter this month (redundancy ftw) and baked my first bread with it (I had also made the biscuits for my birthday but they don’t count). I had seen a lot of sourdough recipes online but I had never thought about trying it; this month I gave it some thought and figured I had nothing to lose.
I used these instructions to get me started. My starter (which I shall now refer to as Bob) didn’t seem too busy on the first 3-4 days, only smelled and had a couple bubbles on its surface. It started looking more lively after day 5, so I proceeded to discard most of it and feed the rest. It almost doubled itself overnight, which I thought was pretty good. On the following day I used some Bob for the biscuits, fed the rest, and stuck it on the fridge.
One week later I grabbed a cup for the bread, fed the rest, and it definitely double itself within a few hours :)
I’m so happy that I was able to make my starter, and now a whole world of baking possibilities has opened up! And it was so easy as well. I’m sure the summer factor helped little Bob, since my kitchen never goes below 80ºF. But from what I’ve seen so far, sourdough starters look very forgiving. You should totally give them a try!
Now onto this particular bread. We were challenged to make pull-apart or monkey bread. I would have probably gone with some gooey cinnamon goodness, but I had my reasons not to (some of you may know, and the others will find out soon ;))
So I made this cheesy garlic bread since I love melted cheese on my bread :) It didn’t taste much like garlic though, but with the olive oil and dry basil, I thought it was a pretty good combination. What I didn’t like was that the dough balls ended up stuck together; I guess it’s all the sugar in regular monkey bread that keeps them separated.
I have to say, though, I was a bit surprised to find that the bread tasted noticeable sour. I mean, I know sour is in the name, but it still caught me off guard :P The rest of my family thought it was perfect though, so it may be just me being picky. I’ll keep playing around with the sourdough proportion and resting times to find the perfect taste for me.
So, check out the beautiful breads the rest of the guys made, then scroll down for the recipe! (I provide a non-sourdough version too).
Garlic & Cheese Monkey Bread
Recipe by Sabor Pastel
Yield: 12 servings
3 cups flour
1 tsp dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup water
1 cup sourdough starter (discard is fine)
30 g / 1 oz butter, softened
1 whole roasted garlic (instructions here)
150 g / 5 oz melting cheese
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dry basil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add the water and starter, and knead into a smooth dough, using your hands, a stand mixer, or a bread machine.
2. Add the softened butter and knead until incorporated. Cover the dough and let it rest at room temperature overnight.
3. On the next day, add the pureed garlic, and knead until incorporated.
4. Divide the dough into 32 balls. Cut the cheese into 32 half inch squares, and place one piece inside each ball of dough.
5. In a large bowl mix the oil, dry basil and red pepper flakes. Add the dough balls and toss until coated.
6. Place the bowls in a bundt pan, cover and let rise until doubled, 2-3 hours.
7. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
8. Bake the bread until the crust is slightly golden, 25-30 minutes.
Non sourdough version: add 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup water and 1 tsp dry yeast. Incorporate the garlic along with the butter, and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 45 to 90 minutes (overnight resting is not needed). Assemble the bread as directed, then let rise until doubled, another 45-90 minutes. Bake as directed.