Cheese bread sharing wreath
- November 2015
- Serves 8
- Hands-on time 40 min, oven time 50 min, plus proving
A festive showstopper made of the softest, most tempting bread. This recipe is best made on the day and warmed through before serving.
- 14.4g (8.4g saturated)
- 51.8g (1.7g sugars)
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1½ tsp dried fast-action yeast
- 350ml lukewarm water
- 100g (vegetarian) cheddar, gruyère or block mozzarella
- 75g parmesan cheese, finely grated (or vegetarian alternative)
- 1½ tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1½ tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra sprigs to decorate
- 50g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
- 2 tbsp polenta
- Sea salt flakes to decorate
- 8-10 peppadew peppers from a jar, well drained, to decorate (optional)
- Sift the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the centre and add the 350ml lukewarm water. Gradually mix together to form a slightly sticky dough, then turn out onto a lightly dusted work surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, cut the cheddar, gruyère or mozzarella into 1.5cm cubes. Mix the parmesan with the Italian seasoning and chopped rosemary in a shallow dish. Pour the melted butter into another shallow dish.
- Grease a large baking sheet with a little butter and sprinkle with the polenta. Knock back the dough and knead once more until smooth and elastic, then divide into 25 even-size pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time, knead it a little, then press a piece of cheese into the centre and seal the opening by pinching the dough together with your fingers. Roll into a ball using your cupped hand and the table.
- Put an upturned 10cm round heatproof dish or ramekin into the centre of the baking sheet. Roll the dough balls briefly in the melted butter, then in the parmesan cheese mixture. Place the balls around the dish, leaving a 5-6mm gap between each ball and also the edge of the dish (see picture, p67). Make a second ring around the outside of the first, again leaving a little space around each one to allow them to rise. Cover loosely with a sheet of lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise somewhere warm for 40-60 minutes until doubled in size.
- Just before baking, heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5. Bake the wreath for 40-50 minutes until lightly golden brown, covering it loosely with foil if the cheese on the outside starts to go too brown. Remove the wreath from the oven and leave to cool slightly for a few minutes. Decorate with fresh rosemary sprigs, some sea salt flakes and the peppadew peppers, if you like, and serve warm (or leave to cool and warm just before serving).
Make the dough the day before and leave overnight to prove in the fridge. Bring back to room temperature and, when doubled in size, continue with step 2. You can also freeze the dough for 1 month. Bring to room temperature and continue with step 2.
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