Traveling through blogland can be quite an adventure and land in you into unexpected and interesting places. When I woke yesterday morning I had no idea I was going to to bake an enormous decorated bread, I just sipped my coffee and browsed through the blogs I follow. And I came upon this flower bread in Ivana's blog with a link to her sister's step-by-step process. I was hooked! Give me a challenge and I'm all in :)))
Ingredients for 1500 g bread:
- 200 ml milk
- 200 g yogurt
- 10 g dry yeast
- 2 eggs + 1 egg white
- 5 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 800 g flour
- 60 g butter + 60 g oil for greasing
- 1 yolk + 1 tsp milk + 1 tsp oil for glazing
Only a few notes on preparation: After the dough is mixed and left to rest and rise, it is divided into two uneven parts. The bigger part is cut into eight balls, each ball is spread in an ellipse, greased and the ellipses are stacked on each other. After some 30 min rest the eight ellipses are spread together into a big ellipse, which is rolled, cut into three and braided. This is the foundation of the bread.
The smaller second part is cut into five pieces. The last piece is spread thin and cut into small circles with the help of a glass. These circles are placed slightly overlapping and they are rolled to make the central rose. The other four balls are spread into bigger circles, greased, stacked on each other, then spread together into a big circle, which is cut into eight parts, which make the leaves. I should have let my leaves rest a bit and rise, before cutting them, so that the layers could show better.
The bread is finally greased, glazed, spread with sesame and placed in a cold oven, set at 180C. I baked it for about an hour and a half, with an aluminum foil on top for the last hour. It was perfectly baked, very fibered inside and with a crisp crust outside. Warm with butter it simply melted in the mouth :)
So far this is the best bread recipe I've followed and the resulting bread is stunning in texture and taste (if I say so myself :)). The dough was elastic, easy to manipulate, neither sticky, nor stiff - just perfect. The taste is delicious, subtle and neutral - you can eat the bread with both salty additives (cheese, butter and mixed spices) or honey, jam.