Baking for the letter ‘I’ left me pretty confused. The almost obvious choice was the Irish Soda Bread which has also been on my to-bake list for quite a while. But at the same time, I had decided on the bread theme for this month and the soda bread is technically not bread since it uses baking soda and not yeast. Further research on Google also told me that it is treated as cake in Ireland even though it is called bread and treated as such in the rest of the world.
Like always, the solution presented itself when I was trying to solve another problem. I have been eating more salads now to compensate for all this bread baking and eating. When I was figuring out a tomato salad, I came across this one called Insalata Caprese which means ‘Salad of Capri’. I figured I could put this delicious salad into a loaf and ta da! So, that is what I did. The significance of Insalata Caprese is that it depicts the colours of the Italian flag which is white, red and green. It is a simple salad with fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil leaves sprinkled with salt and pepper. I had seen fresh mozzarella at the newly opened gourmet store near home and promptly bought it.
I was a little apprehensive about the cheese melting and flowing out of the bread but that did not happen. Only a small amount of cheese oozed out but not much fell on the pan and all was well. So when you braid this bread, ensure you do not leave gaps between the strips because that can lead to the cheese oozing out.
Country – Italy
Makes a 10″ loaf
Recipe for the dough from ‘Easy Sourdough Recipes’
WHAT WE NEED
All purpose flour 1 1/2 cup
Sourdough, unfed 1/2 cup
Warm water 6 tbsp
Instant yeast 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Fresh mozzarella cheese 120 gms
Tomato, large 1
Basil leaves 3-4
Salt & Pepper
WHAT TO DO
- Mix the flour, sourdough starter, yeast, salt and olive oil with the water
- Knead to form a smooth dough, around 7-8 minutes by hand
- Keep covered in a greased bowl till it doubles in size, about an hour
- Punch it down and keep covered again to rise again for an hour
- Cut the tomato and mozzarella into 3-4 slices each
- Roll out the dough into a rectangle of around 8*6″
- Leave a gap of an inch and place the mozzarella and tomato slices alternatingly in the centre of the rectangle
- Tuck in the basil leaves between the mozzarella and tomato and sprinkle the salt and pepper
- With a knife or dough scrapper, cut finger wide strip on either side of the fillings
- Fold in the top of the dough and then fold in the strips alternating between the two sides
- Tuck in the dough at the bottom of the loaf
- Set aside for 15-20 minutes
- Preheat the dough at 220C
- Reduce the temperature to 200C and bake for 20-25 minutes till the top is nicely brown
- Remove from the oven and let cool
- Serve warm
This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the letter ‘I’.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75
Sowmya you are a smart girl!..very nice twist to the salad concept and this bread looks wow!..I have had caprese related dishes on my list for a long time, this one joins as well!
Thank you Valli. Do try it…lovely combination
Wow! Sowmya ,Sourdough is another area which I have not ventured into. The salad stuffed in the braided bread is a superb idea. and you executed it perfectly!
Thank you Harini. This is one of my firsts with sourdough…seems like an interesting journey ahead.
Stunning ! Sowmya , I have to agree with Valli , very smart ! 😀. What beautiful braiding , so neat , lovely vibrant clicks and the bread … absolutely gorgeous !
Thank you Vaishali 😀
The braid .. omg! It’s stunning.. you truly are the bread queen 🙂 I love Caprese Salad and stuffed in a loaf, wow! That’s a perfect meal right there. Great idea! – Namratha
That is so sweet of you. Thanks a lot!
Amazing loaf! I just envy your dexterity!
Thank you. Do try it 😀
What an lovely loaf.. The braids have been made perfect!!
Thank you Sharmila
Wow, this loaf looks incredible and that s a lovely pick for I. You are super smart Sowmya.
😀😄 thank you!
Incredible… Man, already this theme is challenging and you added more to it kya? anyways love you bread baking. Will try this one for sure. 🙂
Do try…fresh mozzarella is divinity itself
Oh wow! I love the stuffing in the bread. What a great choice and the flavor would have been amazing. I love how perfectly you have braided the bread.
OMG, this is just such an amazing bread Sowmya. Caprese salad inside a bread — that is just mind boggling. Bookmarked!!
I could never bake this shape and you stuffed it with Caprese salad. OMG.
Beautiful bread you got there. I love the intricate weaving… will try this in the future.
Thanks for dropping by. Do try and let me know how it goes!