Roast Red Pepper-Parmesan Bread Recipe with Photos

This recipe is very simple to make and is really nothing more than a variation of a butter-and-egg bread or a challah recipe. I very rarely follow recipes, but if you need one there's a basic one included below. The difference (from the recipe to the photos) is that I substituted 1/3 of the flour with whole wheat flour and also substituted a portion of the water with a roast red pepper puree. The recipe below calls for braiding the dough and baking it free-form, like a challah, but in the photos you'll see that the bread was baked in pans. In the recipe I also included Parmesan in the actual dough, and also rolled the loaves in it before baking to give it a coarse and cheesy finish. This is a stunning bread and the flavors are as outstanding as the breads appearance. Like all the recipes that I post I am a firm believer that these are just suggestions, not blueprints; meaning the ingredients and flavorings can be changed or substituted to suit your own taste. And as you can imagine, this bread makes excellent sandwiches, particularly when it is toasted.

Butter and Egg Bread
Makes 1 loaf
1/3 cup water                         
1/3 cup milk
   1 package active dry yeast
   1 tablespoon sugar
   3 cups bread flour 
   2 large eggs
   3 tablespoon melted butter
   2 teaspoons kosher salt
   1 tablespoon cornmeal
   1 lightly beaten egg
   1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Combine the water, milk, yeast, sugar, and 1 cup of flour; stir to form a batter. Allow to ferment for 1 hour. Stir in the 2 large eggs and melted butter, then add the remaining 2 cups of flour along with the salt. Mix then knead the dough for 10-12 minutes. Place the dough in a bowl at room temperature, cover it with plastic wrap, and allow it to ferment for 60 -90 minutes.

Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into 10-inch lengths and braid the bread. Place the braided loaf onto a baking sheet that has been dusted with cornmeal. Cover the bread loosely with a towel and allow it to rise for about an hour. Pre-heat an oven to 350F.

Brush the bread with the beaten egg and sprinkle it with poppy seeds. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes. Remove the Challah from the oven and place it on a wire rack or towel to cool before slicing.


Jack said…
Thank you for sharing your bread-making. It often inspires me to give the posted recipe a go, and they always come out yum.
JOe said…
Thanks for the feedback...I love baking bread.