Tear and share loaves are one of my favorite things to bake for parties because they’re perfect for a crowd. I had a pair of goodbye parties to go to yesterday, so like any person I baked a loaf for each – the first filled with cheese and pasta sauce for a vegetarian crowd, the second with cheese and chorizo. The great thing, though, is that you can fill this kind of loaf with whatever you have on hand. For me, that was a mix of apple smoked Gruyere and rosemary Manchego. Have I mentioned that I LOVE cheese?
Dough (this will make one loaf, double if you’re making two)
- 500g flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 1/4 tsp/7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- pinch of sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 3 tbsp pasta sauce of choice
- 150g cheese of choice (I used 90g Gruyere and 60g Manchego)
Cheesy Chorizo Loaf:
- Half a chorizo, thinly sliced
- 150g cheese of choice
- 1 egg, beaten
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and the garlic and chili powders. Make a well in the center and gradually pour in 350ml tepid water, stirring and mixing the water into the flour. If the mix is a little wet, stir in a bit of extra flour; if a little dry, add a bit more water. The dough should be soft but not too sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for about 10 mins until the dough is springy but smooth. Put in a large floured bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size (this will take 45 mins-1 hr).
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and divide in half. Roll out both halves into a circle and place one onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover it with the filling, then place the other circle of dough on top. Using a pizza cutter, slice into 16 pieces. Pick up the outside edge of each piece and twist it a few times.
- Brush the top of the loaf with the egg wash and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.
- Let cool on a rack for 15-30 minutes, then serve.
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