Sunday, August 26, 2012

Roasted Garlic Za'atar Twists

About once a month, I go with my fiancé to visit his parents.  They are fond of za'atar, so I thought I'd try and make something with the herb mix. I've also been playing with pizza dough a lot since it only requires one rising before use.

Stacey's Roasted Garlic Za'atar Twists:
Dough
2c bread flour, organic
1-2c unbleached all purpose flour, organic
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1c water
1/2c buttermilk
2 tbs honey
2 tbs olive oil, organic
1 1/2 tsp salt

Filling
1/2c-1c roasted garlic, mashed, mixed with olive oil
olive oil, organic
1/2c pine nuts
Za'atar
1/2c-1c shredded mozzarella

Equipment
standing mixer
rolling pin
bread stone - mine is something like this for pizzas, but you can get rectangular / square ones too instead
parchment paper
cookie sheet

Combine the dry ingredients (with only 1 cup of the all purpose flour) in a standing mixer (you can use a big bowl and a hand mixer, or just use your hands if you have the patience and endurance). Mix the wet ingredients in a glass measuring cup with a pour spout and microwave it until it's about 110F.  You can use a thermometer or your handy dandy temperature gun (this one is my favorite).

Turn the mixer on with the dough hook on the lowest setting (stir) and slowly pour in the liquid. Let the mixer go until the dough is combined.  The dough should be fairly sticky.  If it's too sticky and wet to be formed into a ball with some effort, add more of the all purpose flour, 1/4 cup at a time.  The wetter the dough is, the more tender and fluffy it will be in the final twists.

Brush oil over the dough and put it back in the bowl you were using or whatever other bowl that's at least twice the volume of the dough and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Put it somewhere warm to rise.  I like to leave mine in the microwave (not running of course - the microwave tends to just always be warm inside). I've also put mine on top of a heating pad.  When it's done rising, it will be 1 - 1.5 times the original size and will look fluffy.  It took about an hour for me.

OMG So Fluffy!
Before you begin working, you should put your bread stone in the oven and preheat to 450F.

You can now dump the dough out from the bowl onto a floured surface.  Add extra flour on top of the dough so you can roll it out with a rolling pin. Make a squarish shape and brush half the surface with olive oil.  On the other half of the dough, spread your mashed roasted garlic and olive oil and then sprinkle it with your pine nuts and mozzarella cheese.


Now sprinkle the whole surface with za'atar.


Fold the side over that does not have fillings on top of the other side.  Now you can use a sharp knife to cut pieces lengthwise.


Twist these pieces a few times until they have the number of twists that you like.


Put each piece on the parchment paper on a rimless cookie sheet or the underside of a rimmed cookie sheet.  You just need a flat surface to be able to slide the parchment paper with the dough on it into the baking stone in the oven.


I got bored of making them all twists, so I decided to fancy it up a little and pinch the ends of some of them together to make rings.


Same deal with these - put them on the parchment paper on the flat cookie sheet.  Once the oven has finished heating, slide the parchment paper and dough onto the bread stone.  Bake for about 10 minutes, until the bread and cheese is golden brown.



Everyone liked these - fiancé and his parents both enjoyed them.  Fluffy, cheesy, filled with yummy herbs.  Mmmmm...

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