In my family there is no greater treat than fresh baked bread.
From the moment the yeast hits the warm water, filling the house with the aromatic promise of good things to come, to the last harrowing minute, impatiently standing in front of the oven door, intoxicated by the scent of baked wheat… bread-making is a labor of love with a rustic, yet indulgent, reward at the end.
One of our favorite varieties, lava bread, was named by the kids due to its wild and alluring appearance.
Twisted layered loaves, stuffed with sauce and cheese that bubble and ooze while baking. These turbulent looking loaves slice into soft yeasty layers, with smoked gouda and roasted red pepper puree in between. We love to serve lava bread with warm winter soups or fresh spring salads.
Then after the dough has had time to rise, dump it out on a floured work surface and roll it into a large rectangle.
Place roasted red peppers, fresh rosemary, garlic, and a touch of olive oil in the KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series 16-Cup Food Processor. Puree until very smooth. Notice, my KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series 16-Cup Food Processor has a handy insert to puree smaller portions, so you don’t have to dirty and clean the large bowl.
Then gently spread the puree over the top of the dough.
Sprinkle with shredded smoked gouda, and roll the dough into a long log.
Cut the roll into two halves. Then cut the dough down the middle of each half, and open the halves up like a book. Carefully braid the halves into a twist.
Place on a baking sheet. I like to bake bread loaves on convection heat in my KitchenAid® Steam-Assist Double Oven, because it bakes slightly faster than conventional bake. Plus, the outside bakes up nice and crusty while the inside stays very tender.
Once your lava loaves come out of the oven, allow them to cool for several minutes before cut into slices.
I promise it’s worth the wait!
Lava Bread with Smoked Gouda and Roasted Red Peppers
Makes 2 loaves
1 cup warm water
1 packet dry active yeast (2 1/4 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups all purpose flour
4 tablespoons melted butter
7-8 ounces jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 garlic clove
1 spring rosemary, leaves removed
2 teaspoons olive oil
9 ounces shredded smoked gouda
Using a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer with a bread hook, place the warm water (just barely over lukewarm, too hot will kill the yeast) and sugar in the mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it foam for 10 minutes.
Then turn on the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer and add the egg and salt. Slowly add the flour. Once all the flour is in the bowl, add 4 tablespoons of melted butter. “Knead” the dough with the bread hook for 5-8 minutes.
The dough will be smooth, but tacky. Oil the stand mixer bowl, then cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in the bowl for 2 hours. Meanwhile, place the roasted red peppers, garlic cloves, fresh rosemary leaves, olive oil, and a pinch of salt in your KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series 16-Cup Food Processor. Puree until smooth.
Once the dough has doubled in size, dump it out on a floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, 18 x 13 inches in size.
Gently spread a thin layer of the pepper puree over the dough, leaving the dough bare around the edges. Then sprinkle the shredded gouda over the dough. Now starting on one of the long edges, roll the dough into a long cylinder.
Cut the roll into two equal loaves. Then cut each loaf down the middle, length wise, and open it up to expose the layers inside. For each loaf, alternate crossing the pieces over each other to create a braid. Carefully move the loaves to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Preheat the KitchenAid® Steam-Assist Double Oven to convection, 325 degrees F, and allow the bread loaves to rise for at least 45 minutes. Then bake for 22-25 minutes, until brown and oozing, but crispy on top. Cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*