There is something soothing about making a loaf like this pumpkin and feta pull-apart bread. Kneading the dough until it is smooth and satiny – neither sticky nor dry.
It is something that I do quite regularly at work with my primary students (usually to make pizzas), but not so often at home.
Which is silly because, despite this feta pull-apart recipe looking complex, making bread is rather simple. It just takes a little time and patience (and a nice warm spot). While the dough is sitting to rise however, you can wander away and do something else.
This dough recipe is the most basic dough ever. I know it by heart. Just make sure your water is the temperature of a nice bath. Too hot, and the yeast will die instead of multiply.
You can use the dough to make pizzas (this quantity is enough for our family of five) by rolling it thin and baking it quickly. Or you can use it, like I have, to make a loaf of bread.
If a pumpkin and feta pull-apart isn’t your thing, try some pesto and cheese, or sundried tomatoes and olives, or just herbs and garlic. The choice is yours.
Trust me when I say, home made bread, warm from the oven and spread with lashings of butter is one of the simplest, best pleasures in life!
This is nice too: Simply the best pesto and cheese scrolls
Pumpkin and feta pull-apart bread
2t (7g) dried yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1½ cups warm water
3½ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
100g roasted pumpkin
2 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon milk
Place the yeast, sugar, and warm water into a large bowl. Allow the mixture to sit until it begins to froth on the surface.
Add in the plain flour and salt and use your hands to bring mixture together as a dough. It should be moist but not sticky, so add a little more flour if necessary.
Once a dough has formed, knead it on a clean bench for 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes smooth and springs back when you poke it.
Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with cling wrap, and place in a warm place for one hour or until the dough doubles in size.
While you wait for the dough to do its thing, dice the feta, pumpkin, and chives and place in a bowl. Grease a 21cm by 10cm loaf tin, ready to go.
Once the dough has doubled in size, turn the mixture back on to a clean bench, and knead for a few minutes. Divide the dough into 20 small, even balls. Then flatten the dough balls into rounds approximately 8cm in diameter.
Place a spoonful of pumpkin and feta onto the half of the rounds. Place a plain round on top of each pumpkin and feta round. Stack the round on their sides into the loaf tin, so that they are packed closely together, then allow the loaf tin to stand in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 210ºC just before you expect your dough to be ready.
Brush the loaf with milk then bake for 30 minutes.
Serve with more butter than you know is good for you.
A firm, crumbly Greek-style feta is best for this recipe.