15 November 2014

HAVARTI BRAID BREAD

Havarti is a semi-soft Danish cheese made from cow's milk. It is a very delicious, somewhat sweet cheese that you can eat sliced or grilled. It gets really soft really quickly if kept at room temperature, so be sure to refrigerate it for at least an hour before grating. The beautiful buttery aroma of the cheese pairs perfectly with the soft yogurt dough and makes a lovely bread that can be used in any type of savoury sandwich or as a side to any rich soup.


Ingredients:
400 grams plain flour
200 grams Havarti cheese, grated
3 tablespoons light olive oil
2 teaspoons dried yeast
200 grams plain yogurt
100 ml hot water
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk

Preparation:
Sift the flour twice, then reserve about 100 grams and set it aside. Put the rest of the flour in a large bowl, add the salt and yeast and whisk well. Grate the cheese roughly (box grater works great for this cheese), add it to the flour and mix well with your hands, to distribute the cheese evenly. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, hot water and oil. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the wet ingredients. Start mixing with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together, then transfer it to a floured surface and continue to knead with your hands for about 5 minutes, adding the reserved flour as you knead.
Depending on the flour, you may need to add a bit more flour as you knead. Oil a large bowl, put the dough in, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Flour your counter lightly, turn out the risen dough, gently knead it and then divide it into how ever many strands you want. Roll each piece into a long rope shape, braid the dough strands in your favourite braid, secure the ends by tucking them under the braid and gently transfer the braid to a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Cover it with a towel and let it rise for another 30 minutes. Just before baking, whisk the egg yolk and brush it evenly over the whole braid. Bake it in a preheated oven, at 200˚C (395˚F) for 18-20 minutes and serve warm.

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