Ricotta is a very soft and creamy cheese which is made from whey left after making other cheeses.It is normally used in desserts and salads but here I am making a spectacular bread which is very delicious and great for breakfasts,toasts and garlic breads!Ricotta maybe not available in small towns but readily available in Metros or can be sourced online as well!The recipe requires a standard 250 gms tub as I got!
The preparation of this bread very easy in the sense that it does not need a Preferment to start or need special proofing time!It needs simple on the go ingredients and a time of 3 hours for a lovely loaf to prepare!This is one of the finest recipes of Rose Levy Beranbaum!
Preparation Time : 3 hours
Makes : 1 loaf
3 1/2 cups All Purpose flour (maida)
1/2 tbsp Instant yeast
1/2 tbsp active dry yeast activated with 1 tbsp sugar and 1/3 cup lukewarm water
200 – 250 gms Ricotta Cheese
100 gms plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter (softened)
1 large/2 small eggs (refrigerated)
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup cold water (refrigerated for 1 hour)
Mix the flour,sugar,instant yeast(if using) and salt.Whisk well to combine.Make a well in the centre and add the Ricotta Cheese,egg and butter.Those using activated dry yeast can add it at this time.
Add cold water.Knead it into a soft and non sticky dough.
The dough should not stick.If it does then sprinkle some flour on top and knead again.Remember that the dough should not be too firm else you will not be able to give it a shape and it will not be soft.
Cover the dough with clingfilm and let it rise for an hour.It would have risen after an hour so punch it down.Cover with clingfilm again and let it rise for an hour.Prepare a loaf pan for baking.
After an hour punch down the dough and knead it on a floured countertop.Fold over the vertical and horizontal sides like an envelope and roll it into a nice loaf.Put the loaf into the prepared loaf pan.Cover it loosely with clingfilm or a tea cosy.Let it rise for 40 – 50 minutes.
The risen dough….
Preheat the oven to 200°F 20 minutes before baking.Brush 2 tbsp milk over the loaf and bake for 45 – 50 minutes till a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean and the top is lovely and brown.
Take out from the oven and brush with 2 tbsp softened butter.Serve fresh or as you like with butter,jam or cheese!
Served with Jam…