Even though my husband is the Bread Master of the house, I occasionally make it as well. I find the kneading process quite relaxing, and a good workout for the arms! And obviously, watching the dough rising is extremely rewarding.
Today I propose a stuffed braided bread, which is ideal for a buffet party or a pic nic. The filling is with Emmental cheese and roasted ham, but you can combine the ingredients you prefer, for example a spicy salami and provolone cheese, or olives, sundried tomatoes, etc…
I prefer to bake the bread in a loaf tin, but if you do not have it, you can simply place it on a baking tray, lined with baking sheet.
Stuffed Braided Bread
For the filling
Add the flours, yeast and sugar to a large bowl and mix with your hands to activate the dried yeast. Set aside.
Place the lukewarm milk to another bowl, add the egg and oil and mix well with a fork. Slowly combine the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing with a fork until you obtain a dough and continue to mix with your hands. Transfer the dough to a clean surface and knead with your hands for at least 5 minutes. Take your time here, as you want to obtain a homogenous and elastic texture.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a large bowl, dusted with a bit of flour. Cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm and dry place for at least 2 hours or until it doubles in volume.
Once the dough has risen, transfer it to a clean surface, previously dusted with a bit of flour, and roll it with a rolling pin into a rectangular shape (approx. 30cmx20cm, depending on the size of your tin) and 5mm thick.
Divide the dough into three stripes. Place the filling in the centre of each stripe. Brush the edges of one stripe with milk and then fold it until perfectly sealed. Roll it gently to create a "sausage" and pinch the ends to seal. Repeat with each stripe.
Create the plait with the three stripes, pinching both ends together. Transfer it to a loaf tin, previously greased with olive oil and dusted with flour. Cover with a tea towel and let is rest/rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven at 180C fan. Mix the yolk with a tablespoon of milk and brush it on the braided bread. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the tin. Enjoy!