Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Basil Parmesan African Bread

Going again into the African Cookbook I checked out of the Library, I needed to use a recipe for bread that would go well with my Cool Cucumber Soup. I chose the Basil Parmesan as a complement, and it turned out to work well together.

This bread is fairly dense, and my loaf was perhaps a bit dry, but when used with the soup it gave a nice cheesy and onion accent to the simple flavors. This bread tastes a little like an everything bagel with cheese, my Mom found it was good as toast with a bit of roasted tomato on top, and, if sliced thin enough it is a great grilled cheese bread.

Lastly, though we did not try this, I think it would do really well as a garlic bread with tomato spaghetti. Perhaps not the best on its own due to the slightly dry nature of it (I am not enough of a bread person to know how to fix this yet, I am working on it), it is certainly a good complement to many summery dishes.

Basil and Parmesan Bread


½ c. Milk
2 Tbsp Butter
2 ½ c. Bread Flour
1 envelope (or 2 ½ tsp) active dried Yeast
½ Tbsp Sugar
½ tsp Salt
1 Egg, lightly beaten to break the yolk and blend
1 c. Parmesan Cheese, grated
8 Scallions, sliced
1 tsp crushed Garlic (about 2 cloves)
12-15 Basil leaves


-          Heat the Milk with half the Butter just so the butter melts into the milk, DO NOT BOIL. Set aside to cool lukewarm

-          Combine the Flour, Yeast, Sugar and Salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center

-          Add the lukewarm milk mixture, Egg and Parmesan Cheese to the Flour mix and mix together to make a soft dough. If the dough doesn’t come together enough (is too dry) add splashes of milk as you knead in the bowl until it comes together

-          Knead for a few minutes on a well floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic

-          Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl, cover with greased wax paper in a warm dry place and leave to rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.

-          While the dough is rising, sautee the Scallions and Garlic with the rest of the Butter until the onions are slightly colored. Remove from heat

-          Chop the Basil into small pieces and add to Scallions, allow this to cool.

-          Once dough is risen, punch it, and knead into the Scallion mixture until mix is fully stuck to the dough.

-          Shape into a loaf and place it in a greased loaf pan covering with the wax paper and leaving to double again (about 30 minutes)

-          Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 35-50 minutes or until crusty and golden on the outside. When tapped it should sound hollow

Cool enough that it sets well and serve either slightly warm right away or wait and serve cold. We had it the next day with a cool cucumber and parsley soup and it was absolutely scrumptious!

            Recipe Source: the African Kitchen by Josie Stow and Jan Baldwin

1 comment:

  1. Great recipe. I made it recently and was pleasantly surprised by how great the bread tasted. Thanks for sharing.