Honeycomb Bread (there was a note added on 16 Oct 2013 re eggs)
It is the second day of school holidays and my daughter, who has been sick since yesterday with fever, cough and cold, is feeling better but bored. I was thinking last night of what to make with her to take her mind off her boredom and at the same time use the opportunity to bond with her. Last night until this morning, we were playing our guitars (we need some more practise for sure lol), and this morning I have decided we will try making a honeycomb bread.
After going through several recipes in the net, I have decided to use my own recipe for the dough and chose mozzarella cheese cubes to put inside (yes, I still have some leftover mozzarella from the sticks I recently made). I do know that you can also put chocolate cubes inside — dark or white — but I was not in the mood for something that has chocolate inside so cheese it was.
My daughter and I LOVED it!!!! It’s soft and fluffy and sweet and cheesy and ohhhh so heavenly! Again, it is a keeper.
2 3/4 cups plain flour, sifted and separated into 2 1/4 cups and 1/2 cup
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast (or one foil packet of Tandaco dry yeast)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup milk
35 grams butter
1 egg (added 16 Oct 2013: the egg I use weighs about 71 grams. If the egg you are using is significantly smaller than this, you should either add one more egg plus 1/4 flour, or do not add the 1/2 cup flour that was set aside in the beginning. I will be copying and pasting this on my recipes for cinnamon rolls and honeycomb bread. The size of the egg makes a difference in the texture of your dough. Your dough should be soft and fluffy to touch.)
50 grams butter, for melting
mozzarella cheese cut into cubes measuring about 2 cm x 2 cm, around 20 pieces or so
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
What you need to do:
Mix together in a bowl the 2 1/4 cups of flour, the 3 tablespoons sugar, salt and yeast with a spoon.
In a small saucepan, warm up the 35 grams of butter, milk, and water until the butter melts. As soon as most of the butter is melted, turn off heat. Using a candy thermometer, check the temperature. It most probably be around 70 degrees C. You would have to wait until it cools down to 40 degrees. If this is too hot, it could kill the yeast and not work.
When the temperature of your milk mixture is down to 40 degrees, pour this into your flour mixture while mixing. In this step, I use my mixer’s hook attachment. Gently add your remaining 1/2 cup flour and the egg. Continue mixing until they bind together. On your counter, sprinkle some flour as needed and knead your dough for about 5 minutes or until smooth and doesn’t stick to your hand. Form into a ball. Spray some oil in the same bowl you used earlier and place your dough in it. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Your dough will not rise here. It is just to rest it.
After the 10 minutes is up, divide your dough in two (this is only because it is easier to work with a small dough at a time) and set aside the other one in the bowl for later.
Flatten the dough with a rolling pin in the shape of a rectangle. Brush the top with melted butter. Using a knife, cut into squares (or semi-squares). Place 1 mozzarella cube in the center to form a ball, fold the edges around it and pinch to hold together. Place on a deep baking tray lined with wax paper — you can use the commercially bought foil trays or even a pyrex dish. If you don’t have a deep baking tray, construct a wall around the honeycomb with a foil like I did. Put the balls beside each other so that when they rise, they will look like a honeycomb. Do the same thing with the other half of your dough.
Brush the top of the balls with the remaining melted butter. Cover loosely with foil and leave in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours to rise. Remember the tip I gave previously? Turn on your oven for 2 minutes at 180 deg C (not longer than that) and that is a good place for your dough to rise).
While waiting, mix together the 1 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup of water and pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Boil for about 3 minutes then add your 1 tablespoon of honey. Stir until thoroughly mixed and turn off heat. Let cool.
After 1 1/2 hours, your bread rolls would have doubled in size. Take them out of the oven so you can start preheating at 180 deg C (175 if your oven is fan forced).
Bake for about 17-20 minutes or until cooked. After 15 minutes of baking, place a foil loosely on top to prevent too much browning.
Take out of the oven and while they are hot, pour or brush with the cooled down syrup. Doing this while the rolls are hot will prevent the rolls from absorbing the syrup.
Enjoy with coffee or tea.
My daughter who didn’t have an appetite because she wasn’t feeling well, had 2 pieces and was eyeing another one last time I looked. She is getting back to normal 🙂