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    Garlic & herb monkey bread

    by Martha Collison

    • Preparation time: 40 minutes + proving
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes to 35 minutes
    • Total time: 70-75 minutes + proving

    Serves: 6 - 8

    Ingredients

    500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
    7g sachet instant yeast
    1 tsp salt
    1 tbsp honey
    50ml olive oil, plus extra for oiling
    1 British Blacktail Free Range Large Egg

    For the coating
    100g butter
    4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    ½ x 25g pack parsley, chopped
    ½ x 25g pack chives, chopped
    100g mozzarella, cut into 25-30 x 1cm cubes

    Method

    1. Place the flour into a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) and add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other. (If you put the salt directly onto the yeast it may kill it and the dough will not rise.)

    2. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the honey, olive oil, egg and about 170ml warm water. Begin to mix, incorporating the wet ingredients with the flour. Add more warm water (you may need up to another 50ml) as you go to form a soft, slightly sticky dough.

    3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for 10-15 minutes or until smooth and elastic, and no longer sticky. Alternatively, knead using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover and leave for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.

    4. For the coating, melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, then add the garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the mixture smells fragrant, then remove from the heat and stir in the herbs. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 25-30 small pieces.

    5. Flatten each piece and place a cube of mozzarella into the centre of each. Pinch tightly to seal and shape into balls. Roll each ball in the garlic and herb butter, then randomly scatter the balls into a large 23cm Bundt tin, trying not to squash them down. They will touch and stick together as the dough proves. Tip any remaining butter mixture over the dough, then cover the tin and leave to rise for 1 hour.

    6. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Bake the monkey bread for 30-35 minutes until well risen and golden. The top will be golden brown. Allow the bread to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then invert onto a plate and tap sharply before lifting the tin to remove the bread in one piece. Serve warm as a centrepiece starter or accompaniment to a meal.

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    Martha’s tip This is best eaten warm, so to make it ahead of time, cover and place in the fridge for the second prove, for up to 12 hours.

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