Sometimes even the wackiest of ideas produce some of the most amazing end results.
The other day when I was making that Cheesy Baked Ziti I knew I wanted bread with it. To me, bread with pasta (I know carb on carb) just is a perfect marriage. It’s like peanut butter and jelly, ice cream and hot fudge, ketchup and eggs (shut it.. leave me to my perfect marriages!). lol Growing up when my parents made pasta I really didn’t like it as it had GINORMOUS chunks of onions and tomatoes in it. And you all know by now, this child does NOT do chunks like that! No way, no how! However the only saving grace was butter bread. Sundays were either pot roast day (with homemade bread) or spaghetti & meatballs with home made bread. Either way it was a win-win for me as I would load up on bread and fake pretend (as in push the food around on my plate) that I was eating the massive chunky pasta (gag). Well as I got older and perfected my Italian Gravy I never gave up on the bread with it.
Now I didn’t want just plain warm buttered bread and I was sick of garlic toast. I wanted something different. Well, when I opened up my metal utensils drawer in the kitchen I saw my 12″ wooden skewers (that I have to keep hidden from Mr. Fantabulous as he tends to steal them and use them in the garage for God knows what!). It hit me, what if I made the dough and twisted ’em around them skewers??? And that’s exactly what I did. Since I knew I was going to be baking these I felt best to soak the skewers so they didn’t catch on fire… again. LOL Yes, I caught them on fire in my oven one, twice or 5 times before but we won’t go there. I’ve since learned my lesson.
As I was making my dough I decided to throw caution to the wind and just dump herbs and cheese in the dough. I let the dough rise once, then cut it out into equal parts, made some ropes and wrapped them puppies around the skewer. Now this is where I got stuck. I could have laid them down on the pan but then I would have had flat bottom breads. And while that would have worked, it kind of ruined the image I had in my head of this bubble bread twirling around the skewer. I needed to ‘hang’ them to proof and bake. I dug through my cabinets, found some 9×13″ pans and then laid the skewers over top of them this way the ends were suspended but the dough didn’t touch any part thus I could have my bubbly twirls.
I popped the ziti in the oven. When the ziti was done I lowered the temp and baked these beauties while the ziti cooled a tad (no need to getting 10th degree cheese burns, right?!). When I pulled these out of the oven the smell was intoxicating! Honestly I didn’t want the ziti, I just wanted these GORGEOUS twists!
Now look at these! And yes, they were so pretty that I put them in a vase! I am so doing this again next time we have a party! It’s super fun and just ‘makes’ the table setting.
When I served these Mr. Fantabulous gave me the funniest look and the look of okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay um… bread, in a vase. Kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk LOL But the first bite he was hooked!
You can bite them right off the stick or do what I did and gently pull pieces off. This was so good that I was in pure heaven!
- 1 1/2 tablespoon cake yeast (can use 2 1/2 teaspoon dry instant yeast)
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/2 cup Asiago pulsed in the food processor (you want small pebbles)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan pulsed in the food processor (you want small pebbles)
- 3 1/2 cup bread flour
- 3/4 cup melted butter
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
- 10 12” inch skewers (soaked for 15 minutes)
- In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, sugar, and 1 1/2 cups warm water together and let sit for 5-6 minutes until foamy.
- Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment.
- Add in the flour and mix just until shaggy.
- Add in the oil, garlic salt, thyme, rosemary, Asiago and Parmesan crumbles.
- Mix on low until combined and then place on medium and mix for 5-7 minutes until the dough is soft and stretchy. It’ll be tacky but not sticky. If the dough is too dry, add some of the remaining 1/4 cup warm water but in tablespoon increments.
- Place the dough in a large bowl (at least 3 times the size of the ball) coated with olive oil.
- Place dough back in the bowl turning once to coat, then cover with a towel (or plastic shower cap) and let rise until doubled ~1 hour.
- Divide dough into 10 equal parts
- Lightly cover your hands with flour and roll each part into a 14-16” inch long rope. *Note: you don’t want a lot of flour otherwise it will be difficult to roll the ropes out.
- Starting at 1” from the bottom of the skewer, wrap the dough around and then wind up towards the top leaving a 1” space from the tip.
- Lightly spray the top edges and inside 2 9×13”metal pans.
- Hang skewers over the edge of a 9×13 inch pan.
- Lightly spray with olive oil or cooking spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
- Let rise until doubled again. ~1 hour.
- minutes prior to baking preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a small bowl mix the melted butter, garlic powder, ½ teaspoon dried rosemary and Parmesan cheese.
- Brush the bread twirls on all sides.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and immediately brush with the remaining melted herbed butter.