Sofrito is a delicious blend of tomato, green peppers, cilantro, and garlic in olive oil.
This bread is a meal unto itself; but served along side a good chili, as a grilled cheese supreme, or as the roll for sausage and peppers- it's outstanding.
This recipe can be made in a bread machine or the traditional way.
If you like the recipe, let me know - comments, suggestions and of course -ratings and votes- are greatly appreciated!
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup Sofrito
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour*
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. active dry yeast
*If using all white flour or unbleached, reduce the yeast to 1 1/2 teaspoons
Step 2: Bread Machine
For making in a bread machine:
Add your ingredients in the order given.
Use the whole wheat setting for 1 1/2 lb. loaf.
Brush the crust with butter while warm.
Your bread will look like this picture.
Step 3: Traditional Method
Dissolve the yeast in warm water, about 100 degrees farenheit -not too hot, as this would kill the yeast.
This will only take about 5 minutes.
Step 4: Yeast Is Ready
You can see in this picture the yeast has dissolved and is ready to use.
Step 5: Mix Dry Ingredients
Mix the remaining dry ingredients.
Set aside about 1 cup of the mix.
Step 6: Mix the Wet Stuff
Mix together the Sofrito, grated cheese and egg.
Add the yeast/water mix.
Step 7: Make the Dough
Add the wet to the dry and mix.
Add just enough of the reserved flour to form a ball.
Turn the ball onto a floured surface.
Knead for about 5 minutes, adding flour as necessary.
Step 8: How to Knead
The short video (link below) demonstrates how to knead dough. Nice gloves, eh?
Continue to kead the dough:
by turning - folding - pressing -until no longer sticky. About 5 minutes.
Add flour if needed, but remember the less flour you use to accomplish this, the lighter your bread will be.
Step 9: Let Rise
Set dough ball in a warm place, on a greased surface (plate or baking stone) and cover with a clean dishtowel.
Allow to rise until about double in size; about an hour or so, depending on the warmth of the area.
Step 10: Punch Down
You can stop here and bake it, akin to the quick method in bread machines.
If you've gone this far, tho- you might as well go for the gold.
Punch down the center of the dough.
If you are baking in greased loaf pans, add the dough to the pan(s) now .
Or, reshape into a ball.
Return to the warm spot, covered, to rise again.
This time it will be faster.
Step 11: Get Ready to Bake
Set your oven to a moderate temperature, about 350 degrees farenheit.
When your dough has risen again, it's time for the oven.
Bake until brown, about 30 minutes.
You can 'knock' on the loaf to tell if it's done, kind of like with melons.
Step 12: Enjoy!
Spread some butter on the top of the loaf while it is still warm.
This gives it a nice golden color, and helps to keep the crust soft.
Let cool before slicing.
In place of the 1/2 cup Sofrito, try any combination in the same amount that could include prepared garlic, Cilantro paste, salsa - get creative!
In place of the shredded mozzarella, try shredded Monteray Jack. Mmmm.
This would also make a great pizza dough.