The sky is azure and cloudless. It rained heavily a day ago. We are in the fields and the Sun is pleasantly warm. Birds and bees are at work. There are a million wild flowers around. Butterflies are flitting from flower to flower. Most of them are hovering around Lantana flowers. The amalgamation of nippy air and warm Sun is lassitude inducing, the ambiance is heavenly.
We spot a large number of butterflies.
The colours, the hues and the patterns on their wings fascinate us.
For evening, a special pull apart bread is being planned. I decide on baking a cluster of tiny bread rolls in a regular loaf tin.
The bread rises, so does our excitement. As the bread browns, our home is flooded with the lovely aroma and garlic and herb cluster bread is ready for dinner. This is the basic recipe for garlic and herb bread. You may also shape it as a regular loaf.
Garlic and Herb Pull Apart Cluster Bread | Garlic and Herb Pull Apart Bread
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons milk powder
1 ½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons dry herbs (mix of oregano, thyme, rosemary)
5 to 6 buds of garlic (minced)
2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
¼ cup boiled and mashed potato
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter for dough + 4 tablespoons more
2/3 cup warm milk
¼ to ½ cup warm water.
Mix together milk, yeast, sugar, butter and mashed potato.
Whisk together first five ingredients. Make a well in the center. Pour liquid ingredients. Mix with hands to get a shaggy dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes or till dough becomes smooth. Keep adding water till you get a smooth and elastic dough. Cover and let dough rest for 20 minutes.
Grease one 4 ½ x 8 ½ inch bread pan.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a bowl.
Pinch dough into walnut size balls. Roll between palms to get a round ball. Dip the balls in the butter and start arranging dough balls in the pan. Once the base layer is done, start second layer and so on. Each layer should have less dough balls than the previous layer. Try to arrange dough balls evenly so that you get a pyramid shape in the end. Cover and keep in a warm place for 1 ½ hour or till bread crests above the rim of the pan.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 40 to 45 minutes or till the top turns brown and the tin sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom.
Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.