The Past Few Weeks – Part II

Behold the deliciousness that is Beer-Mustard-Cheddar Pull-Apart Bread. I saw this recipe a few weeks back on Smitten Kitchen and immediately began to raid my fridge for a bottle of beer and a jar of mustard (cheese is a given in my household). Below is the magical flavor combination. I adjusted the recipe a bit to my liking – example: more spice and more cheese. The resulting bread was spectacular and a wonderful savory addition to my tea time. General consensus was that it was delectable, but also that it tasted like salami in bread form. The latter was a good thing I’ve been told. I enjoyed it immensely and am now a huge fan of pull-apart breads (cinnamon-sugar pull-apart bread followed this up a few days later, and yesterday I unintentionally made cinnamon-caramel bread – round 3 of the beer-mustard-cheddar pull-apart bread is coming soon. Round 2 dough was made by me but my mother completed it with the assembly and sauce and all as I left town that morning. My version is still the winner though hehe.) Anyway, below is my adjusted recipe.

Beer-Mustard-Cheddar Pull-Apart Bread

From Smitten Kitchen, adjusted by me

4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup beer, use whatever you have on hand (I used Winter Ale from Blue Moon – has a lovely toffee flavor)
2 1/2 + 1/3 cups all-purpose flour [Deb says to use 1/3 cup rye flour but I didn’t have any – using all-purpose flour entirely worked wonderfully for me though]
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs

3 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot sauce (I used Sriracha – and I use quite a bit more than a dash, more like 2 tablespoons – but you can adjust this to your spicy flavor level – in my house the level is set to hot hot hot, so therefore, the spicier the better)
1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Several grinds black pepper
1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded cheddar

Dough: In a small saucepan, heat the 4 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup of beer, just until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and add the remaining 1/3 cup beer. Set aside to cool down slightly. You want the mixture warm (110 to 116 degrees), but not steaming hot. Once it has cooled, add your yeast, along with a pinch of sugar. The yeast will react like crazy to the yeast in the beer, giving you lots of wonderful bubbles.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt. With the mixer on low, pour in the butter-beer-yeast mixture, mixing only until the flour is moistened. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. The batter will look lumpy, but will become smooth in a moment. Add the remaining 1/2 + 1/3 cup all-purpose flour , mixing until just combined. Replace paddle with a dough hook and let the machine knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes on low. [Alternatively, which is what I did, you can use the dough hook the entire time and just use a spoon to make sure it all gets incorporated – I like to reduce my dish-washing as much as possible, and a spoon is easier to clean than the paddle.]

Oil a medium/large bowl and transfer dough to it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel and set aside for 50 to 60 minutes, until doubled. Meanwhile, prepare fillings. I would wait until the last 15 minutes of the dough rising to begin making the fillings.

[Do ahead: You can also rest the dough in the fridge overnight — wrapped tightly with plastic. The next day, let it rest at room temperature for an hour before rolling out.]

Fillings: In a small saucepan, melt the 3 tablespoons butter. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, Worcestershire and hot sauce until smooth. Set aside.

This is where I really divert from Deb’s recipe – I didn’t have mustard powder, and I don’t love the taste of paprika, so instead I used cayenne and garlic salt and more mustard. Anyway…
In the bottom of a medium bowl, stir together cayenne, garlic salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Add shredded cheddar and toss until grated strands are evenly coated with spices. I like to keep this in the fridge until needed so it doesn’t get soft and clumpy, making it harder to sprinkle over the dough in a bit.

Assemble: Either coat a 9-by-5 loaf pan lightly with butter or a nonstick spray and set aside.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured counter and roll the dough into a roughly 20 x 12 inch rectangle, making sure it doesn’t stick to the counter by lifting sections and re-flouring the counter as needed. Brush the butter-mustard-Worcestershire mixture evenly over the whole surface, right up to the edges. Cut the dough vertically into 5 strips (I recommend using a pizza dough cutter); each should be about 12 x 4 inches. Sprinkle the first one evenly with a heaping 1/4 cup of the grated cheese (which is now fine to leave out at room temperature). Gently place another strip on top of it, coat it with another heaping 1/4 cup of cheese, and repeat with remaining strips until they are stacked 5-high and all of the cheese is used (I sprinkled more cheese on top once the stacks were in the pan, so you may either want to a) reserve some cheese for sprinkling at the end, or b) season some more cheese, your choice). I am not the most proficient at rolling things out into a nice rectangle shape, so mine come out more like an oddly shaped blob. But no matter, cut, sprinkle with cheese, and stack. It works perfectly fine. So don’t stress too much if you don’t have a perfect 20 x 12 rectangle.

With your very sharpest serrated knife, or your pizza cutter (if it is large and sharp), gently cut your stack horizontally into 6 or 7 2-inch segments (each stacked segment should be 4 x 2 inches). I say 6 to 7 range because while your 12-inch length should clearly yield only 6 2-inch segments, I find that the soft dough stretches so much when you lift and stack it that I end up with 7 (or sometimes even more). Either amount will fit; this is totally not something to fret over.

Arrange stacks of dough down the length of your prepared loaf pan as if filling a card catalog drawer. I make this easier by standing my loaf pan up on its short end to make the next part easier. If, when you finish filing all of your dough stacks, you ended up with less than needed for the dough “cards” to reach the end of the pan, when you return the pan to rest flat on the counter again, just shimmy it a little so the dough centers. It will all even out in the final rise/oven. If you ended up with toomany dough cards, before you add the last stack, simply press gently on the dough already filed to make room for it.

Loosely cover the pan with more plastic wrap and set it aside to rise again for 30 to 45 more minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake loaf for 25 to 35 minutes, until puffed and brown. Transfer it to a wire rack and let it cool for 5 minutes before flipping it out onto a serving plate/cutting board. Serve warm.

Make, eat, & enjoy 😀





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