I’ve been meaning to join the King Arthur Flour Bakealong Challenge since the beginning of the year but unfortunately my schedule (and my laziness) prevented me from joining in until this month. But by dint of sheer persistence (aka giving pep talks to myself), I managed to bake this month’s bakealong challenge which was Butterflake Herb Loaf. Hooray!
The recipe was based on a winning recipe from King Arthur Flour’s 1964 Bake-Off competition so you can tell that this recipe is a keeper. I’m not much of a bread person, but even I enjoyed baking and eating this loaf. What’s not to love about a warm piece of soft and flavorful bread anyway?
There are step by step instructions posted on the King Arthur Flour website showing the different stages of the bread making process, including numerous tips on how to churn out the perfect loaf and suggestions on alternative fillings. I modified the herb filling recipe that was used in the original because I realized I didn’t have chives or caraway seeds when I made this bread a few weeks ago. Instead, I swapped the original herb filling with a roasted garlic and basil filling, the recipe of which I’ll be posting on the blog soon. The bread still baked wonderfully — really soft and squishy on the inside with a pretty, golden brown crown on top.
To make this pull-apart bread, you need to first roll out the dough and cut several circles by using a biscuit or cookie cutter, or even a jar lid. I paid homage to sophistication by using my good old, metallic, 1-cup sized measuring cup. Spread a bit of the filling on the top portion of a circle and fold it in half so you have a half-circle. Arrange the half circles with the folded sides down in a loaf pan. I was able to fit 12 half circles inside my pan.
The recipe produces two loaves but can easily be scaled down to half to produce only 1 loaf for trial purposes. I made the full recipe because I was thinking of making some fan tans but they didn’t turn out nicely.
Although no voodoo is involved in making this recipe, it does take a bit of practice and familiarity with your oven to consistently get the best results. Sometimes you have to go with your gut instinct, like when you need to decide whether to dump the rest of the flour or not.
For novice bakers, don’t let this recipe turn you off. Read it thoroughly, turn on your heel three times while holding a rolling pin, and just do it. (Oh, you can skip the heel turning. It’s only optional, but is really empowering – you can pretend that you’re the Kitchen Thor with Mjolnir in your hand.)
King Arthur provides a walkthrough (very helpful); but don’t be discouraged when the bread doesn’t turn out as beautifully as you had imagined it to be. At the very least, you’ll have the sweet smelling aroma of freshly baked bread right in your kitchen. You’re welcome. ?Print