Cajun Crawfish Bread2013-01-06
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sweet basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 cup warm water (120 to 130?F)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound crawfish tail meat, coarsely chopped
- 1 (4 ounce) jar pimientos, drained and chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped green onions
- 3/4 cup grated Monterey jack cheese (or jalapeno
- pepper jack cheese if you like it spicier)
- 1/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Sesame seeds, optional
In a large mixer bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, thyme, oregano, basil, onion and garlic powders and peppers. Gradually add the warm water and oil to the dry ingredients, then beat for 2 minutes at medium speed, stopping to scrape the bowl occasionally. Beat for 2 minutes at high speed.
Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead dough on a floured surface until it's smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to oil the top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in volume, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Punch the dough down. Place on a floured surface and roll into a 10 x 14-inch rectangle. Scatter the crawfish lengthwise over the center third of the dough. Top with pimientos, green onions and shredded cheese. With a sharp knife, make cuts from the filling to the dough edges at one-inch intervals along the sides of the filling. Alternating sides, fold the strips at an angle across the filling for a braided effect. Place on a greased baking sheet; cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush the loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired. Bake until done and golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
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