This is an award winning recipe found over at kingarthurflour.com, filled with basil, tomatoes, and cheese. It is so flavorful with a beautiful presentation that is easy to do.
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1/3 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp instant yeast
1 large egg, beaten
3 Tbl olive oil
3 cups flour
1¼ tsp salt
3-4 Tbl basil paste*
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
3/4 cup shredded Italian-blend cheese
In bowl of mixer, mix milk, water, and yeast; let sit until foamy. Mix in egg and olive oil. Add flour and salt, knead dough for approx. 5-7 minutes, until it’s smooth and just barely sticking to bottom and/or sides of bowl. Place dough in lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until dough doubles, about 1 hour. While dough rises, thoroughly drain tomatoes, patting them dry, and cut into small pieces.
Deflate dough and pat or roll it into a 22″ x 9″ rectangle. Spread with basil paste, sprinkle with cheese and tomato pieces. Start with long edge and roll dough into a log. Pinch edges to seal. Place log seam-side down on lightly greased or lined (parchment or silpat) baking sheet. Start 1/2″ from one end and cut log lengthwise down center about 1″ deep, to within 1/2″ of the other end. Keeping cut side up, form an “S” shape. Tuck both ends under center of “S” to form a “figure 8;” pinch ends together to seal. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, 45 to 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake bread 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it with foil after 20 to 25 minutes to prevent over-browning. Remove bread from oven, and transfer to rack to cool.
*I used basil paste, the original recipe calls for fresh basil. There is garlic in the original recipe, I omitted it because I just wanted the flavor of the tomatoes, basil and cheese. If you would like to add garlic to the filling, it calls for 3-6 cloves peeled and minced.