Ricotta pepper bread

Yield: 1 large loaf

Measure Ingredient
½ cup Milk, scalded & cooled to
\N \N 115 degrees
2 packs Active dry yeast
1 tablespoon Sugar
6 tablespoons Unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups Ricotta cheese
2 \N Eggs
2 teaspoons Salt
2 tablespoons Coarsely ground black pepper
½ cup Snipped fresh chives
4 cups UP TO ...
4½ cup Unbleached flour
1 \N Egg (optional)
2 teaspoons Water (optional)
\N \N Coarsely ground black pepper
\N \N (optional)

Pour the milk into a large bowl and stir in the yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Beat the butter, ricotta, eggs, and salt into the yeast mixture with a whisk; then whisk in the pepper and chives. Stir in enough of the flour, 1 cup at a time, to make a soft dough. Knead on a floured surface 5 to 10 minutes. Plae the dough in a buttered large bowl and turn to coat with butter.

Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1½ hours. Punch the dough down and let it rise again for about 1 hour. Butter a 12 x 4" loaf pan. Punch the dough down, shape it into a large loaf, and place in the loaf pan.

Cover and let rise for 45 minutes Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If desired, beat the egg and 2 t water in a small bowl, brush the top of the loaf with the egg wash, and sprinkle with black pepper. Bake until loaf is nicely browned, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. From The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Julee Russe & Sheila Lukins.

Submitted By TERRI WOLTMON On 05-05-95

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