Rosemary Bread Ring with Roasted Garlic Cream Cheese
Servings: Makes one 10” round loaf/bundt and one cup cream cheese
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
There’s nothing more festive than a ring of bread with a savory, creamy spread — it’s a crowd-pleaser that automatically dresses up any party table. It’s fun to make, too — get little hands involved rolling little buns for the wreath or to pop into a bundt pan like savory monkey bread. Oh, and save this recipe — you’ll want to smear the roasted garlic cream cheese on everything from bagels to celery sticks.
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
¼ cup lukewarm water
½ cup milk
⅓ cup butter (plus 2 tablespoons for brushing)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 to 4 ½ cups white all-purpose flour
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
Roasted Garlic Cream Cheese
12 peeled garlic cloves (one large head’s worth)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 8-oz brick of cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup shredded Parmesan
Sprigs of fresh rosemary for garnish
- 1. Bloom the yeast for 10 minutes in warm water. Meanwhile, bring the milk to a simmer, then melt in the butter, sugar and salt. Cool until lukewarm.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment (or a large bowl and your hands), combine the yeast and milk mixtures. Beat in the eggs, then slowly add in the flour and rosemary, mixing until a soft dough forms.
- Knead for about ten minutes, until smooth and elastic. Turn the dough into a buttered bowl and lightly cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm, draft-free spot for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a greased surface. Cover it with a kitchen towel or a sheet of plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Here you have a couple choices: bundt, wreath, or braid. Bundt: pinch off golf ball-size pieces of dough, roll them into balls, and then plop the dough balls into a bundt pan (try to get them evenly distributed so the wreath will lay flat when it’s done). Wreath: on a parchment-lined baking sheet, trace an 8” circle (use a mixing bowl as a template) with a pencil, and then flip the parchment over so you can see the circle but it won’t touch the dough. Arrange the dough balls on the outside and inside of the circle, in two concentric circles. Braid: divide the dough into three sections, roll each section into long cylinders, and then make a braid. Tuck the ends under the braid to secure in a ring shape, and then move to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Cover the assembled bundt, wreath, or braid loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise again for 30-45 minutes. Toward the end of the second rise time, preheat your oven to 375o.
- Put the garlic cloves in a small oven-proof dish and drizzle with the olive oil.
- Place the garlic and the prepared dough in the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer the bread wreath to a cooling rack and let it cool for 15 minutes.
- While the bread is cooling, pulse the garlic and olive oil in a food processor (or smash with a fork) until it forms a smooth paste, then add the cream cheese and Parmesan and mix until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a small serving bowl and nestle it in the center of the bread ring to serve. Garnish with sprigs of rosemary and extra shredded Parmesan.
Recipe and photo by Heather Arndt Anderson at voodooandsauce.com