Braided Tomato Pastry
This pizza-like creation was developed by my daughter. It makes a very delightful main dish! I like to serve it with a green salad.
- 6 Tbsp warm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp yeast
- 1/4 c all-purpose flour
- sponge (see above)
- 1/2 stick softened butter (4 Tbsp)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp water
- 2 heads garlic
- 4-5 c cherry tomatoes
- 1/3 c Mozzarella cheese
- Mix sponge ingredients together, cover, and allow to stand 15 minutes.
- Place sponge in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Add butter, egg, and salt; mix on low one minute.
- Gradually add all the flour. Switch to a dough hook, and knead on low speed for 5-6 minutes, or until a smooth dough forms, adding a bit of water as needed.
- Place dough in lightly greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double (60-90 minutes).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the two heads of garlic in half crosswise. Place each garlic head on foil sheet. Sprinkle with oil and enclose in the foil.
- Cut cherry tomatoes in half and place on a large baking sheet that has been oiled. Place the packets of garlic on the sheet as well. Roast all 45 minutes, or until caramelized. Place tomatoes in a bowl and squeeze out the garlic cloves into the bowl as well; stir. Cool while proceeding.
- Punch dough down, then roll on a lightly floured board, forming a rectangle that is 1/4 inch thick.
- To form braiding, place pastry with its wide side lying left to right in front of you. Slice 45 degree angled cuts every inch along the left and right thirds of the rectangle.
- Add tomato/garlic filling along the middle third of the pastry. Sprinkle the Mozzarella cheese. Braid the sliced, outer thirds of the dough inward over the filling.
- Place filled pastry on a clean, greased baking sheet, cover lightly, and let rise for 45-50 minutes or until puffy. During the last part of the rise, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Beat egg with the tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Brush pastry with the egg wash.
- Bake 15 minutes, turn pan(s) around for even baking, and continue baking another 15 minutes, or until golden on top. Cool 30 minutes before serving.