The weather is still very wintry in our neck of the woods. Even though the children are supposed to be on the second half of their spring term at school, apart from the occasional bird song, spring hardly seems to be in a hurry to come around. We still have to wrap up warm to brace ourselves against the cold, even the gloves doing little to stop the hands getting numb inside them. The face, the running noses are still very much everywhere. The freezing wintry showers are still falling with the same gusto.
With such weather around us, the need for a hearty bowl of soup is always there. And if there is some nice bread to go along with it, so much the better. Last evening we had bowlfuls of our favourite red lentil and vegetable soup and it was accompanied by some tomato, garlic and cheese swirls. It was a perfect dinner after we were drenched by the wintry showers on our way back home from the kids school-hearty and warm, and of course, full of flavours.
There is something about tomato and garlic that I adore and just can’t have enough. This was what I was thinking as I was cooking the filling for my swirls. And add some cheese, and its a match made in heaven. You can find the recipe for the soup here; as for the swirls, it follows-
For the dough-
4 C of whole wheat flour (atta)
2 tsp fast action dried yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
2 C of warm milk
For the filling and topping-
6-7 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
10-12 large cloves of garlic, peeled and cut into thick slices
2 tblsp olive oil
2 tblsp Italian seasoning
1 very small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp + a little extra for topping smoked paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red chillies
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 C of grated edam or cheddar cheese ( I used the former)
a little ground rice or cornmeal to roll the dough in and for dusting the baking tray.
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Tip in the milk and mix to form a dough. If the dough appears too dry, add a couple more tblsps of milk, but not too much. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes to form a smooth but firm ball of dough.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, toss it around and cover the bowl with an oiled plastic wrap. Leave the dough to rise till doubled in volume ( about 1-1 and 1/2 hours).
- While the dough rises, make the filing.
- Place all the ingredients for the filling ( tomatoes, garlic, onion, olive oil, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper) in a pan, mix well and place over heat.
Cook till the tomatoes are mushy and the mixture is thick and lumpy. Remove from heat and cool completely.
- When the dough has risen, knock it back and knead again for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle a little ground rice or cornmeal on a rolling board. Place the ball of dough on it and roll it out into a rectangle of about 11 inches by 14 inches.
- Spread the cooled filling over the rolled out dough, leaving a border all around. Sprinkle 3/4 of the grated cheese over it.
- Starting from the longer end, make a roll. Cut the roll into 1 inch slices. Sprinkle a little ground rice or cornmeal on a baking tray and place the slices, cut side up. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the slices followed by a little of the smoked paprika and some freshly ground pepper. Cover the tray with a plastic wrap and let them rest till they rise again( about 30-45 minutes).
- Pre heat the oven at 220 deg C. Place the tray in the top rack of the oven and bake for about 20-22 minutes. Place a piece of foil loosely over the top ( to prevent the tops from burning) and bake for another 10 minutes. And yes, during this time, do not forget to enjoy the aromas that waft through the oven as the dough, tomatoes, garlic, cheese and all the rest become one
- Serve warm with some soup.
The swirls taste great even on their own. Actually Dinesh devoured a few slices on their own before I could get the soup to him. The kids, well, they, unlike other times when the bread was had together with the soup, finished the soup first and had the swirls last. By the way, its very good news when they save something to enjoy later; you know, ’saving the best for last’ thing?