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Peppered Ġbejna braided bread

Pillowy soft bread with a light crunchy crust that is filled with tangy peppered Maltese cheese.
Prep Time45 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Maltese, Mediterranean
Keyword: Bread, Cheese
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 400 g plain flour 2 1/2 cups
  • 100 g peppered ġbejna or any hard cheese
  • 300 ml water lukewarm 1 cup 2 tbsp
  • 45 ml olive oil 3 tbsp
  • 11 g active dry yeast 1 sachet
  • 12 g sugar 1 tbsp
  • 6 g salt 1 tsp
  • sesame seeds optional

Instructions

  • Start by activating the yeast in the lukewarm water together with the sugar. Let them activate for about 15 minutes until foamy.
  • In a large bowl add the flour and salt, and mix together.
  • To the flour, add the yeast mixture and olive oil. Start mixing everything together in the bowl until you get a shaggy dough.
  • Transfer the dough to a floured work top and knead the dough for about 15 minutes, until you get a smooth dough. Let the dough rest in a warm place for about an hour.
  • Grate or dice the ġbejna cheese and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C or 390°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and knead for a couple of minutes. Divide the dough into three equal parts.
  • Roll out each dough strand into a long rectangle and fill the middle with the ġbejna cheese. Close the edges on itself and roll into an oblong. Repeat the process for the three strands.
  • Braid the three strands, by securing the three strands at the top and bottom. Optionally, you can tuck in both edges under the braid for a secure braid and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
  • Brush the braid with some oil or butter and bake for about 20 minutes, or until you get a nice golden colour on top.