VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1-1/2 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
- 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 jar (24 ounces) meatless spaghetti sauce, optional
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the olive oil, sugar, salt and 2-1/2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Remove a third of the dough; cover and set aside. Roll remaining dough into a 10-in. circle. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Brush 1 tablespoon butter over bottom half of circle to within 1/4 in. of edges. Sprinkle with Italian cheese blend, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, poppy seeds, garlic powder, oregano and pepper flakes. Fold dough over filling. Using scissors or a pizza cutter, cut dough into 1/2-in.-wide strips to within 1/2 in. of fold; twist and curl strips into a brush.
- Shape remaining dough into an 12-in. rope. Twist dough and place above brush for a handle. Brush remaining butter over dough. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with spaghetti sauce if desired. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Witch's Broomstick Bread in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2009, p243