Parmesan Bread

by Beth on February 1, 2009

I’ve been making the basic boule from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day for nearly a year now. My husband spotted this Sun-Dried Tomato and Parmesan Bread recipe while thumbing through the book the other day. Since we had company coming for dinner on Saturday night, I decided to give it a try.

The central idea behind Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is that “Pre-mixed, pre-risen, high moisture dough keeps well in the refrigerator.” Initially mixing the dough takes about 10 minutes or less and shaping/baking a loaf only requires 5 minutes of attended preparation time. Additionally, this dough can be mixed using only a spoon and a mixing bowl. No kneading is required.

The book contains a number of base dough recipes that can be modified, resulting in dozens of different kinds of bread and bread products.

This recipe uses 1 pound of the Master Bread recipe, which I’ve detailed in a previous post. I omitted the sun-dried tomatoes, making this a Parmesan bread. The cheese added a nice tang to the bread and brushing the crust with olive oil resulted in a nicely browned, crisp crust.

Parmesan Bread

Yields a single 1-pound loaf

1 pound (grapefruit-sized portion) of dough
Olive oil for brushing the loaf
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or other Italian-style grating cheese)
Cornmeal pizza peel

1. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go.

2. Roll out the ball into a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle. As you roll out the dough, use enough flour to prevent it from sticking to the work surface, but not so much as to make the dough dry.

3. Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese. Starting from the short end, roll the dough into a log and gently tuck the ends under to form an oval loaf. Allow to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel for 1 hour (or just 40 minutes if you’re using fresh, unrefrigerated dough).

4. Twenty minutes before baking tiem, preheat the oven to 450, with baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread.

5. Brush the top of the dough lightly with olive oil and slash parallel cuts across the loaf, using a serrated bread knife.

6. Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until deeply browned and firm.

7. Allow to cool before slicing and eating.

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