Parmesan-Pepper Bread

I recently made this without a bread machine and it was delicious and stayed good longer.  I’m leaving the bread machine version below, but adding the “by hand” version here:

1.5 pound loaf – dutch oven.  Total time from start to finish = approx. 4 hours (needs about 2 and 1/2 hours to rise and about 45 minutes to bake).

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 3/4 tsp yeast
  • 1 cup and 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • approx. 3 and 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Combine yeast, water, and sugar in bowl.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy (like beer).
  2. Add oil, salt, and pepper.  Add 2 and 1/2 cups flour, and mix.  Add a little more flour at a time (1/4 cup at a time) until starts to resemble dough, sticking together.
  3. Knead for about 8-10 minutes.  Fold in the shredded cheese during last 2 minutes of kneading.
  4. Spray the bowl with olive oil PAM, set the dough in the bowl, and then spray the top of the dough as well.  Cover with plastic and allow this to rise until it has doubled in size – about 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours.
  5. Turn out onto a well-floured surface.  Punch bread down to release air bubbles and separate into loaf(s) if desired.
  6. Knead gently 3-6 times to redistribute yeast.  Shape into loaf(s).
  7. Place loafs in banneton proofing basket and cover with plastic.  Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  8. About 25 minutes before the bread is done rising, put cast iron dutch oven in cold oven and heat to 350-450 degrees.  I tried 350 and would have liked a crispier crust … so I’ll try 400 or 425 next time.
  9. Carefully transfer the dough into the hot dutch oven, slice an X across the top and cover right away.  Put in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.  Take the lid off the dutch oven and continue baking another 15-20 minutes until the bread is done (bottom should sound hollow when tapped).
  10. Allow to cool before cutting into it.

A tip I saw that seems to be working well: to store the bread, don’t cover in plastic wrap.  Instead leave it cut-side down on a cutting board on the counter.  Don’t cover with anything.  It’s kept it moist and fresh for a few days.

Bread Machine – 3 hours, 2 pound loaf

  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2/3 cups grated or shredded Parmesan cheese (I do half grated and half shredded)
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black or green peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons yeast

Follow bread machine directions.

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