Thursday, November 22, 2012
Garlic Parmesan Crusty Bread
But thus far, my attempts have been ho hum.
Tastes pretty good but not "I want to eat the whole loaf" good.
Until I tried this recipe.
One day this week we were going to eat baked potato soup. I love having a crusty bread to go with it. (I usually dip it in olive oil...yum). But with some diet restrictions, I couldn't just go buy what I normally buy. So I decided to give the recipe above a try.
This recipe does require planning ahead. That is because the dough sits and rises for about 18 hours. (12-18)
The night before the baked potato soup meal, I mixed the ingredients, covered the bowl, and left it until the next afternoon.
I will admit, the dough looks funny. It is kind of dry and "bumpy". And it does rise but not like a Rhodes roll will. When I put it in my pan to bake, I did NOT have high hopes. It just looked like a glob of dough.
And then partway through the baking, I started to smell it. And it smelled kind of good. Actually really good.
When time was "up", I removed it from the oven and held my breath.
It actually looked like bread. And kind of pretty for bread.
And the taste...well, it tastes like (better than actually) anything I have bought at the store.
I really did have to contain myself to not eat the whole loaf.
It is dense but crusty on the outside. Yet not so dense that you have to really work to eat it.
And the possibilities for what you can add to the bread are endless.
I ended up throwing in some minced garlic and shredded Parmesan when I mixed it together.
I will be making this again. I may just try the plain version or we may try something else. I don't know yet.
In a way, I wish I had never tried this recipe...it is going to be SOOO hard to not make it all of the time!
3 cups of all purpose UNBLEACHED flour (I honestly had never noticed unbleached flour at the store but sure enough, there is was. I ended up going with King Arthur)
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp yeast (the original recipe called for instant. I only had a rapid rise and used it just fine)
1 1/2 cups water (I used warm since I was using rapid rise yeast)
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add in the water. Mix (but don't overmix). At this point I added in the garlic and Parmesan. If I were adding cheddar cheese (and I plan to sometime) I probably wouldn't add it in until later since it sits out so long. That is just me though. :) Know that this is a fairly dry mixture. I really thought I had done something wrong but it does get more moist as it sits. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap then leave it alone.
After 12-18 hours, place your empty baking dish in an oven set at 450 degrees. The baking dish was my biggest challenge. It has to be 3+ quarts AND have a lid of some sorts. AND it has to be able to go into an oven at 450 degrees which eliminates a lot of pans I have. The original poster used a cast iron pot with a lid. I want one...saw one in a Thanksgiving ad just today. But they are also pricey for just one dish. I ended up using the mixing bowl from my mixer and covered it with aluminum foil. It was the best I could do. And it worked. :)
Meanwhile pour the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a ball of sorts. I used parchment paper...totally forgot to flour. And it was kind of sticky. I will do better next time. This dough does NOT need a lot of kneading. I did little beyond shaping it. Then I covered it with plastic wrap and let it sit a bit longer.
After about 30 minutes, take the hot pan out of the oven (carefully) and place the dough inside. I just kind of dumped it from the parchment paper. Cover and return to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove bread and let it cool.
I really am amazed that something so simple produced such tastiness.
Happy cooking! (and Happy Thanksgiving!)