Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Cheesy Parm Bread

What's better than a lovely sourdough baguette? A lovely sourdough baguette with Parmesan cheese studded throughout!
This loaf is a "spiked" bread, meaning it uses a sourdough pre-ferment and also a little yeast in the final dough. The results are light, cheesy, tangy and delicious. My husband and I ate half a loaf the first night.
The great thing about breads with pre-ferments and sourdoughs is that they naturally have a longer shelf life too. If you don't eat them up right away that is.
Bread does take time, but it is largely unattended. You can either bake this bread the day after making the pre-ferment or else let it retard overnight in the fridge for a more pronounced tang.
Happy baking!

Parmesan Cheese Bread 
adapted from Jeffrey Hamelmans' Bread
online recipe sourced from The Fresh Loaf, LindyD

Stiff levain build:
5.8 oz bread flour
3.5 oz water (that has been sitting out 12 hours to let the chlorine dissipate)
1.2 oz mature stiff culture

Build the levain and let stand about 12 hours at 70F.

Final dough:
1 lb., 10.2 oz bread flour
15.7 oz water
1.6 oz olive oil
.5 oz (2.5 tsp) salt
.1 oz (1 tsp) instant dry yeast  (NOTE:  if you plan on retarding the dough overnight, use half the yeast)
9.3 oz levain (all less 2 T + 1 tsp)
6.4 oz Parmesan cheese (half grated, half cubed)

Mix all ingredients except the cheese.  I mixed for about three minutes at speed 1 in my KA Artisan.  The dough will be a bit stiff.  Switch to speed 2 and mix for another three or four minutes.  You want moderate gluten development.  Add all the cheese and mix at first speed until it's incorporated in the dough. You'll wind up using your hands a bit.  Desired dough temperature is 76F.

Bulk fermentation is 2.5 hours.  Fold once at 1 1/4 hours or if the dough needs more strength, fold twice at 50-minute intervals.

Divide and shape into 1.5 pound rounds or batards. (I did French style loaves) Don't worry about cubes of cheese popping out.  Just stick them back in the top of the dough; they'll melt in the oven.

You can retard the dough for up to eight hours at 50F or up to 18 hours at 42F.
 If you are not retarding the dough, the final fermentation is 1 to 1.5 hours at 76F.

Oven temp should be 460F initially.  Bake with normal steam for a total of 40 to 45 minutes, but lower the oven temp to 440F after the first 15 minutes. (I found 30 minutes was ample timing - more may give you too dark of a crust and bitter tasting cheese)

Click here for shaping instructions.