Artisan Cheese Bread

February 2, 2009 in Side Dishes

I love those rustic, crusty breads you can buy at the bakery or bakery section of a good grocery store. They are chewy, yummy and flavorful. But, they are also pricey.

A friend of mine told me how she makes what she calls “artisan bread,” and it seemed too good to be true. No kneading. No fussing. And absolutely idiot-proof.

Basically, you stir four ingredients together and then let the dough sit for 12 to 15 hours on your counter top. Then you fold it over a few times, let it rise another 2 to 3 hours and then put it in a covered pot and bake it. I promise – I am NOT making this up . It’s that easy.

I tinkered with the basic recipe to make it an herb and cheese bread by folding in Parmesan cheese and then pressing herbs and some small cubes of cheese into the top of the bread. Heaven!

ARTISAN CHEESE BREAD

3 cups ubleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid rise yeast

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups very warm water

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated

2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Mix flour, yeast, salt and water together with a spoon until dough just comes together. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let stand on counter top for 12 to 15 hours. Pour batter out on to a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle one third of the Parmesan on top. Fold dough in half. Sprinkle on another third of PArmesan and fold in half again. Sprinkle last third of Parmesan on top and fold one last time.

Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil into a 9 inch sturdy ovenproof pot. Place dough in pot. Cover and let rise another 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut cheddar into small cubes and press cubes into top of dough. Sprinkle herbs on top and press herbs into dough with fingers. Drizzle oil on top. Bake in oven covered for 30 minutes.

Remove lid and cook another 10 to 15 minutes, until well browned. Let cool and remove carefully from pot.

***

You won’t need any butter with this bread – it’s rich, cheesy and delicious.

– posted by Donna

Share