Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Pot Bread: BBD #38

BBD#38 is hosted by Cinzia of Cindystar. She chose No-Knead Bread as the theme for Bread Baking Day #38. I like to make no knead breads because the dough can be prepared in advance and left in the refrigerator to ferment. No knead dough ferments for a longer period of time in order to develop the gluten. This longer fermentation process allows you to do a lot of the work ahead of time. Basically all you need to do on bake day (depending on the recipe) is to shape the dough, put it in the pan, let it rise, then bake it.

My submission to bread baking day this month is Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Pot Bread.  The dough ferments for about two days and is baked in a preheated Dutch oven or heavy metal pot.  It is infused with a paste of roasted garlic and parmesan cheese. It goes well with Mediterranean-style meals. Deliciousness!


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Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Pot Bread

Recipe from Kneadlessly Simple by Nancy Baggett

Makes: 1 large loaf


  • 1 large head garlic
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality olive oil, plus more for brushing dough
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • 4 cups (20 ounces) unbleached all-purpose white flour or white bread flour, plus more as needed
  • Scant 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons instant, fast-rising, or bread machine yeast
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed



Making the roasted garlic and parmesan paste:  You can do this part a few days ahead of time and refrigerate it.  Just let it warm up to room temperature slightly before using.  I did this part the night before I planned to start the bread.

Peel and discard the papery skin from the garlic but leave the cloves in tact.  Leave the pajamas on as Jeffrey Hamelman puts it. Cut across the pointed tops of the cloves to expose the flesh inside; discard the cut-off portion.  Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small ovenproof custard cup or small bowl.  Dip the cut side of the garlic into the oil to coat the cloves, then turn the head cut-side up and set in the cup.


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Cover the cup with foil.  Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the garlic is very soft and fragrant. 

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Let cool, then squeeze or scrape out the garlic from the cloves into a medium bowl. 


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Add 1/4 cup of Parmesan and thoroughly mash with a fork until the mixture forms a paste.


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First Rise:  I started this process at about 6:00 pm on 3/10.

In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, salt, and yeast.


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Vigorously stir the water and the garlic mixture into the bowl, scraping down the sides and mixing until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. 

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If the mixture is too dry to incorporate all the flour, a bit at a time, stir in just enough more water to blend the ingredients; don’t over moisten, as the dough should be very stiff.  If necessary, stir in more flour to stiffen it. 


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Brush or spray the top with olive oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.


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For best flavor or for convenience, refrigerate the dough for 3 to 10 hours.  Then let it rise at cool room temperature for 12 to 18 hours.  If possible, vigorously stir the dough once partway through the rise.  I put the dough in the refrigerator for a few hours, then I let it sit on the counter for 18 hours.


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Second Rise: I started this process 18 hours later on 3/11

Using an oiled rubber spatula, lift and fold the dough in towards the center, working all the way around.  Try to avoid deflating it as much as possible.  Brush or spray with olive oil and re-cover with plastic wrap.


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For an extended rise, refrigerate the dough for 4 to 24 hours, then set it out at room temperature.  Continue the rise until the dough doubles from the deflated size, removing the plastic if the dough nears it.


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On Saturday, 3/12 at about 5 pm, I took the dough out of the refrigerator to warm up to room temperature and finish rising.

20 minutes before baking time, I put a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheated the oven to 450 degrees F. Then I oiled the inside of my Dutch oven.  It calls for a 3- to 4-quart (or slightly larger pot).  Mine is about 5 quarts.  I used it but I think it was just a little bit too big for this bread.

Heat the Dutch oven until it just starts to smoke, then remove it (using mitts of course).  Loosen the dough from the bowl sides with an oiled rubber spatula, being careful not to deflate it.  Gently invert it into the pot.  This wasn’t as easy as it sounds.  She said not to worry if it’s lopsided and ragged-looking because it will even out during baking.  Spritz or brush the top of the loaf with water, then sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of Parmesan. 


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Immediately top with lid.  Shake the pot back and forth to center and even out the dough.

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Reduce the heat to 425 degrees F.  Bake on the lower rack for 45 to 50 minutes.  If the loaf is golden brown, continue baking, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes longer, until the top is well browned and a skewer inserted in the thickest part comes out with just a few crumbs on the tip.  If the loaf top looks pale after the initial 45 to 50 minutes, uncover and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.  Then bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer to ensure the center is baked through.  Cool in the pot on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. 


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Run a table knife around the loaf (if necessary) to loosen it.  Transfer it to the rack; cool thoroughly.


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This bread has a delicious flavor.  I really like the combination of the garlic and the parmesan.  It tastes good warm with butter, but wait until it cools first so that it’s easier to cut. Then you can reheat it.

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To maintain the crisp crust, store draped in a clean tea towel or in a heavy paper bag.  Or, you could use one of these bamboo bread bags.  They’re good for storing artisan breads.  If you want a softer crust you can store it airtight in a plastic bag or wrapped in foil. The bread will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days, and may be frozen, airtight, for up to 2 months.


Cinzia of Cindystar is hosting BreadBakingDay #38. Be sure to check out all of the fabulous breads in the BBD #38 Roundup.


BreadBakingDay #38 (last day of submission April 1st, 2011)


BreadBakingDay was created by Zorra of http://kochtopf.twoday.net/stories/4124192/.  Read more about Bread Baking Day and access the previous roundups on her blog.

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