Mon 8 Jun 2009
Garden Herb and Cheese Bread
Makes: 3 loaves
3 tablespoons active dry yeast
3 cups warm water (110 degrees)
9 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup mixed fresh herbs
1 1/3 cups coarsely grated Asiago cheese
1 ½ tablespoons fine sea salt
2 teaspoons finely ground fresh black pepper
3 tablespoons coarse cornmeal
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Place the yeast and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and stir. Mix in 2 cups of the flour and let sit undisturbed until bubbly, about 15 minutes (this may be done in a large mixing bowl as well).
Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the herbs, cheese, salt and pepper and the remaining flour 1 cup at a time with the machine running. Continue adding flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl (depending on the humidity, more or less flour may be needed).
Using a dough hook, or by hand, knead the bread for 4-5 minutes until the dough is satiny and smooth. Coat a clean, large bowl with the remaining olive oil and add the dough, turning to coat. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1-1 ½ hours. Punch down, knead briefly and form 3 loaves.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the loaves on a baking sheet lightly coated with corn meal. Cover lightly and let the dough rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Paint the top of the loaves with the egg wash and bake in the lower third of the oven 30-35 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown and the bottoms sound hollow when thumped. Remove from oven and place on cooling racks before slicing.