This recipe is courtesy of the recipe book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoe Francois, which I’m currently obsessed with. I’d only read about this book on the internet until my coworker Jaynie (of her own volition!) brought the book in for me to take home for the weekend. (Thanks, Jaynie! I’ve spent all my scant free time this weekend frantically scribbling down all the recipes I want to try!)
I based my recipe off their Vermont Cheddar Bread recipe but went for the more local Tillamook garlic white cheddar version.
- 3 c. lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 T. granulated yeast
- 1 1/2 T. Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 T. sugar
- 6 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 8 oz. grated cheddar cheese
- Mix the yeast, salt, sugar and water in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix in the flour and grated cheese using a spoon, food processor with dough attachment, or heavy-duty stand mixer with a dough hook.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately two hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise or refrigerated in a lidded container and used within 7 days.
- When you’re ready to bake, dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut off a hunk of dough approximately the size of large orange or grapefruit. Dust the chunk of dough with flour and quickly shape the dough into a ball. Stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the dough a quarter of a turn. Allow to rest and rise on a piece of parchment paper dusted with cornmeal for 60 minutes.
- Place a baking stone on the top rack (in the middle of the oven) and an empty broiling pan on the rack below the stone. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Just before baking sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and slash a cross, scallop or tic-tac-toe pattern into the top using a serrated bread knife.
- Set the bread on the hot baking stone and quickly pour 1 cup of water into the broiling pan beneath the stone. Close the oven door as quick as possible. Bake for about 30 minutes, until deeply browned and firm.
- Cool on a wire rack (to avoid a soggy bottom) before cutting or eating.
There’s something really satisfying about making your own bread. Especially when it turns out! This bread turned out perfect. Crispy outer crust and chewy center. Just a hint of garlic and cheddar. Next time I think I would add more cheese!
I tried a slice with a slathering of butter, but we made our neighbor a grilled cheese panini and she said it was amazing.
Once you slice into the bread do not wrap with foil or saran wrap. Turn the bread sliced side down on a plate so the crust stays crispy. If you wrap the bread, the outer crust will get rubbery.